September 11, 2012 - Comments Off on Lyana – Restored & Altered Vintage Dress for the Lawn Party

Lyana – Restored & Altered Vintage Dress for the Lawn Party

For her first time attending the Jazz Age Lawn Party at Governor's Island, Lyana wanted a special dress for the occasion. Her friend Laurel had found her a vintage chiffon dress with a precious dance-and-flower-themed print, but which needed some work to be wearable, and a little extra care for a more contemporary feel.

When I received the original, several parts were disintegrating, most significantly the shoulder area. While the sleeves were also shredded in some spots, there was enough salvageable fabric in the sleeves to cut a new shoulder yoke to replace the disintegrated areas on the bodice.

Therefore we removed the sleeves, and hand-basted the bodice around the area that needed to be replaced. Based on the area that needed to be replaced, and the available fabric in the sleeves remaining in decent condition, I created and cut a shoulder yoke pattern piece for the left and right sides. For extra stability, the shoulder yoke was underlined with chiffon. Then the weak area on the bodice was removed and replaced with the new yoke piece, first hand-basted into place, then stitched by machine, and then hand-sewn cleanly sandwiched in the collarstand.

When removing sleeves from a garment, the armhole always needs to be reshaped (unless of course you're going for that 80s sleeveless denim jacket look!) Therefore we slimmed down the armhole and made the shoulder more narrow for a more flattering cut. We then gathered chiffon in a matching shade to the print ground (after washing the dress of course to shed the requisite age-old grime that comes with any good vintage garment).
Below is the revised armhole as marked before cut, and initial experimentation with ruffle size and ratio.

The same chiffon was used as underlining to reinforce the shoulder yoke, as the sleeve ruffle, and to bind the armhole seam allowance.

In addition to the bodice alterations, we also fixed several seams in the skirt, and let out the hemline. Here is Lyana with friends, all in great summer prints! - picnic-ing at the Jazz Age Festival.


Published by: Nicole Lenzen in Behind the Seams, Case Studies, Sustainability, Vintage

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