Months ago I bought Grace an old stained dress for $2 at at local thrift store. I brought it home, gave it a serious bleach bath, and hung it in the closet where it stayed until yesterday when I pulled it out and continued to freshen it up a bit.
This is what we ended up with.
Luckily the dress was darling to begin with so the changes I made were minor.
I started by embroidering the word “Beloved” on her sleeve.
Embroidering was easy (but that may be because I don’t know what I’m doing). All I did was practice writting the word how I wanted it to look and then wrote it on the sleeve itself lightly with a pencil.
Then I traced over the writing with my embroidery thread.
(I really like how it turned out.)
The dress came with a 6 inch boarder of eyelet around the bottom. I love it. (I love eyelet—I think it stems from the curtains that hung in my bedroom windows long ago. Anyway…) I didn’t want to mess too much with the eyelet but wanted to add a little color so I randomly edged some of the existing design with my embroidery floss.
My last change to the dress had to do with the actual fit. This dress was apparently made when the big boxy dresses were all the rage. There’s nothing wrong with that but that is not the style of dress I was looking for for Grace.
My first thought to fix the wideness issue was to pop open the side seams and add a wide ribbon to pull it tighter and into a bow in the back. But then I changed my mind.
What I did instead was take a piece of elastic and sew it into the gathered seam in the back of the dress. I figured how much I wanted the dress to cinch up in the back and then cut the elastic to do the job. I tacked the elastic down in the middle and then stretched it as I sewed to reach the two marks I made.
When I was finished the dress cinched right up in the back and fit Grace much better.
The dress was a success—at least Grace thought so. She especially liked the holes in the eyelet.
And she enjoyed the wearing it on out on the porch while waiting for her dad to come home from work.
Unfortunately he had to stop at the store on the way home…and so it took him longer than we had planned. (But don’t worry, she didn’t have to wait too long. Her dad came home right after this picture was taken.)
I liked the embroidery and I really liked the embroidery on the eyelet—now I have all these ideas I want to try along those lines. Now, if I only had the time…
oooh! aaah! yesss! my husbands aunt gave me some pretty eyelet fabric she got in France….you have shown me how to make it so much more pretty…wow thanks
How beautiful! I love it! I did a little embroidery for a Christmas gift and it was so much more enjoyable than I had expected. You’ve got me wanting to do more!
The Miller Five says
Gorgeous dress! I make embroidered stick figures as gifts for friends and neighbors. I LOVE embroidery!
Good job on the embroidery! Take it from someone who *does* know what they’re doing! (My sewing obsession actually started with embroidery, chicken scratch, and cross stitching courtesy of my seamstress grandmother!)
Ruby Jean says
Oh I LOVE eyelet fabric.. It’s one of those that I BUY it and BUY and BUY it some more… I can never seem to have enough of it.. 🙂 Love all the added touches you did to personalize it.. 🙂
Wow, what a great idea to embroider the eyelet pattern and I also love the word beloved on the sleeve. Gorgeous.
I was given some eyelet by my Nana and have yet to decide what to do with it. You have definitely given me something to think about!
Wow your embroidery looks so neat – and so pretty!
What an incredible $2 dress! I love the embroidery you added. And these pictures! So sweet in the afternoon sun… I really like the shadows behind her on the wall. You have a beautiful daughter! Her daddy’s heart must have just melted when he came home to find her waiting like that.
This is adorable!
Leslie @ Find Your Creative Side says
That is beautiful! I want one!
The Quilt Ladies says
I have a blouse that I love but I’ve been seen it for a couple of years, you have me thinking….Thanks !
I love how you added embroidery to the eyelet dress…makes it that much more beautiful!
I reeaally like this. When I first saw the photo, I thought you had embroidered “beloved” by machine. This is so much better, and very eye-pleasing. Can you post a photo of the back of the dress?