Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Little Black Dress

Oh, the little black dress, also known as "LBD". They say every girl needs a LBD in their closet that can be used for any occasion. For the past few years, I have kept my eye out for a more sophisticated black dress than the few I have from high school/college...you know how those just have that "young" look if you will. What I found out from looking in stores is that any type of dress is really pretty expensive, or at least expensive to my frugal tastes.
Naturally, when I ran across this dress in the thrift store, I thought, yeeess, this is awesome!

What I liked about this dress:

-Obviously, its a little black dress
-LOVE the neckline! I really like that the dress is plain except for that detail
-I also liked that the fabric was a medium weight and has a lining

Here is a little side story. The care instructions say dry clean only. I don't know about any of you guys, but I have been know to machine wash literally everything I own that says "dry clean only" (including many of the dresses on my blog, because you HAVE to wash stuff from thrift stores) and I let it air dry. I have never had any problems with any of my clothes...(knocking on wood)....Well I washed this dress in cold water and then forgot about it which resulted in it getting thrown into the dryer with the rest of the dark load. Well the dryer made the fabric shrink up; which positively, made the dress smaller, but also made the lining stick out of the bottom of the dress, haha!

So I'm going to blame the dryer for this result and continue to machine wash and air dry my "dry clean only" clothes! :)

Anyway, back to the dress at hand.
I started by taking the sleeves off...I really liked the cutout detail on the sleeves that matches the neckline, but I thought a sleeveless dress would be a bit more cute for this particular dress.

Even though the dress shrunk in the dryer, I still had to take it in quite a bit.

I actually took in the dress first and then worked on getting some shape into it. It was WAY easier to get the bulk of the fabric off first and then tweak it.

Another side note: sorry about the overexposed pictures.  It was hard to get a good picture of the black dress with light backgrounds.

I then sewed in new side seams.  I really like that this dress has lining, this is actually the first dress on my blog that has had a lining like this one. The only bad part was that since I didn't take the lining out, it was a bit difficult taking it in.

I ended up just using my seger to take in the lining.  After that was done and the extra showing at the bottom was hemmed, I sewed up the arm holes.

I left the arm holes a little long so that they have a slight cap sleeve look. I think they are cute! :)

And here is the finished little black dress, ready for any occasion that calls for it:

Props to my wonderful husband for taking this picture for me :) I'm enjoying his company today, because unfortunately, our furnace quit working last night and it was 58 in our house when we woke up this morning....brrrrr! We are waiting on the heating guy to fix it, so Andrew decided to stay home today. Needless to say, I was pretty much freezing in this picture, haha.

Speaking of my lovely husband....his birthday was on Sunday and I made him this cake from scratch:

It was actually supposed to be a red velvet, but looked more brown because I ran out of red food coloring and used some blue, haha. I was going to share the recipe, but it really wasn't as good as I thought it would be. When I find a better one, I will be sure to share! :)

Linked to:

Sew Much Ado's  We Did It Wednesday 

The Speckled Dog's Favorite Things Friday

504 Main's Tickled Pink  

Update:  This little black dress has been featured on 504 Main's Tickled Pink!  :-)


  1. Beautiful dress! If we were neighbors I'd be bugging you all the time to dress me, haha.

  2. This is adorable! I love how you were able to see the potential from the original dress and make it into something beautiful!

  3. WOW!!! that is amazing!!

  4. Your dress is very pretty on you! I like the way you restyled it!

  5. How awesome! That neckline really is a deal clencher.

    Confession: I don't dry clean anything either, but my husbands wool suit pants somehow leapt into the dryer, and, well... you can guess :)

  6. amazing transformation - looks great!

  7. I love this dress. wonderful transformation. Found you through Sew Much Ado's linky

  8. I love it! I would buy this in a second. Great job!

  9. wow! that looks absolutely marvelous!!! such a great find and transformation!!

  10. Love that!! So cute!!! But you are taking all the cute dresses from us bigger girls lol. Just kidding!!!

  11. Awesome! SO cute!

  12. You blew me away! That is one heck of a transformation. I am tickled pink. Thanks for linking up last week. I am a new follower.

    504 Main

  13. so cute! you are so talented! glad I found your little blog:D I'm a new follower! make more creations!!

  14. You did a great job transforming the dress, it is really beautiful. As a thrifter and a buyer for my online gently used clothing store, whenever I purchased clothes from thrift store or vintage shop with minor stains, I usually hand wash, spot clean, and hang or lay flat to dry because these method reduces the risk of shrinking, fading or pulling of thread. So I agreed with you that it is always best to clean anything purchase used, which I always remind my customers to do.