Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Ever since June 26-27 2007, I've regretted not buying certain items from the wonderful Mayle sample sale (I remember the dates not because I am obsessive but because they were the two days after my birthday). One item that increasingly appealed to me was the Valentine dress, which I initially saw as a bit too costume-y and precious for me but then came to look more reminiscent of something Anna Karina would wear in an early Godard film. Of course, by the time I realized I wanted it, I was not alone and any supply had completely dried up--a story repeated for so many of us so often with so many Mayle covets. As I have a broad back and shoulders and as Mayle runs small there, particularly in dresses with sleeves, I feared the worst: I would need a 10. Not only was I after a much coveted dress but in a size made in very limited numbers.

A few weeks ago, Valentine appeared on ebay. It was listed as a small, but the photo revealed a size 10 tag. I emailed the seller and, yes, it was true--the dress was originally a 10, but had been altered down to a 4-6. The top was largely untouched. Everywhere else it was a different story. I kept an eye on it though, hoping it would be possible to alter it back. The seller warned me that the silk (a beautifully soft fabric) was fragile and the seams may not look good if opened back up. Still, I won the auction for a very reasonable price and the dress came on its way. It arrived yesterday. I tried it on and thought the worst for a moment--the back was tight. Then I noticed that the seams had been taken in--or, rather, two new seams added down the back, that finished just shy of the shoulders. Last night, I was exhausted after yoga and work, so I painstakingly unraveled most of the two seams (I still have some threads to remove from the top). I eschewed a seam ripper--the fabric is too fragile to risk it near a blade--and instead gently pulled threads, occasionally using a pencil. I just put it on this morning and it fits! I could not have sized down. There are puncture marks from the seams but they look like a decoration and I'm hoping judicial use of an iron will work some magic. Overall, though, I'm very happy with my find.


christina said...

Hooray! So glad you were able to make it work! I'd love to find the blouse version of this dress or even the dress in black. I saw a photo of Cindy in hers and fell in love even more.

ps-I just spotted a purple vlada on ebay in your size. I hope you win it! I'm sad I missed out on the one in my size that ended a week or two ago!

lorochills said...

yeah that's awesome it is truly a fab dress indeed!!!

Cindy said...

yay! so happy that it worked out for you!

(hi christina, thanks for the compliment!)

jennifer said...

That's a beautiful dress! It really does look like something Anna Karina would wear in a Godard film. I'm happy it worked for you.