Mar 13, 2012

Prom, A Shocking Admission


Ok, are you ready for it?  I'm not sure I should admit this publicly but what the hay, here goes....  I loved the movie Prom.  What?  Were you expecting something really juicy?

Have you seen that movie?  I'm almost 40 so I should be liking movies that are for my age group, not teen flicks.  I think I liked it because it reminded me of all those 80's John Hughes films that I grew up with.  Pretty In Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful and then you can mix in a little Say Anything and basically you almost have Disney's Prom.  Anyway, I admit it, I liked it and it got me thinking about a post I never wrote but intended to that may come in handy now that it is Prom season.


The stores are quickly filling up with prom dresses. Lots of dresses.  Have your seen them?  I'm always shocked at the high price and the short hem lines.  So, if you find yourself shopping for a dress, prom or other, be sure to check out all the clearance items.  Most likely there are dresses the stores are trying to clearance out so that they can cash in on the new styles.  Case in point.  Last fall, while looking for a homecoming dress, I found a dress for....


Yep, that's right $13.20 - Score! The problem was, it wasn't perfect. It was kind of plain. Not quite modest enough for our family standards and it was a little big.

 I bought it anyway.

It was a risk because my daughter wasn't even with me.  However, I told her if she found something else we weren't out much.  Plus, I really thought that I could fix it up. I was right.


See, it's just a plain dress.  It's loose and slightly big on her from the waist up and well - yawn!  I'm the first to admit it's boring.


It also didn't cover the shoulders. It does have a wide tank and it's not revealing however, our family's modesty rule is that it needs to cover the shoulders.

So, what do you do with a dress that isn't perfect but is a good price?  Well, that's the point of this whole post. While you are out shopping keep your eyes open for those diamonds in the rough.  I would have passed this dress up but with a needle and thread plus some craftiness, I fixed it up and kept it way under budget.  Here's what I did...


I found some eyelet lace that was sold by the yard at Hobby Lobby.  I bought a yard and hand sewed a half yard onto each shoulder to make a cap sleeve.  It was easy and I love the soft, almost romantic look it gave. Plus, the modesty issue was no longer - the shoulder was covered.


Next, I added a belt.  I found this mesh strip that had these cute black flowers on it.  It was flowers only when we bought it and while it would have worked, it was still a little plain.  So, a quick trip down the jewelry aisle and I found little ecru pearls and hand stitched them into the center of each flower.  I also took in the dress slightly for a more fitted look in the bodice.

Here she is the night of the dance.  Aww.  So pretty!  It's a big difference right?


So, my point in all of this...

If you are out and about looking for dresses this time of year.  Remember, you can do a lot for a little.  The total expense for the dress with all the adjustments was under $20.  I'm truly not a sewer but I figured if I could do it, others can too.  You just may not have thought about it before.

P.S. - I know someone will ask so in case you are wondering, Miss M is not old enough to date yet.  We hold out until our kids are 16.  She went to Homecoming with a group of her girl friends, no boys.  It was a right of passage in a way.  Her first year of high school and her first Homecoming.  It was a night of make-up, styling your hair, painting your nails and being silly.  In my high school, you didn't go to dances unless you had a date, it's different here though.  It's almost like what we used to call stomps, no dates required.  This mom likes that!

13 comments:

Out for an Adventure said...

I love the outcome!! I adore the cap sleeves and the end result is just stunningly beautiful! She could wear that for other events too! Lots of use out of cute dress for a low price!

You are so creative!


-Laura

Panya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Panya said...

Your added details really made the dress a winner, good job!

My mom bought my prom dress on clearance at a discount chain for $20. I dress more modestly now than I did then, but I still love it -- it was a long, form-fitting, Asian-style dress with cap sleeves, in a stretchy material with a glittered flower design all over.

Debi said...

Ugly before and beautiful after! Nice.....I hope I am able to figure this kind of stuff out when my daughter is that age. Lovely job.

Emily S said...

Wow! You took a dress that was "meh" and made it "WOW!" She looks adorable :)

Eileen said...

Love your creation and your daughter is beautiful in it! Sending this on to my daughter for future ideas with her soon to be 14 year old

Some Lucky Dog said...

The dress turned out amazing and your daughter looks just beautiful!

Alida said...

How lovely!

sllvncookie@aol.com said...

This dress is so cute great job. I like cap sleeves on my things to.Great Job,,, She's got talented mom...

Suzanne said...

You did a lovely job remodeling. Stick to your guns on the modesty and 16 plus dating...it sure pays off in the end.

Bluefunk said...

What a pretty dress! You made it look so much more feminine with the cap sleeves and belt.

Angela of griffinshoney.com said...

I am so astonished!! Love it!

Barbara said...

I am so impressed with your ingenuity. The dress is beautiful and so is your young lady.