Monday, July 28, 2008

Reinvintage: A circle skirt for all sizes.

Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there lived a fair princess who longed to wear the adorable vintage of years past. She delighted every time she saw a fellow fair maiden stroll down the street in second hand shirt-dress. She pined at the window displays in her city's best thrift stores. She even occasionally purchased the most pristine vintage on the sale rack, knowing it was not her size, just to hang it in her closet and admire it. Yet, try as she might, this fair princess could not locate vintage in her size. Truthfully, she had an easier time falling asleep on a mattress resting atop a pea than finding vintage to match her waist measurement.

This princess would sit in the turret of her tower, wishing lustfully for the novelty cotton skirts she saw on eBay. She purchased a loom, and would sit for long hours each day attempting to sew accurate reproductions of the dresses, taking care not to poke her finder on the needle lest she slip into a long sleep. She would gaze at eBay each night as she combed her hair with 100 brushes, bookmarking beautiful, tiny dresses, skirts, and blouses and vowing to diet until they fit. But it was as though a wicked witch had cursed her efforts, because somehow the princess was never small enough, or the skirts were never large enough. Nothing fit.

Then one day the princess could not help herself. She knew she had to have a novelty cotton skirt of her own. So, singing liltingly to the birds outside her window, she twittered out her desires, and before she knew it the friendly woodland creatures delivered to her a lovely skirt, covered in images of birds, with a disastrously tiny 22 inch waist. The princess loved the skirt so much, but she knew it would never fit, and in despair she shed a single tear that dripped down her cheek and landed splat on the tiny waistband of the vintage skirt.

As the tear hit, a pouf of glitter illuminated the room. As the dust settled the princessed looked up and right before her, next to a pumpkin carriage and several dwarfs with pincushions, sat her fairy godmother seamstress. "Do you think you could.... make it fit?" she asked timidly holding out the garment, bracing for the worst. "But of course," said the godmother with a good natured wink, "And I won't even make it shrink back to a 22 inch waist at midnight!"

With a few glides of her scissor a few inches below the original waistband, and a few stitches to add a new, larger waist yoke and zipper, the skirt was finished. And it fit. Like a glove. Like a white, well fitting, silk-spun-from-magical-worms, princess-worthy glove. And she loved it.

And that is the tale of how one lovely princess found a way to wear vintage. And the best news is that this is not actually a fairytale, but rather an autobiography (minus the embellishments of fairly godmothers and turreted towers). Ladies, fret not any longer about fitting into vintage circle skirts. I am here to tell a tale of success, of triumph, of romantic dreams realized as though it were a fairytale.

To make sure you too can wear vintage, just find a sweeping skirt with enough length to take it up a bit. Then, find a good tailor. Ask your tailor to take the skirt up - from the waist. It only takes a few inches from the waistband to convert a 22 inch waist into an enlarged 40 inch waist. When you add a yoke back onto the waist band, you give the skirt back some of its original length. Plus, a yoke keeps the extra fabric down near you hips where you want volume and away from your waistline where you don't want it.

...and we can all live happily ever after in our well fitting skirts!

The new yoke, extending the waist size.

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