Saturday, November 7, 2015

What's New is Old Again: Converting a Disappointing Online Purchase into a Retro 1940s Tie Top

Previously I've remodeled a hideous "granny nightie" into a Victorian/ Edwardian combinations undergarment with great success. So when I attempted to wear this modern dress for the second time and realised it was still everything I had originally thought - it was too big in general (and thus made me look like I had no waist) and definitely much too big in the chest area and with a lot of overhang in the back. I decided rather than throwing it away or giving it to charity (it had been a year since I purchased it so I couldn't return it), why not remodel it into a cute tie top?

I love 1940s beachwear, and in particular, I love 1940s style tie tops. It seems that I'm not the only one though. Although I couldn't find any pictures of women wearing these in the 40s, there were certainly a lot of sewing patterns produced with this top design, for both beach and lounge wear.

I actually own a vintage pajama tie top from the 40s that I purchased from Viva Vintage (these are their photos but I do own this I swear!), which I adore but probably won't wear that much as I'd like to keep it in good condition.


There are modern reproduction styles that you can buy such as this one from Trashy Diva:

via Trashy Diva

And modern reproduction patterns such as this 'Sunkissed Sweethearts Sarong Separates' from Wearing History:

via Wearing History

I actually own a 1940s pajama pattern that features a tie top, with a slightly different styled neckline to the ones I've posted above, and I will be making this at some point (I have a feeling that by the end of this summer I will own A LOT of tie tops!):

But I thought that this would be a good experiment and a great way to remodel a piece of clothing that I was only going to give away otherwise.

So this is the dress I purchased from the online store ASOS, which accounts for why it fit so badly. Don't get me wrong I like ASOS and they have some great stuff, and this dress was well made, but it was just never going to look good on me. These are the perils of online shopping where you can't try things on!

The front was a lot more gape-y on me

I mean look at that overhang in the back! Maybe on a tiny model it looks fine, but on me - nope!

The waistband was made from a piece of elastic that had been sewn into the seam that separated the top and bottom of the dress. So all I did was cut the top of the dress from the bottom (I've kept the material from the skirt of the dress to use in future sewing projects).

This is what I was left with

Then I cut maybe 1/2" up from the elastic and that allowed me to spread open the fronts of the wrap bodice. Then all I did was hem the bottom, and, voila! Done!

I'm looking forward to wearing this to the beach soon! 

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