Friday, December 20, 2013

From Bridesmaid Dress to Princess Dress

This project started a long time ago.  As in, the weather was so warm that I had the windows open and the girls were playing outside.  Crazy that that was only a few months ago.  

I happened to be walking through Savers when I came upon this bit of gold.

69 cents?  Seriously?  I just couldn't pass it up.  Even though, my girls may never be flower girls, I knew that they would love to have dresses like this.  What princess-loving, dress-up obsessed, little girl wouldn't?

The problem was that the over skirt alone calls for 6 yards of fabric and 6 yards of netting.  Yikes.  That would be 12 yards of satin material for my girls (just showing off my math skills).  That can get pricey quickly.

So I started brainstorming ways to make these for the girls on the cheap.  My mind went back to the christening gown I had made in the spring out of a friend's wedding gown.

Remember this one?

And then I thought of the 4 or 5 bridesmaid and prom dresses that I have just sitting upstairs in my closet.  Well, you can tell where this is going.  I took out those old dresses, cut them up and made my girls princess dresses for Christmas.

It was a bit of a challenge and there are some seams in weird places, but I figured since these are for play, it would be alright.

So these are what I started with.  The only one missing is  the silver skirt I used for E's underskirt.  That's because I (literally) took it out and finished E's dress last night.  At about 11:30.  So the picture-taking was not high on the priority list.  I was just happy to get it done. :)

The pictures are not the most amazing, but you get the idea.  I started with 3, long, formal gowns.

Then I cut them up.

The tricky part was fitting the pattern.  Like I said, I ended up with seams in weird places.  But I think it turned out alright in the end.

The underskirts were the easiest because I left the bottom hem in tact and just cut the skirt to the right length.  I hate hemming, so this was a major bonus for me!

3 of the dresses had a great lining.  The blue one had netting attached to the lining at the bottom.  I thought, "the poofier the better".  Right?  So I left the netting on the dark blue one and added some to the lining for E's silver skirt.

This is the lining for H's with the netting on the bottom.

And here is the underside of E's skirt.  Silver on the outside with a nice, bright red lining and some netting to add poof.

 Here's what was left of one dress after cutting it up.  I really tried to use as much of each dress as possible to minimize waste.

 The dark blue dress and silver skirt had a bit more left over, so I used them for the sashes.  I think the dresses look much better with the sashes on them, so I glad there was enough fabric!

The pattern called for a zipper at the back and a long sash that you tie in a bow.  Thinking about my girls playing independently, I decided to ditch the zipper (I hate putting in zippers anyhow) and put in easy open and close Velcro.  I also shortened the sashes so that they don't tie in the back, but simply close with Velcro with the rest of the back.

And here are the two finished dresses!
I really should have ironed them, but I was trying to take these pictures on the sly without the girls seeing.  So this is the best I could do.

I REALLY can't wait to see them in them!  I made them big so that, hopefully, they will fit into them for a few years yet.

After Christmas I will try to get some good pictures of them modeling their princess outfits.  Crowns, shoes and all.  We'll see if they will cooperate for me!

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