Blue Velvet Re-Style

I recently thrifted this vibrant blue velvet dress, and even though I wasn't totally in love initially, the $4 price tag made it sort of a no-brainer purchase. It's a basic unflattering sack dress, so I was essentially just buying it for the fabric, but I didn't expect it to be a perfect fit and actually sort of exciting in the bodice and sleeves (on my body anyway - looks prudish and a touch medieval on the form). It was home sewn, and needs a little cleaning up around the neckline (the gathering is uneven and starting to unravel a bit), but there's so much possibility.


Image via Vivian Elise Vintage

I've been wanting to sew more fabric embellishments like the incredible silk flowers on this 1930s wedding gown (via Vivian Elise Vintage), and by cutting my dress into a dramatic, high-low top, I'll have tons of fabric to use for all sorts of flowers and berries and things. And keeping all of the embellishment in that same blue velvet will allow me to build it up and play as much as I want without it feeling too busy or fussy. Or it will give me the right kind of fussy, anyway. 

I've started making little fabric grapes by cutting small circles of velvet and gathering up a basting stitch around the outer edge. I stuffed a little batting inside and closed it up with a few stitches across the top. I'll likely also dab a bit of glue or fray block there to strengthen and seal the edges. I like the way they look when I bring all of the raw edges together into one bunch, but I'm still not sure how they'll work just yet. I'm leaving my options open at the moment and making a bunch of stuff to be assembled together later.

Next I'll move onto mimicking the flowers on that incredible vintage gown and I'll probably also make some structured loops to layer in between. I'm imagining it all cascading down one of the shoulders, or both, or the sleeves - not sure yet, but I'm super excited to see where this goes.

This is a personal project, so ... uuuuugh .... give me time.