Monday, May 3, 2010

DIY: Turn a Hillbilly Prom Dress into a Summer Dress

Holy beau-tee-ful mou mou-ness! I found this long prairie style gown at a local thrift store, and fell in love with the cotton fabric, the little late 70's flower pattern, and the layer of see-through material on top - not to mention the frill on the bodice with pink buttons!

Only thing is, no one really sports big long mou mou's anymore so I thought it would be great to take the focal point of the dress (the frilly chest area) and turn the rest of the gown into a smaller summer dress.


STEP 1 : I measured the dress for the length I wanted it, more of a mini dress. I measured from the top of my shoulder to where I wanted the dress to hit on my thigh - leaving a small amount of room for the hem line.
STEP 2: I used scissors to cut off the extra material (which is enough to make a whole 'nother skirt or dress!
Step 3 : I then turned the dress inside out so that I could make the other measurements, for my waist, chest, hip - then marked it with straight pins so that a new seam could be sewn.

NOTE: I had originally wanted to keep the sleeves on but because I had to take in many inches of fabric, I ended up removing the awesome see-through sleeves. In the end I liked this better anyway (not to mention i had no idea how to put them back on!)
STEP 4 : Sewing time! This is where I used all my measurements and straight pins to make all the new seams - the new seams will be along the right and left side (where the original seams are), and then to hem the bottom.
The new seams will depend on whether or not the dress fit you to begin with - if it already fits your size, all you'd have to do is hem it into a mini dress for summer fun!
YAY!!! This is the finished upcycled summer dress..... sooooooo not a mou mou no mo' ! In fact, this shit is so cute it's almost punk rock. I left frayed edges where the sleeves used to be for a more punky look.
Check out all the angles... (the frill makes it awesome from the side!)
Time for a party. :)


Kittie Howard said...

Great job, Leslie! And, finally, something I can help you with. If you want the sleeves on, stick the outside of the sleeve into the inside of the dress. If you've taken in too much and the two don't fit, take in the sleeve's seam a corresponding amount. You don't have to undo the sleeve, just gradually increase your sewing seam until you reach the top for desired amt. Then, replace into sleeve hole. Pin. Sew. Back sew several times under the arms. However, I think the dress is great w/o sleeves.

.·:*¨¨*:·.gm.·:*¨¨*:·. said...

holy crap! that is so beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! now make some to sell on

Anonymous said...

That's adorable. You really have an eye--

As an MCSer don't you react to thrift shop clothing? It often has been stored in moldy places or with mothballs or been washed in fabric softener detergents etc.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Kittie --->

That was some good sewing tips for sleeves, i ended up using it the very next day on another thrift shirt I bought a few years ago but was too big for me - it totally worked. Sleeves always baffle me, but now i realize the bigger the size the bigger the sleeve too, and i can wittle it down with a new seam like the rest of the piece! cool :)))

GM ...
YOU NEED TO THriFt Shop HERE!!! YOu would freak.

Anonymous -
Super good question about the MCS, cause even though thrift shopping is very earth friendly and wallet friendly, the clothing is usually full of old funk smelling chemical detergents! (not earth or health friendly)
My MCS has been improving, but not enough to throw these clothes on without alot of work at getting the stink it (if it ever comes out)...
Here's what I have done in the past and still do :::
I soak the clothing in a pot FULL of water, baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Sometimes this takes several rinses ...
then i hang them in the sun. For a long time, depending on the stink sometimes days, weeks, months - i have had shit air out for a year before. Some things are permanently fragranced, and when I buy something at the thrift I try to not buy the really funked out stuff- like moth balls smells!

Moth balls, detergents ect bother me - luckily I am not so bothered by mold like some people with sensitivities or chemical injury.

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