Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sensibly Young?

When Chris saw me wearing this dress today while I was pinning up the hem, he said, "That is an old lady dress if I ever saw one!" And I had to tell him that he was quite mistaken. Look:

Not just young, but Sensibly Young! Whatever that might mean.

I used to wear this dress when I was in my very slender twenties. It swam on me then but in those days (the nineties) we thought it was adorable to run around in thrift store clothes which were several sizes too large for us- at least my friends and I did. The rather dowdy, below-the-knee length seemed to add to the charm of this dress back then. I pulled it out of storage this morning and was thrilled to find that it fit properly but needed hemming to make it feel a bit more modern.

Doesn't look too bad in this photo, but wait.

I wanted to shorten the dress by close to four inches but I also wanted to avoid cutting off any length if I could manage it. I took out what was left of the original hem and turned up about an inch and a half and then turned up another two and a half inches. This is certainly not the preferred way to hem a skirt but I didn't want to take the time to teach my husband how to mark a skirt hem and I wanted to leave the skirt dress intact, with the original hem tape, in case I ever want to lengthen the skirt again. The following photograph will serve to illustrate the failure of these plans:

That is one terrible, uneven, saggy, and frankly, embarrassing hem.

I'm going to have to enlist the help of a friend who knows how to properly mark a hem (Nan, if you're reading, this means you,) and I'm going to have to cut off some of the excess if I want to hem the dress at this length. I wore it out today anyway, even with the crappy hem job, because I was really looking forward to wearing it, and because I really wanted to link to Thursdays are for Thrifters and I couldn't think what else I could wear. I had my coat on most of the day so, hopefully, my shameful droopy hem was decently camouflaged. Looking at the photos tells me I'm also going to need a slip for future outings in this dress. Here I was, excited to pull something out of my storage area and whip it into wearable shape and suddenly it has morphed into a two person project that requires buying new underwear. But it's worth it right? I've kept this dress for twenty years the least I can do is fix it up and let it get out and about again.

The lace neckline is so very pretty.

Black enamel hearts- a gift from Chris,


  1. Oh the necklace and your portrait is beautiful. I laughed out loud at the photo of the label!

  2. Wow a great post!
    I really like the photo!)

  3. Don't you hate it when something you thought was going to be simple ends up being complicated. For instance I just wanted to serge a piece of fabric before I shrink/wash it before I can cut it out. I found out that I had forgotten how to change the settings on my serger. Now I have to get out the manual and fiddle with the serger before I can get all of this accomplished...

  4. OMG that is one amazing dress!! Looks beyond awesome on you!

    Hey I gave you an award! It's on my blog if you want to check it out. :o)

  5. I worked for a division of Puritan Fashion in NYC called "Forever Young." This line had been around since the 1940s or 50s. I wonder if Sensibly Young was another division of Puritan? It was headed by Carl Rosen, father of Andrew Rosen who is now partner with Tahari in Theory. Andrew and I started working on the same day - I was just out of Parsons.