Saturday, June 20, 2009

Frugal Frippery

I went to a family wedding over Memorial Day weekend, and I really felt like it demanded a cotton sundress. I have owned and loved many a cotton sundress over my lifetime, but it just so happened my wardrobe had a bit of a gap in the cotton sundress department. And new dresses really weren't in the budget, especially since I had plenty of other things I could wear to said wedding. But something in the back of my mind was whispering "cotton sundress" pretty insistently.

So on the Thursday afternoon preceding Memorial Day, I stopped off at Goodwill on my way home from work. There happen to be four (yes, 4!) thrift stores that don't really take me out of my way between home and work, but I only had time to stop at one. I pegged this one as the best sundress candidate. I told myself if I didn't find one, it wasn't meant to be, and I'd just have to wear something else. So I went in, and my eyes were immediately drawn to a particular dress on the dress rack. (Naturally, a certain shade of green was involved.) Remarkably, it looked to be my size, and I nabbed it. I pulled about four more dresses off the rack and went to try them all on. The eye-catcher dress fit! But it was strapless, which I wasn't too keen on. I stood in the dressing room and hemmed and hawed. None of the other dresses worked at all. Then I realized the dress had a wide fabric belt. Inspiration struck. I bought the dress and went out of Goodwill four dollars poorer.

On my way home from work on Friday I stopped at a craft store and bought a spool of ribbon for $2.50. I could have bought the amount I needed by the yard for about .75 less, but the spool was on sale and actually cheaper by the yard. I thought the ribbon was something it would be handy to have on hand, especially in that particular green.

Then the work began. I wish I could say it was a snap, and I whipped it up in no time at all. But first I had to reacquaint myself with the sewing machine, which had been packed up since we moved to Indiana. Then there was lots of pinning and basting, sewing, judicious use of the seam ripper, readjusting and sewing again. I'm sure someone with more sewing experience, or even with my experience who wasn't totally out of practice could have done it much more quickly, but it was well worth the effort. I used the original fabric belt to make straps, and a replaced the belt with a length of ribbon. I'm quite pleased with the result; I got a cute new cotton sundress for under seven dollars. I think Katie would be proud. Plus, if anyone invites me to a luau, I'm ready.


  1. This is GORGEOUS !!!!! Great job!

  2. Thank you! It was a challenge for me, but worth the trouble, and it's good to improve my skills.


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