August 17, 2015

Mending a 1950s Party Dress

A lovely 1950s vintage, pink lace party dress....

....with a huge rip in the pleated net skirt panel.  It's this pleated panel that gives the dress its special styling.  (I stuck a piece of blue fabric underneath so the net shows better in the photos.)  One side of the net was torn more or less horizontally and about 18" up from the hem.

I mentioned this dress a while ago in a previous post called "When Mending a Dress is More Like Engineering than Sewing."  Julia, my vintage clothing buddy, captured the "oh-yeah" moment in which I discovered that the plan I'd imagined was probably going to actually work!

What I finally decided to do was cut out the vertical section of the net that contained the tear.  Because of the pleats, there is enough net that losing that piece wasn't going to make a terribly huge difference.  In the photo here, I'm cutting along the seam that joined the net to the lace.  Then I also cut along the pleat just past the end of the tear.  Thanks to the pleating, I had a built-in cutting line - no measuring or marking required!

Here, my husband is holding the piece of torn netting that I removed.  It's still attached at the waistline at this point.

Next I stitched the new edge of the net to the lace.  It took just a little finagling up at the waistline.

 And here's the completed dress, ready to party again.

Just imagine how much fun it'd be, spinning across the dance floor!  (Julia's got my engineering project up for sale on eBay.) 

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