25 April 2010

April 24th, 2010 § 10 comments

25 April 2010 , originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Dress – vintage, thrifted, altered by me
  • Woven belt – Banana Republic Outlet
  • Silver sandals – Target


My camera has finally arrived and I’m back in action. And just in time to contribute one or two floral looks of my own before our Floral Month comes to an end. Yesterday was a warm and beautiful day, so I celebrated by wearing my newly thrifted vintage dress that boasts a colorful floral and faux-eyelet pattern. I found this dress earlier this year and was instantly attracted to its cheerful pattern and crisp white cotton fabric. Unfortunately, it looked like a big ol’ sack when I put it on. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from E. is that picking up a needle and thread can go a long way. Just shortening the straps by a good five inches and sawing them down and tucked into the back of the dress gave it a much needed facelift.

Detail 2, originally uploaded by academichic.
Detail 1, originally uploaded by academichic.

And A. has taught me that there is nothing a good belt won’t fix when it comes to creating shape and definition. This dress looks similar to A’s shirtdress in terms of hanging there without much form when left on its own. But throw a wide belt around, and presto!, it’s now more day dress than night gown.

I don’t own a sewing machine and don’t posses much in the ways of sewing, hemming, or altering skills, but I’ve become much more open to finding items in which I recognize potential and taking those home with me to give my DIY-ing skills a try. How about you? What is your approach to items with ‘potential’ that may not fit just right?

For a complete list of all the DIY projects we’ve featured on our site, make sure to check out our Taking Notes page. Happy weekend, everyone! S.

25 April 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.


§ 10 Responses to 25 April 2010"

  1. Franca says:

    It’s a beautiful dress!

  2. L says:

    Hey, I have those sandals too!

  3. Carrie says:

    Love the diy posts, and I love when you can make a little tweak to a piece and it becomes something new. My most common fix is just hemming things – most recently a floral skirt I picked up at a consignment store dollar sale (score!). But I keep pieces I’ve bought that are “off” for some reason and I use them to experiment with.

  4. missy says:

    I normally don’t comment but that looks wonderful. Awesome.

  5. I’m glad you’ve addressed shortening straps! It took me a long time to realize what a relatively simple fix this is, but I’m short-waisted, so it makes a big difference on quite a few dresses.
    I usually think of myself who doesn’t have enough patience to be a good thrift shopper, but the more I read about the academichic thrifting successes, the more I think I should give it another try.

  6. Kyla says:

    I love the print on this dress! Good eye and great job with the alterations. I love to sew, but have a hard time finding the time for it right now. Altering thrifted items is a quick and easy way to get my sewing fix. I always thrift shop with eyes for potential. Of course, then I acquire quite the pile of “potential” that I never quite get to :)

  7. GingerB says:

    I think alterations depend on how skillful you are. Not owning a sewing machine probably saves you from Kyla’s pile of ‘potentials’ that may or may not get fixed!

    Jacket sleeves that are too long is the big alteration I need. That’s more complicated than I can do if the jacket is lined so I visit the nice fellow up-top of my dry cleaner. He does a lovely job for $15. Rolling up jacket sleeves doesn’t cut it for professional wear and it’s worth it to me.

  8. Clare says:

    That is a gorgeous dress, and I love your simply DIY tricks to make it fit you perfectly. I’m terrible with DIY stuff, but Joe is fab at it, so I usually have a nice little pile of to-be-altered pieces that he fixes for me. Quite the guy!

  9. Apostolica says:

    I have Kyla’s problem as well. I’m plus-sized and adhere to some religious modesty standards, so the vintage/thrifting/clearance pool is sometimes a bit smaller than I would like. I come home with a lot of “almosts” that were too good a deal to pass up, but languish in a basket beside my sewing machine waiting for me to have the time and motivation to alter them.

    Your dress was definitely worth the effort–so cute!

  10. I am so happy that I love so sew. My skills have surely helped me in my thrifting adventures.

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