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Give a thrift-store dress a face-lift

Never say “toss it” if something gets spotted, tears, or loses a few buttons. And in this case, a few buttons meant all of them! This dress came out of a big pile of toss-aways and was snagged for just a dollar. Usually, a garment with torn seams would be enough for most people to pass right by, but when you add no buttons to the equation, it’s a no-brainer. It’s not going to work, or is it? The color palette and fabric design of this dress made me do a double take when I first saw it. After a little inspection, I decided to take it home with me and attempt to restore it from its unwearable state. Here’s how I did it.
First, I went on a button search. After searching through a blue/green color palette, I chose a forest green shade in the perfect round shape and size to fit the existing buttonholes.
With needle and thread, I hand-sewed each of the six buttons in place. Luckily there were thread remnants in the spaces where the original buttons once were, making great guides to where the new ones should go.
There were a few other snafus that needed to be handled, including multiple tears underneath the sleeves and armpits. Not so cute. I pinned the openings at the seams, got my sewing machine set up, and stitched up the gaps. No more underarm breezes!
With just a little sleeve rolling, a belt or a vintage pin at the back to adjust the fit, and some ballet flats, this dress turned out fabulous! Who would have thought a button-less, torn dress would look so put together?
Find other amazing ideas and how-tos for mending, repairing and repurposing old or thrift store-found clothes into wearable treasures in the new craft book Mend It Better, available now from Storey Publishing!
Tell us, babes, have you ever rescued a thrift store such-a-mess dress?

BY MARISA LYNCH ON 4/29/2012 12:00:00 AM


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