Tuesday, October 11

Thrift Inspiration, Worth-The Effort

A couple of weeks ago I visited a fairly new boot sale to me which is open on Fridays. This particular one doesn't tend to have many stalls but this one morning because I was prepared to rummage a big heap on the floor, I found a few treasures. I unearthed a couple of Jean Muir dresses (cleaned and already sold!), some vintage 40s handbags and a couple of 50s dresses. One was in great condition, a cotton day dress and the other one was sadly well worn under the arms but had to be bought because of the label and quality-Miss Worth of London.

According to the Vintage Fashion Guild,  Worth London Ltd and Miss Worth are descendants of The House of Worth, the grand French couture house founded by Charles Frederick Worth in 1858. The Worth name was bought by Sydney Massin, who founded Worth London Ltd and was open on Grosvenor Street, London until 1967.

Beacuase of the provenance, I had to ensure that I salvaged this wonderful piece to its former glory. The dress had a sleeveless fitted bodice with the skirt fanning out but on trying on the dress it was clear it could not be saved in its entirity.

So at the Vintage Fashion Fair on Sunday, the seamstress in residence there, the lovely Nanna at www.facebook.com/splendidstitchesclothes quoted me a price to alter the dress to a skirt and worked on it all day, making a completely new waistband, sewing the hem up, doing an invisible mend and putting in a new zip. She even put in the original label for me and it was ready for well before closing time:

It was hard work for her, as the material is silk and lined and she had to use silk thread to maintain a professional finish:


The original lining maintained, above and below, the exquisite print close up:


Above, the original Worth label-the dress now skirt is from the late 50s so is 50 years old!!



What lengths would you go as far as to restore a vintage or modern item?

22 comments:

HIPPIEBOHORELOADED said...

this one is adorable! I admire anybody who has the ability to alter vintage clothes to something completely new - or even to repair it or hide some flaws :)
This one will suit you perfectly, congrats to that!
hippiebohoreloaded.

Miss Peelpants said...

Awww, I wish I'd seen the Muirs. I love her clothes!

I recently had to do some extensive 'adding to' to make an amazing Seventies dress wearable. I added ribbon around the neckline and across the shoulders to conceal some damage which couldn't be fixed simply. I wore it to the pop art exhibition opening and will be keeping it for now, but I like to think that even if I sold or donated it, I have made a special dress wearable where it might otherwise have been thrown away.

But I'm more dubious about complete remodelling rather than just patching and concealing.

xx

Miss Peelpants said...

(and that's a beautiful skirt, well saved I think!!)

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

It's beautiful Sharon, how fantastic that you're giving it a new lease of life.

Ivy Black said...

What a stunning skirt and what a top job.xxx

Frocktasia said...

Hi Sharon,
Sounds like you had some awesome booty luck, Jean Muir & Miss Worth in the same heap...wow!
The skirt looks lovely and in my opinion it's much better to revamp a garment than to chuck away that's for sure. x

Make Do Style said...

Your are a class act when it comes to finds! The skirt is beautiful and surely a keeper! Xx

Perdita said...

Worth? TOTALLY worth the effort. Sorry for the pun. ;) Great skirt!

janettaylor said...

OMG! Nice work! Brilliant skirt, my dear!

teawithonesugarplease said...

What a brilliant find and amazing work to get the dress turned into a skirt. Something I would have done back in my fashion student days...mmm think I should now get cracking and see what I can convert in my wardrobe

Vix said...

How brilliant and a worth-while (to copy Perdita) investment, too.
The print on that skirt is just beautiful and I can imagine you'd look fabulous with the vintage blouse and wide belt. x

Beck said...

Wow,it's beautiful! High St price seems a snip. Fab blog xx

Style Eyes Ethical Fashion Blog said...

If you find something as amazing as this that you love, it is definitely worth restoring. I have lots of pieces that need altering and wish I lived nearer so I could pop into the fair.Perhaps I will try and arange another trip in the new year.

Looking Fab in your forties said...

Well done you and how great that you managed to salvage a great garment!

Kezzie said...

Oh that's lovely! I feel like you saved an elderly cat or something!

The Seeker said...

My dear what an awesome skirt!!!
Love it and I'm sure it will be a statement piece in your looks this season.

Hope all is fine with you and sending love your way.
xoxoxooxoxxo

Francesca Felix said...

love the first photo!!!
francesca

WendyB said...

That turned out beautifully! Can't wait to see it on.

Sabrina said...

really nice post, dear!

Sabina said...

The pattern on this vintage skirt is really pretty--I can see why you liked it and why you invested in its repair.

I'm the same way. I think if you buy a fabulous vintage item that you know you'll really use it's worth investing in having it tailored--even if that process costs more than the item itself, which is you like to go thrifting it probably will. I just had a vintage eyelet slip dress from the 50s taken in ever so slightly (maybe an inch, but it was worth it to make it fall more nicely. I also will have to pay a bundle to get a vintage mink coat shortened, but hey it's still cheaper than buying a new one.

http://mystylecanvas.blogspot.com

FairyFiligree said...

Hi there - love this little story about Worth - thanks for sharing. I can just feel the thrill of finding such lovely things. You seem to be doing well and I'm happy for you. My blog is back in action with invigorated energy - hope you get time to visit. take care

Anusha said...

WOW!! That is an amazing gorgeous skirt! Very well transformed, I think.

I love vintage clothing but the only thing I would dare try in terms of alterations is getting something taken in. I have a few wonderful vintage winter coats that I need to get taken in, but I don't want to risk getting those alterations around here because I don't know if there would be a tailor skilled enough to do that. I'm going to look around in a big city like San Francisco to see if there might be someone who can do the alteration there. I would even send them away to New York or someplace like that.

When something vintage is so perfect it's well worth the investment to get it altered, I think.

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