Today is the first of two segments I have this week on Talk of The Town where I’ll be giving tips on how to stay focused and find Goodwill Gold in the overwhelming sea of Thriftstore booty. The day before the shoot I had 30 minutes to pick out goodies and I managed to fill three shopping carts!! with amazing Goodwill treasure. When it came time to film the segment I had to whittle down my giant rack of finds and pick my top six.
When I saw this epically nineties dress (Blossom binge and Reality Bites anyone?) I knew I had the power to give it a glorious new life. I’m just gonna take a second to toot my own horn as a “Nostridamous of Style” lol. Last summer I purchased some beautiful sunflower cotton at the fabric store and although it was too late in the season for me to make and wear the adorable retro inspired two piece I had envisioned for it- I was obsessed with nineties inspired florals from that point forward. And now… whatduya know- nineties styles and floral prints are back on trend in a BIG way. Which means… that although the original maxi dress vibe was just…too much print and pretty darn dated and unflattering- it was going to make one hell of an adorable Maxi Vest
Style Tip: You can often find nineties style rayon maxi dressed at thrift stores. It is very easy to turn them into a super cute Maxi vest with just a few snips and stitches!
I know you are all ready to get started so here we go! Click on the photos former detailed step by step instructions. 🙂
This dress was rayon with a polyester type lining (like slip material) so the first few cuts were a bit more tricky than an unlined dress. To start I separated the to layers and lined up the side seems to find the exact middle. I didn’t want to cut them all together because I figured that the slippery nature of the fabrics might cause the layers to mismatch if done together- causing irregularities and jagged edges.
I cut the front pieces in half almost to the top- them matched them together to make the final “V” cut at the top.
Next I pinned the two layers together and finished them off with a zig zag stitch (you don’t haaave to zig zag them- but I think it just makes things easier in the long run- especially since this fabric is really slippery.
Finally- you just fold under and iron- then fold and iron again. Pin it all down (I like to pin as I go) sew with a straight stitch, iron once more for good measure (an to make your Home Ec teacher proud) and you are ready to wear your foxy new Maxi Vest around the town! If the dress is unlined then you don’t need to worry about the steps shown here to handle the lining. If you find a dress with sleeves- just cut off the sleeves and sew under 🙂 I ended up with a fabulous piece that I am so excited to rock all summer!
One of the best ways to work with a VERY loud print, such as this one- is to tone down what’s underneath. I paired my new vest with this fab Diana Ross concert tee ($4) that I found at Goodwill and cut into a tank top, and some high-waisted-mom-jeans-turned-hipster-shorts ($7) (nothing that a touch of folding, ironing and sewing can’t accomplish 😉 ) Paired with this super cute red belt ($2) and these sandals that my Dad bought me a few years back on a summer vacation. Adorable Dad alert: he bought them on sale at the end of the season and said enthusiastically, “You can wear them next summer when they come back in fashion!” This said by a man who has worn nothing but Khaki shorts, Birkenstocks and custom made Hawian shirts from my mom for his entire life! The dress was $8 and the necklace was thrifted as well ($2) Total outfit cost: $23 (plus some elbow grease) I hope you all try this out and have as much fun as I did! If you’re not the sewing type- check out my Etsy Shop where I will have plenty of these Gems in the upcoming weeks. 🙂 Final shout out to the Maxi Vest trend- if you have “junk in the trunk” and hips like me- this is actually a great way to rock shorts in a figure flattering way without feeling like your Goods are on display- had to say it because it’s TRUE!
Love and Thrift,