Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dress makeover

I have this dress that I really love... maybe because the first time I wore it was to a wine tasting shortly after I got divorced and a close colleague of mine exclaimed, "Girl! You look like you're 20 years old!" (and I hadn't been 20 for a while). And then I wore it to Acapulco on my honeymoon a few years later and I love the picture of the two of us having a perfect dinner overlooking Acapulco Bay while the sun is setting.
So when I got a stain on it at some mysterious time and place, and hadn't noticed, I was upset. Upset enough to go ahead and wear it to whatever event I got it out for the next time, with the plan to pretend that it just happened. But I knew I could only pull that off so many times.
I ran across this pattern online, fell in love with it, and decided the folk art peacock would be just the thing to embroider over the stain.
Fast forward about one year of "aging" the pattern in my stiching stash while I gained some more experience with stitching on stretchy fabric...
Although the pattern was an iron-on transfer, I wanted the peacock to face the opposite direction so it would face into the center of the dress. I traced the pattern with a micron pigma pen onto water soluable stabilizer. This turned out to be a stroke of genius become some of the lines in the pattern were too delicate for the thread and fabric I was using and the lines of the pattern would not have been perfectly covered. This way I had some leeway to adapt my stitches.
I actually ended up cutting out the piece of stabilzer twice because the first time around I didn't make sure it was big enought to be caught entirely in the hoop and the tension would have been way off. Luckily, I figured this out before I had it all traced.

Then I basted the stabilzer to the dress so it wouldn't shift as I was stitching.
I used mostly DMC stranded cotten, but also used some metallic silver thread to give it a little sparkle. I often wear silver sandals with the dress, so I thought that would be fun.
I wasn't sure how it would turn out positioned on the dress, but it really turned out great. I'm very happy that I did not give up on this dress and now it's ready to go with me on vacation!

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