Monday, April 23, 2012

The Great Doily Incident of 2002...and 2012?

Last week I posted a picture of my thrift store clothing finds.

My mom left a comment regarding the white blouse at the top:
hmmm....could that whitish/cream color top be confused with a - umm, let's see - A DOILY !!!????? At least, that is what I thought it was at first!!!

Now, to an outsider this might just seem like a random reference to a doily. But to my mother and me, it's a direct reference to what I like to call The Great Doily Incident of 2002.

Scene: My grandfather's dining room, San Antonio, Texas
Occasion: My sister's college graduation
Players: Me and Mom
Culprit: The Giant Doily Shirt
Background: Mom had bought me a white, crochet top to wear with dress pants to the graduation ceremony. While I am notoriously picky, about everything, my mom knows me best and is usually very good at picking out clothes for me. As best as I can remember, it was similar to this but with long sleeves:

After trying the shirt on the, following exchange occurred:
Me: I look like a tablecloth.
Mom: No, you don't.
Me: I'm wearing a giant doily.
Mom: It looked good on the mannequin!

Needless to say, I didn't wear the shirt/doily to the graduation. And ten years later, it's still discussed. (Despite the fact that my mom has picked out probably a hundred other things that I love. It's just more fun to harp on the one mistake.)

Now, back to my thrift store shirt. I bought it knowing it would need to be altered. This is what I started with.

These are the front and back details that caught my eye and made me think the shirt could be more chic than homely. Hopefully.

I started by removing the elastic at the bottom to separate the outer layer and inner lining to make it easier to alter. This was by far the most time-consuming part as the stitches were small.

The full width of the blouse became apparent after the elastic was removed. But there was still some tension in the thread and as I not-so-gently tugged it, ripped the shirt some. Plus side: While ironing and starching, the heat brought out a flowery smell, meaning it's freshly laundered.

I marked 2.5 inches in on each side for a new seam and sewed. It fit a bit too snug so I let it back out an inch.

Then the scary part: Cutting. No turning back now.

Next was the hem and fixing the rip in the back.

Finally, about 2 hours later, the final result.

So that is my potentially fancy top made into an actually fancy top. Or at least fancy in my opinion. I think there's a certain chicness to it. On Friday night I wore it to a sushi dinner with a friend, paired with skinnies, heels, and a high ponytail.

For only $3 and two hours of my time, I now have a new blouse. Or a giant doily. You decide. I've put an anonymous poll so everyone can vote and tell me what you think. Do I now have a Great Doily Incident of 2012? (Be honest, I need to know if I'm walking around wearing a tablecloth.)

  • Love it! It's simple and chic.
  • Hate it! It belongs on a table or the back of a couch.

Crochet top image source.

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