I really love this brand, L’ecoles des Femmes, from Paris. But can’t afford it. I’m not saying it’s not worth the price, I’m saying it’s beyond my fiscal capacity – there is a distinct difference.

Okay? Okay. So here’s the story. I’m at Common Sort one day, and see this perfect white vintage style dress from L’Ecoles Des Femmes, but it’s three sizes too big for me. But I know I have credit with the store (from the clothes I’ve sold – that story will come later), and sometimes you just gotta risk it. So I get it with the store credit.

I take it home, and have two options: get it professionally altered, or do it myself. Being who I am – read stubborn as a mule and cheap, excuse me thrifty, to match – I decide to do it myself. I’ve never done this before. Just to be clear. I have never done this before – ever. I know basic stitches, but that’s it.

Everything I sew I do by thinking, deconstructing and trial and error. So I set the dress aside. Life goes on of course. And one day where I actually have a day to myself I decide to tackle it. Not because I have to, but because I get a genuine thrill from learning new skills and proving to myself that I can do things I’ve never done.

I put it on and try to figure out what need to be done: the waist/bodice is far too wide, so that has to be brought in a good 4-5 inches. But that means the full skirt has to be brought in too. And then the arms are far too loose. Which presents another problem, the shoulder droop too far down my arms. So first thing’s first. I removed the sleeves. Then I undid the two side seams on the bodice, and undid about six inches of it from the full skirt.

Then I put it back together, just smaller. So I tightened the bodice to where it fit me and sewed that. Next I ruffled the skirt a bit more on each side as I attached the skirt back to the bodice. It’s already a pleated/ruffle style so adding a bit more wasn’t noticeable. If anything it made it fuller. Then I tightened the sleeves and attached them back – bringing the shoulders up and connecting everything. (Check my story highlights “Crochet&Sew” on instagram to see some progress shots).

All this time I was trying things on at every single step, and basting first.

After all was said and done, I felt the HUGEST high of accomplishment. I felt like a freaking BAD ASS QUEEN! Much more so than if I had bought the dress new. So here’s to feeling that pleasure we talked about.

Moral: when shopping thrift/vintage, don’t just look in your size. Garments can be altered.

Dress – L’Ecoles Des Femmes via Common Sort, altered by me to fit.
Boots – Thrifted from a garage sale