Vintage Sewing

Advice please!

September 24, 2010
How do I turn my old prom dress in to a fabulous retro dress? All ideas are welcome! I’d like to shorten it and since it’s made out of red duponi silk I could easily find more of the fabric should it be needed. So do I go with a full skirt? Or a sheath dress? Or something else?
Front                                         Back
Please read more on my blog.
  1. How about shortening it to the most flattering length on you (knee, just above or below?), taking in the flared hip a bit so it's more straight and using the extra fabric from the bottom into a 3/4 length raglan sleeve bolero to wear with this or something else? You could also make a simple red wrap out of the excess

  2. I like the idea of making the bottom fitted to the knee as well. Like a wiggle dress, or the silhouette of a pencil skirt. Take the excess and make a gorgeous matching belt. That always makes things look more 50's/60's. You could also scoop a teeny tiny bit around the neckline, but I love it as-is as well. Make sure to post an "after" shot!

  3. If you make it shorter it won't be so suitable to prom event, since it's better to have frock instead of cocktail dress. What I would do is a big bow from the same fabric and put it in the back like Marilyn Monroe had in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PluRW3_FEt0&feature=related
    maybe not as that big… and maybe some crystals on the skirt… If you didn't want to go for the bow, I would maybe suggest crystals all over the bodice or on shoulders and around neck and make them look as they would fall down to the bodice. Don't forget all evening dresses are about detail so don't make it boring and create fabulous gala dress how you can see in old movies… Watch some movies from 50's, I'm sure you will find lot of inspiration…
    Good luck!!!

  4. I don't think you should count on being able to match the fabric in color, as there is always a risk just when even contemporary fabrics are from different dye lots. It would be best, IMO, to think in terms of using what you already have or going with a contrasting color if you need more.

  5. That is a fabulous red. I would shorten it to just below the knee or calves. Then get Butterick 5032 and if there is an enough fabric from the bottom make the cute little Caplet. I would also take from this same pattern the overskirt. If there isn't enough fabric for the Caplet try a bolero

    If you want to get real fancy you can get a sheer chiffon, organza or lace and add an overlay to the shortened dress. I think Simplicity 4070 would give you a nice overlay.

  6. Making it strapless would be difficult I know, but you could model it on the dress Audrey Hepburn wears in 'Funny Face' when she poses in the Louvre with the statue of the Winged Victory. Add a red sheer scarf and you're there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.