The DIY Files: 1950s Tailored Junior Black Confetti Party Dress

Sometimes on my buying trips I run into some of the most beautiful vintage, but it is not always in the most stellar condition.  In the case of this little 1950s gem by Tailored Junior, I could not resist grabbing it in spite of a failed inspection of loose seams and poor fabric conditions.  I just loved the round gathered collar, the full skirt, cap sleeves, and that cute festive confetti print on black background; so needless to say, it was hard to put it down, and I didn't. So onto the list of issues:

1. There was an obviously crude attempt at fixing what may have been a seam tear on the right side of the bodice. 

2. The original belt is missing, which is not the worst thing, but it does mean an additional investment in either finding an appropriate replacement or just taking a price cut for not selling it with one. There are also a few loose seams at the waist of the skirt area.


3. Now, this is the worst part of all, there is a tear in the fabric right where the rear armpit and the back of the dress meet. This is the most obvious and troublesome damage because it does not line up to a seam and could be the end of this piece all together. 

There will also be an additional costs for making sure that this item is re-salable such as an appointment to the cleaners to brighten the fabric. So what is a vintage seller to do when they run into a piece like this? Well if you like a challenge like I do, then you find yourself adopting pieces like this and figuring out how you can salvage it and bring it back to the full gorgeous life we know it still has in it. So here are few major tools you must have:
  • A Sewing Machine,
  • Needle and matching thread for the simpler solutions,
  • Gentle cleaning solutions such as Shout, Woolite, and Biz, 
  • Rust remover in case of difficult brown stains, I prefer WINK products, and
  • A little bit of skill in the ways of design, because that big rip in the middle of the fabric may not be salvageable otherwise. 
 If you don't have any of the above materials or even the patience to deal with this project, then you must have the following handy:
  • A great Dry Cleaners that understands clothing restoration and has a reputation for being AWESOME at bringing textiles back to life safely and
  • A wonderful seamstress who is not only talented at fixing seam tears and hems, but just talented PERIOD, because that tear is probably going to need a re-design and a good pair of capable hands. 
Due to that challenging tear, I may have to do a combination of both DIY and professional assistance, with a pre-soak in the lab, a visit to my cleaner, and a visit to my seamstress. So stay tuned kiddies as I follow - up on the status of our little DIY project of the month.
Do you have any DIY projects that you would like to share with us? Do you have any vintage clothing repair or cleaning tips? If so, leave a comment or a link, we would love to hear your ideas.  

xoxo, besos!
Monique, Twirl Vintage Co. 

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