Well, despite the fact that Peter mercilessly mocked my poor 1950s rayon cocktail dress (and further questioned my impeccable taste- ridiculous!!), I pushed on with my vintage dress rehab last night, and it’s just about done. There are a couple more small tweaks I need to make here and there, but the big edits are finished. First, here is the “Before” shot:

And now, after fixing the ruching, shoulder straps, sash attachment, lining, and raising the hem (wow, the hem was kind of crazy because it is a really really weird shape on account of the asymmetrical drape thing which was cut as part of the skirt), here is the current state of things:

The color of the dress in the “After” photos is more accurate. I’ll give it a good pressing before the wedding. Tonight it has to get stuffed into a suitcase.

Oh, by the way, a couple of people have asked how I’m able to take pictures with Dan out of town.  The answer is simple: I have a backup fiancé. No, no, kidding. I use a tripod and the timer on my camera.

I always feel a little bit guilty about altering vintage dresses in irreversible ways. But there was no way to get around it for this one, and I also discovered some sort of burn near the hem when it was at its original length, so it really needed to be cut off. It’s clear that this dress was handmade, with no label and lots of handstitching. And in a way it was kind of nice to add my generation of hand stitches to it.

Thank you all for the lively shoe debate! I’m still undecided but I’m leaning towards the silver, even though I like the other shoes better in the absolute sense. Something about a silver dress with gold shoes just isn’t sitting well with me, even if lots of people think I look like a *shudder* prom attendee or *shudder* bridesmaid in this pairing. There’s going to be a traditional Indian ceremony (though guests have been told to wear whatever style of clothing they want), so I think the chances of me actually being mistaken for a bridesmaid are slim :)

Anyway, bridesmaidy or not, I think this is one hot vintage dress. So put that in the pipe that you found in the dumpster and smoke it, Peter!