Tuesday, August 13, 2013

#48: Purple Prom Dress

What's up y'all?

A couple posts back I gave you all a sneak peak at an outrageous new project I was working on. Well, folks, the time is here.

I found this dress while thrift shopping with my mom a few weeks ago for about $4.

Before: Purple Prom Dress

Before: From behind

I can't tell whether this used to be a prom dress or a bridesmaid dress. Whichever it was, I'm SO glad this is not the style anymore!

Oh my gosh. Where do I start? It was totally asymmetrical, had extraordinarily puffy sleeves, and the shiny purple material was INTENSE.


Strike a pose!

I definitely felt like I was getting ready for adult Toddlers in Tiaras. I didn't know whether this could be redeemable, but I had to try anyway.  

I first had to remove those unbelievable sleeves. 

Removing the puffy sleeves

Never again. Please.

The sleeves were attached with snaps and sewn on, so I also removed the snaps from the bodice of the dress. 

No need for sleeve straps

I also removed the huge hip flower. 

Hip Flower

There was so much fabric that it took me about 5 hours (while watching Netflix) just to seam rip the skirt seams, which revealed icky netted fabric underneath that gave it the cupcake feel. 


I was glad to remove all of that net. It was literally disintegrating. 


I then removed the entire skirt and ironed the material. 


Just look at how much material made up that skirt!

It could be a wedding aisle runner!

I removed the zipper, sewed the back mostly closed, opened the hem at the top of the back that encased the elastic, replaced one of the elastic strips (don't have to match), and sewed the center ends of the elastic lower to lower the back a little bit. 

Removed the zipper
Adjusting the elastic lower in the center

I folded the open corners over the elastic, and sewed a new hem encasing the elastic, cutting off the excess. 

Next, I folded the long skirt strip in half and sewed around the 3 edges, leaving one exposed so I could flip it inside out. I then ironed the corners so it laid flat. 

Nice corner
I pinned the long strip around as a new skirt keeping the asymmetrical hip line, and pinched/folded little sections to match the ruffly folds on the top of the dress. I then sewed the folds to create permanent lines.

Creating coordinating diagonal skirt lines

It took a bit of adjusting before I got the fit right. I ended up sewing the bodice a bit too tight, so I added the zipper back to create a tiny bit more space. I also sewed the skirt part closed twice before getting the fit ok. 

When I tried on the dress, the frills at the top were too messy, so I folded and sewed them flat (which was hard because it had boning in the ribcage. 

Sewing flat the ruffles

It still seemed a bit bland, so I added some dark purple lace I had to the top of the bust.

Pinning the lace

When I tried it on, the bust looked HORRIBLE! Sewing over the boning made it all tall and awkwardly-shaped. I was about ready to be done with this dress until I accidentally found a solution. 

I pinched and sewed a stitch at the bust to create a deep plunge neckline. My inspiration Marisa Lynch at newdressaday.com calls it the "pinch and cinch." It evened out the awkwardness at the bust better than I had expected!

I wanted to add some flair to the dress, and when my friend A.C. donated this shirt to my projects pile, I had a great idea.

Thanks A.C.!

I removed the sequined/beaded collar, separated the mesh fabric from the cotton, and laid it on top of a piece of the dress I had salvaged. 

Transferring the collar

I sewed around the edges of the decorative collar, snipped off the excess, and used stitches and liquid thread to secure the loose beads. (By the way, the no-sew liquid thread adhesive works great! And it lasts through the washing machine!)

Mmmm, strawberry bagel in the corner : P

My idea to decorate the dress with this went bust. There was really nowhere it looked any good, so I ended up attaching come Velcro to the ends to use as a necklace. 

Attaching Velcro

Alright, so, I began trying to be super ambitious with this one, but I'm not in love with the end result. I'll post the before and after anyway. 

Here's the 80's prom dress from before: 

Before: Purple Prom Dress

And here's what I managed to do to it: 

After: Sexier, still shiny purple dress

After: Still asymmetrical from behind

It's definitely a big difference. I like the bust design, but not much else. The material makes it not very realistic for anything but some kind of event with low-lighting. What do you think? If you have any suggestions for making it better, please leave in the comment's section below. I appreciate feedback!

But I DO love the necklace! This will be a keeper :)

Love the necklace!

Alright, so I need some more help. This next doozie has got me speechless. I'm so excited to see what I can do with this, and I'm considering changing the color! 

My next project...

What color do you think I should change it to? Leave a comment below!

Thanks for visiting, and check back soon to see what I decide!

Until next time, blessings.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome!!!! Loved this transformation. LOL @ the next doozie.