When I saw this dated prom dress at the thrift shop for $6, I knew I had to have it. I am seeing lovely tulle skirts all over these days and have been wanting one of my very own. The bottom half of this dress will do nicely.
But wait, there's more! I'm going to need something to wear with fancy new party skirt. You may remember this wedding dress from my Halloween remake (and if you don't, you may want to see a doctor about your short-term memory loss). Well, I've still got the bodice from it laying in my scrap pile. That should come in handy.
But no, that's still not enough! Let's add a little lace to the tulle and satin, shall we? Enter this $4 thrifted lace t-shirt. It's not terrible as it is, that's true, but I've got a quick way to make it more versatile.
So which piece should we start... How about that skirt, huh? First we'll get that ginormous butt-bow out of way.
Next we'll separate the skirt from that heinous black velvet bodice with sleeves that never end.
Next I pinned and sewed the three - count 'em THREE - layers of tulle to the satin skirt, just to keep it all together nicely.
I used my seam ripper to pick out about 9 inches down the back seam through all four layers of skirt.
I also sewed those edges together so as not to go insane.
Then I installed the zipper salvaged from the wedding dress.
Now, listen carefully here, okay? Learn from my mistakes, as I have tried to do. I can't tell you how many times I've cut a long zipper to the correct length and then promptly slid the zipper head right off. Unless you have some mad zipper skills, you're not getting the puppy back on. So here's the deal: fold over each side of your zipper at a 45 degree angle. Give it a few stitches to keep it that way, then trim the excess. With each top edge turned outward (and hidden inside the waistband eventually), your zipper head won't be able to escape. Got it? Good.
Now on to that waistband I mentioned. I removed the sash and tails from the back of the dress.
I ironed out the creases.
Then I cut them into nice rectangles.
I joined those rectangles together. One will be my waistband; the other will come into play later.
I folded the waistband in half, wrong sides together, and started pinning it to my skirt. As with the Cinderella skirt, I started with a pin on each zipper edge, one on each side seam, and one in the center front. Then I grabbed the midpoint between pins on the skirt and the midpoint on the waistband and pinned those together. And I kept doing that until I had a pin every half-inch or so. This is gonna be a very full skirt.
After that was sewn, I folded the waistband over toward the inside of the skirt, so it came down slightly lower on the inside than the outside. I sewed "in the ditch" so my seam wouldn't be terribly noticeable.
Finally, I hand-stitched a little hook-n-eye at the top of my zipper, and my skirt was finished.
BUT before I it to show you, let's talk about the bodice from the wedding dress. I'm going to turn it into a little bustier-type thing. Here's what was leftover from Cinderella:
Then I took that second piece made from the prom dresses' back sash, and I cut it straight down the middle. One half will be the binding on the bottom edge of the bodice (where I cut off the skirt for Cinderella); the other will be the binding on the top (where I cut off the flappy thing for Cindy's straps and headband).
I pressed the edges inward, making 45 degree angles at the ends.
I pinned my binding to the top and bottom edges.
I paused for a sec before sewing the binding though. You see, there was only one hanger strap inside the wedding dress. The other had been ripped off at some point. So I snipped off the remaining one and cut it in half to make two smaller, but still perfectly adequate hanger straps.
So I slid the hanger straps under the top binding on the inside, near the side seams. Then I sewed the length of the binding, making sure to catch my hanger straps too.
I had to do a bit of a patch job when my binding turned out to be not long enough. My fault for guesstimating. I had taken it in too much to the point it did quite fit when I tried to put it on. So I picked out the ends of the binding, unfolded the excess I had folded under, and added a couple extra pieces of binding. This part will be under the other end, as it will overlap in the back, so no biggie.
I hand-sewed on four of the heavy-duty hooks I had salvaged from the pale pink pre-Cinderella bridesmaid dress. Notice the other end of the back is still folded under to make it fit, but as I said, the back overlaps, so no one will ever know... unless they read my blog. Drat!
I realized you're probably getting impatient now, so I'll make this last piece quick, k? For the lace tee, I took my scissors and carefully cut as close to the armholes and collar as I could, to sever the solid white lining fabric from the lovely lace. Now I care wear the lace tee over different colored tees and tanks, and not necessarily have to stick with white-on-white.
Okay, you've waited long enough. Check it out! With all three pieces together, I've got a sweet little party dress. Fun fact about Texans: we crank the AC when it's hot outside, and we crank the heater when it's cold. So a short-sleeved holiday part dress is perfectly acceptable.
I also tried it with the bustier on the outside. I can't decide which I like better.
The beauty of keeping all three pieces separate is that I can mix and match! For outfit #2, removing the lace tee turns the sweet party dress into a sexy party dress!
#3 I tried pairing the bustier with something completely different. (Hey look, it's my bonus emerald and leather projects!)
#4 Lace plus bustier. I kind of like the way the lace top echoes the lace-like print in the skirt.
#5 I never would have thought to put a plaid shirt with a frilly tulle skirt were it not for Pinterest, but I seriously love this outfit. (oh hey there, bonus plaid refashion, how you doin'?) Also is anyone else having flashbacks from the whole shirt-tied-at-the-waist thing?
#6 Tulle and lace with a pop of color peaking through. This is what I meant about making the lace tee more versatile. Sure, I could still wear it with a white tee/tank under and it'd be pretty much what I started with. But removing the lining means I can put any color I want underneath!
#7 Jeans casualize the lace and the lace fancies up the jeans. A perfect balance!
So that's $10 worth of materials, plus scraps from a previous project, to create 3 new pieces, which can be arranged in 7 different combinations. Add in different skirts/pants/tops/accessories, and the possibilities are endless!