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Help repairing dress

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Vintagiality, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality Trade Member

    Hi all,

    I have this gorgeous dress that I have owned for a long time because I can't figure out how to fix it. I really want to resurrect it somehow but not sure if it's possible, especially by someone like me with rudimentary sewing skills and no sewing machine. The actual fabric is intact but many of the decorative threads, especially around the armpits, are gone. Any thoughts on what could be done?

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  2. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

  3. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality Trade Member

  4. I dont think it can be repaired due to the threads being worn away.
    My only solution is to see if a seamstress can make another bodice for it. In solid fabric.
    Vintagiality likes this.
  5. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    Agree that this is a near impossible task. You could consider making it sleeveless, which would remove much of the damaged areas though not all. But this would need to be done by someone skilled to look good, and it would alter the lines of the dress.
    Vintagiality likes this.
  6. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality Trade Member

    Thank you all for the feedback. I am sure you are right and short of major alterations, not much can be done. This probably is a stupid question but is there some sort of fabric marker or some similar product with dye where I can try to recreate the lines with color rather than thread?
  7. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    I think it'd be hard to get a good result with that kind of method, and you might regret it!
  8. bluevelvetvintage

    bluevelvetvintage Trade Member

    I was thinking of making it sleeveless, as well. And any of the other parts on the bodice missing threads, could you maybe find some black lace or beaded appliques to sew on the bodice to hide those areas? It's hard for me to see on my laptop exactly how many and where the areas are. But you would probably have to add several on the bodice to make it look like it was supposed to be that way. I've done that with dresses I like that had small holes. Covered the holes with lace appliques, then added more on other parts of the dress. so it looked like it was done intentionally for design purposes.
    Vintagiality likes this.
  9. Midge

    Midge Trade Member

    I agree - you can't really repair the threads that were worn away... I wouldn't try any kind of painting either. Agree with Theresa - I have done that kind of thing too with a dress that had a couple of holes at the bodice front.
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  10. claireshaeffer

    claireshaeffer Trade Member

    Are the white threads machine stitched? are woven as part of the fabric?
  11. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality Trade Member

    Claire, I think they are machine stitched but not 100% sure
  12. claireshaeffer

    claireshaeffer Trade Member

    Can you make a close up showing the threads and the ending of at least one thread?
  13. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality Trade Member

    6F4C9F21-BEE8-46AD-94D5-E91FCA9D0F6A.png AB62D86A-6555-449D-AA89-E58A7B43D313.png
    Here are a few close ups, Claire.
    Thank you.
  14. claireshaeffer

    claireshaeffer Trade Member

    Victoria, the stripes look like they were machine stitched, even though I think they were put into the original fabric.

    Yes a skilled dressmaker might be able to match the thread , set the machine tension the same. rip out a couple inches every where there is a break to start the new stitches, and pull all thread ends to the wrong side for knotting. Sadly, it would take many hours to do this and it would be expensive.

    If you could do it, you could work on it over a period of time.

    I wish there was an easy answer. The one thing to consider is that the dress was apparently a favorite and worn a lot because it was so stylish. Sadly, even pretty stylish dresses don't live forever.
    Vintagiality likes this.
  15. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality Trade Member

    Thank you for the feedback, Claire. Sadly, I am far from being that skilled so I wouldn’t be able to do it myself and around here even the most basic sewing job is pricey. I really wish I could do something to breath a new life into this beauty but it may just be some appliqué or beads that I would try with.
  16. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    Are you hoping to wear it, or sell it? If I were selling it, I would probably sell as is and let someone else decide how they wanted to deal wtih the damage. You could suggest removing the sleeves etc as an option to the buyer.
  17. pastperfect2

    pastperfect2 Trade Member

    If I had to do something, and if I had matching thread for the stripes, and didn't have a sewing machine: I would pull the existing raw ends of the stripe thread to the back of the fabric, tie off to the replacement thread, then hand sew a line of stitching through the missing area and again, tie off on the other side to the back. It would be tedious and time consuming and only worthwhile if I really loved the garment. Sadly, not worth it for resale.

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