My Mother’s Attic – First Installment

Jan 25, 2013 | 42 Comments

So, today I’m introducing another themed post called My Mother’s Attic brought to you by a great girlfriend of mine, Ashley Weeks Cart!  She’ll be contributing here, the last Friday of each month, with a fab remake post.   I love the premise behind this and I think you guys will too!

My name is Ash and you can find me blogging over at Blogalacart about my life on a small farm in Vermont with my college-sweetheart, our two little girls, a super mutt, a three-legged retriever and a flock of chickens.  Marisa and I met at Blogshop in LA and became fast friends.

New Dress A Day - Blogalacart - DIY - Vintage Dress

M & A

While I have always been of the DIY persuasion, I’ve been intimidated by projects involving sewing, but meeting Marisa and learning about this amazing community she’s built here at NDAD, it has given me the confidence to finally bite the bullet and learn by way around the sewing machine!

You see, my mother is a bit of a, *ahem*, hoarder, and I have piles and piles of vintage clothing (some dating back to my great grandmother) due to this compulsion.  She refuses to let me get rid of any of it, so I thought it was high time to put some of the pieces to work.  Modernize them.  Make them current and useful. And so, I introduce “My Mother’s Attic,” a journey into overhauling and reworking generations worth of clothing and accessories.

First up, this sequined beauty from the early 90s.

New Dress A Day - Blogalacart - MMA 1 - Before

Ash – Before

I, in fact, do have memories of my mother rocking this very dress.  When I asked her about the purchase, she said that she bought it at Bloomingdale’s in 1991 or ‘92 and wore it that year to her annual Gourmet Christmas Party (basically a group of their friends that get together once a month at different people’s homes for dinner parties. FUUUUN!).

New Dress A Day - Blogalacart - MMA 1 - Before

Now that’s a back!

I wish I had a photo to showcase her in the look, complete with voluminous 90s hair, but alas!  My before pictures just don’t do it justice.  My sister and friend commented that the dress reminded them of an ice skating costume.  I don’t know if truer words have ever been spoken!

The sequins were so vibrant and fun, I thought the dress could be made into a perfectly festive skirt for NYE, so I started by cutting off the top part of the dress but leaving the zipper fully intact. (Minimal work for this newbie sewer!)

New Dress A Day - Blogalacart - MMA 1 - Before

Cut that top!!

I found a semi-thick black elastic to secure around the waist of the skirt from one side of the zipper to the other and pinned the elastic to the waist, pulling the elastic tight between pins so that when I began sewing, it would evenly stretch across the skirt.

New Dress A Day - Blogalacart - MMA 1 - Elastic

Elastic for the waist

I then sewed the top, bottom, and middle of the elastic on the waist, pulling the elastic across the skirt as I went.

New Dress A Day - Blogalacart - MMA 1 - Elastic

Sewing machine time!

I slipped it on and BOOM! High waisted, elastic, sequined skirt complete!

New Dress A Day - Blogalacart - MMA 1 - After

Ash – After

Since my husband and I were spending NYE at our favorite hotel (my parents graciously offered to babysit our girls so we could enjoy our first ever NYE as a married couple, together, without a pregnant belly or children in sight), and we planned on eating ourselves silly at a restaurant nearby while sipping champagne with dear friends…

New Dress A Day - Blogalacart - MMA 1 - Outside

NYE bubbly!

…I knew that forgiving elastic would come in handy.  James snapped a few shots of me getting ready in our room…

New Dress A Day - Blogalacart - MMA 1 - Room Pic

Sliding Doors

…and then a few very chilly pix of me out in the frigid tundra that is Vermont in winter.

New Dress A Day - Blogalacart - MMA 1 - Outside

Hello snowy Vermont! You look gorgeous, yet chillier than LA!

And I couldn’t resist the urge to jump on the bed, I mean, sparkly sequins?!  I felt like a giddy pre-teen playing dress up!  I must applaud my mom for her festive purchase two decades prior!  Glad it could be put to use once again.

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I’m glad too, Ash!  I love it!  I’m super excited this was the first piece done because it totally reminded me of an upcycled skirt I did a little while back, on Dec. 3, 2011 to be exact! (Click for a refresher, HERE)

My before was a little less 90s fab, however my after, was looking just like Ash’s.  Blue sequined skirt, yo!!

New Dress A Day - Blogalacart - DIY - MM1 - Sequin Skirt

Marisa – After

(PS, this pic is totally dated because those Hostess Sno-balls that I was snacking on at this holiday party are now distinct. What the what?!)

I think there just might have to be a joint rewind post down the road where we wear these skirts together!

Also, just this week Ash launched a photography”bootcamp” with friend and profesh photographer Kate Drew Miller called CAMERA READY.  It sounds awesome and if the inaugural classes weren’t being held in Boston and the Berkshires, I’d be there in a heartbeat! (My camera-brushing-up-skills are on my 2013 Resolution List!)  It’s for beginners, bloggers, mamas, creatives, and aspiring photographers alike, which is just so cool.  Check out the deets HERE!

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