The “Cheap Means Cheap” Dress
Fabric: Vintage 1970s- 1980s dress, thrifted $13
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: June 2011
Wear again? Yeah.
Total Cost: $13
If you're ever in New York City and looking to score a great deal on a vintage piece of clothing, don't bother trying Cheap Jack's. I stopped there in March during a business trip and was quite excited at the promise: it is huge and stocked to the brim with vintage pieces. However, it's probably the most overpriced vintage store I've ever shopped at. For example, there were a number of late 1960s and 1970s cotton housedresses being sold for $150+. To justify the prices, they're always having 50% sales. It doesn't matter — it is still overpriced.
The only reason that I ended up buying something from Cheap Jack's was because:
- I felt pressured by the sales staff
- I spent a great deal of time looking around and didn't want to leave empty handed
- I found an okay 2-for-1 deal and ended up with 2 dresses from something like $27
- Neither of the dresses blew me away, but I figured I could alter them to make them work
After reading Yelp reviews (after the fact), someone freaked me out by saying they wouldn't be surprised if the clothes there were infested with bed bugs. I wrapped my two dresses in a plastic bag, tied a knot, flew them home and prompty washed them in the laundry (alone). When I took out the dress, I saw that the hot pink dye had run and made the white side all splotchy.
So I was left with a dress that was probably a modern size 16 or 18, covered in pink splotches and the lost souls of bedbugs.
So incredibly lame.
This was the dress I ended up with and the alterations I ended up doing. It is much easier to make a little illustration than explain it all out in prose.
I have to say I'm quite proud of the result! My alteration skills have much improved and I really owe it to the intense sewing I do. It goes to show that almost anything can turn into something wearable!
Unfortunately I didn't get any decent shots of the dress at full-length. It was incredibly windy during our picnic and the dress kept on blowing in really annoying ways.
My hair looks ridiculous in this shot, but at least it's a full-length representation: