Fortuny for the Fortuneless

Tunic or not Tunic?
Under Da Sea

Friday’s dress started off as a piece that perhaps only a fashion history buff would bother with.

Look at those ties! Eeeep!

Yipes.  Lots and lots of grey-blue with an obnoxious tie neck (which I despise).  I had already begun snipping the sleeves before I took the “Before” pic for this one (I keep forgetting…I’m a blogger now!), but here’s an idea of what they started out as.

Why would I choose this dress to revamp, you ask?  Well…first off, it was only a dollar and the color kind of rocks…I just want less of it.  And most importantly, it reminds me of the dresses designed by Mariano Fortuny that were oh so chic in the 1920s-1930s.  Here are a couple of examples:

love that pleating!
Peplos Gown

I mean, look at those pleats on the top of the dress!  Someone was definitely channeling Fortuny!

Fortuny Wannabe!

Granted, I was working with a light polyester 1970’s day dress, and not one of Fortuny’s exquisite silk satin hand-pleated tea gowns, but those sell for 5 digits, whereas I scored mine for 1 (digit and dollar).

Of course, alterations would need to be made.  As I said, I HATED that ridiculous tie neck.  Out came the scissors.

Ties are lame. Don’t worry ties, you’re going to be the new sash for my new dress.

I hid where I cut the ties by widening the V-neck and pinning it to get it ready for some hand-stitchery.


Next, I decided to cut more fabric from the sleeves.  I originally wanted to keep them at a ¾ length so this dress could transition into the fall, but quickly realized that to remove the frump factor, there would have to be more severe trimmage.  Hello cap sleevelets!


The original length was mid-calf.  I was in the mood for something more fun.  Right now, I’m all about my dresses falling mid-thigh, and this one was no exception.

Basement kitteh supervises dah snippage.

The last two steps were sewing the two ends of the ties together to make my simple sash to cinch the waist of the dress, and then tacking down the new V-neck with as unnoticeable stitching as possible.

hand stitchery

And that’s it!  Viola!  I now own a lovely grecian dress that I adore.  I wore it to work all day, and continued rocking it into the evening at one of my favorite places, Cellar on Green for dinner.  They have an AMAZING and ever-changing wine selection.

a vision in blue!!


Later at Art Bar with a tasty bev
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5 thoughts on “Fortuny for the Fortuneless

  1. I’m reading these backwards, and you’ve said “Fortuny Style Pleating” about a million times. Now I finally know what that means!

    1. I was reading them backwards as well, got to about page 60…then decided that I wanted to begin at the beginning!! …So I went in search of it. Took me a bit to find it!! {& I am still unsure if I actually did so… July 19th, with…3 posts?? Was that the beginning?} Because I would read posts, & go, “huh?”…So i wanted to read about your life in the correct order!! Btw, your gorgeous lil furball looks like my beloved Holly; we lost her July 2012, due to lymphoma. I am guessing that I will be reading at some point that you lost your little black beauty as well, & I am sorry for that. 8-( …But in a short 3 days, I have become utterly ADDICTED to your blog!!!!!!!

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