Tuesday, February 21, 2012

From evening gown to dress-up clothes

I found this breaded evening gown at a thrift store for $2. Sparkly! And with huge shoulder pads! Yay 1980s!

I recently discovered Trash to Couture and thought I'd try my hand at refashioning the dress into something for Zari. I liked her 80's beaded blouse to Parisian cocktail dress.

I wanted to preserve as much of the original neckline, beading, and zippers as possible. The beadwork was a pain to work with. We now have thousands of beads littering our attic floor.
I took the sides in, then cut new armholes. Once the bodice was done, I cut the floor-length skirt off at the knees and waist, pieced the two panels together, and attached the new, fuller skirts with gathers. I used the satin skirt lining to make a sash.

Here's the final result:
It's a bit large for her still, but this means she'll get several years of use before she outgrows it. This project was a success, but I think I'll stay away from beading in the future. It's almost impossible to sew over without breaking needles.


  1. That came out fantastic! Will have to remember this when I come across dresses in the thrift stores.

  2. SHE LOOKS SO GROWN UP!!! The dress turned out wonderfully! And when Zari grows out of it it will be Ingas turn.

  3. That turned out so cute!

  4. Oh, I like the idea. I think I could start going to second hand shop to find beautiful old fashion dresses. Thanks for this idea.

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  5. Sewing over beads is terrible for your sewing machine, too, and can knock the machine out of timing, so I don't blame you for avoiding them at all! LOL! Beaded gowns used to be only for the ultra rich, because each bead has to be sewn on by hand. The free trade agreements, and low wages in India, China, & other mostly third world countries, are the only reason Americans can buy beaded clothing cheaply, & toss it out or give it to thrift stores so easily. I love how beading looks, but hate wearing it, because it is easy to snag the fabric of anything it brushes against, and is incredibly uncomfortable on the skin. I have to admit though, it is GORGEOUS to look at, and I think both you & your daughter look beautiful in the gown! I suspect your daughter will gain far more enjoyment from the sparkly gown, while we grownups would have felt way overdressed wearing it to church, the main place we wear pretty dresses! I very much admire your bravery in recutting the dress, you did a fantastic job, & I'm sure your daughters will enjoy it for years to come!


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