Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My daughter's vintage inspired prom dress

Being a unique girl, my daughter didn't want just any prom dress. The dresses you find at the store just don't suit her body type or taste. So, one day, she perused the internet for prom dresses and found the Vintage Gal on tumbler. The site was full of 1950's party dresses. She found a few she liked, but eventually settled on this one.



Finding the fabric was easier than expected. I was in our local fabric store, Mill End, again, shopping for something else when the perfect fabric was just sitting there at the front counter. It was if someone had known and made sure it was out for me to see it. I texted a photo of it right away to my daughter and asked her if she liked it for her dress. She said, "YES!!!"

From there, I had to search for a pattern. There are some new patterns available that have a similar look, but have straps and other adjustments would need to be made. I was prepared to do that if needed. As it was, it looked like I would end up needing to since the vintage patterns that I found for sale were costing anywhere from $65 to $125.
Before buying a pattern, I received an email from Unique Vintage advertising their swim and dress sale. I went to their site to simply look what was on sale. That is when I noticed that they have a prom dress section. Not expecting to find anything, I looked through their selection and ended up finding the Black Taffeta Party Dress. I was thinking of asking them if they could sell me the pattern to the dress when I saw that they offered it in ivory and it was on sale for $25!

What a find! I ordered it straight away and it arrived quickly. When I did receive it, I tried it on my daughter to check the fit. She was in between sizes, so I ordered up, but should have ordered down a size. No biggie, though, since I planned to tear it apart anyways.
Here you can see the folds of fabric in
the bodice and how the ruffles are different
from the original

Net fabric draped over dress to get an
idea of what it will look like

Destruction begins
I started with the bodice ruffles. The original has black edged net ruffles. I tried several different ways to achieve the look, but failed. So, I took the excess net that I trimmed off of the bottom of the overlay fabric, folded it over the ruffles that I removed from the Unique Vintage dress, and used a zig zag stitch to trim the edge in black.

I stitched four rows of ruffles, straight across the top of the bodice. Then, I took the folded fabric from the bodice, ironed it smooth, and put the net overlay on it and attached it to the bodice. From there, I lined up the net overlay on the back panels of the bodice, and, removing the zipper, attached the net to the bodice. Then, reattached the zipper and the front and back bodice panels together.
Now that the difficult part was over, I simply needed to cut the net overlay and some tulle that I placed between the net and dress, gather it all together and attach it to the skirt at the waist and zipper. Zippers are a challenge for me, so this did take some time. Once the dress was all together, I tacked the ruffles down so you couldn't see between the rows, and added the bit of lace and ribbon trim.
 All the tulle!!
This was such a fun project to do and it made me happy to see how happy my daughter was with it. She looked and felt like a Princess, which is so not like her. She isn't much of a girly girl, but you wouldn't know that by the way she wore this dress to her prom.


  1. What a lovely project! The dress turned out lovely, and she looked beautiful in it!

  2. you did an amazing job! You are an amazing mom and your daughter will always remember it, I know I did.

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