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!