Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I was just looking for silk scraps................

I wanted to add to the variety of silk scraps that I have and I thought that a silk scarf or two from the Opportunity Shop (Thrift Store) might just do the trick.

As I headed towards the scarf rack I noticed a silk wedding dress lying across one of the clothes racks.

It looked as if it had been discarded for some reason and on closer inspection did not even have a price tag.

There was nothing to be had on the scarf rack and so I picked up the dress and took it to the counter to enquire further about the possibility of purchase.

"All our wedding dresses cost $100," said the sales assistant.

"I don't think I could be paying that," I replied.

"Well, it has got some stains on it, so I will enquire for you from the supervisor."

A few minutes later the message came back that I could have it for $30 and so I did not hesitate.

"Are you going to revamp it?" she wanted to know.

"I don't think I would like to tell you what I am going to do with it,' was my reply.

A few silk scarves had suddenly become a full length cream silk dupioni wedding gown with lace. The stains were not that bad although they did not come out in the wash. However, they were not really a problem for someone like me who wanted to pull apart the garment and repurpose it for crazy quilting and such.

The first time I pulled apart a silk wedding dress I felt quite guilty but now I quite enjoy the process and like to see how the garment was made and whether alterations have been made (which they had in this case) for the prospective bride.

This one even had leg o' mutton sleeves, embellished with lace and covered buttons for a very trim wrist.

The process is nearly done now except for unpicking the lace from the bottom of the skirt. The dress has yielded a lot of lovely cream dupioni silk, a lot more than I would ever have got from some scarves, but then I probably would never have paid $30 for a bunch of scarves.


Razzle Dazzle Quilter said...

Super buy. Well done you!

Ruby said...

I'd like to know any secrets you have for disassembling a dress. I have three and can't seem to start. With everyday thrift store finds I just cut the seams out but it just doesn't appeal to me with the dresses.

crazyquilter said...

A good quality stitch unpicker (Clover is a good brand)is a great help.
Depending on the garment I sometimes just cut the fabric along the seam lines and discard the trim or pass it on to people I know who are textile artists.
With this garment I trimmed the bottom off the skirt with scissors as it had about 3 inch wide scalloped lace I wanted to unpick.
I then unpicked the seam lines of the skirt.
When it came to the zipper/waist area, I used my scissors, but the rest I have unpicked the seams.
The dress did not take long but I am still unpicking the lace from the bottom of the skirt. It has been stitched with a type of zig zag stitch and is not easy to unpick but I am doing it in the evenings little by little.
No real 'tips', just the desire to repurpose the contents of the garment.