My friend bought this great old dress on the side of the road for $1. It was handmade, probably from a pattern, and altered a few times.
The zipper was so corroded that we couldn't unzip it, and after some trying the zipper pull just crumbled off! Turns out the dress was tinier than it looked and didn't fit either of us. I said i could fix it so she said i could have it.

I used this dress to experiment all these different alterations on, and now have a dress that i like a lot. Take this less as "How to Make a Dress That's Exactly Like Mine," cause honestly who cares and why would you want to, and more as

-sewing instruction
-tailoring practice
-pattern making/designing, without actually writing out a pattern
-getting comfy altering your own clothes (i could write all day on what i think of ready-made clothes. instead i'll just promote learning how to tailor and redesign your own.)

I won't assume you have prior sewing knowledge but am also gonna avoid technical sewing explanations, for the most part. That stuff can easily be looked up online, and also there are many ways to do most things.
"The way that works," you know?

If you don't have a sewing machine, it's fine. Sewing by hand is social and fun, gives a different look and allows a different kind of control, and makes good idle activity for the bus.

It wasn't difficult it just took a lot of time. Who cares about that though, right? Not you- you've got a yearnin' for learnin' and that can't be taught in school!

Step 1: Before, and what i did

Here's what the dress looks like now. The photo's weak but let me tell you, this dress is great. It was great before, but nothing like how it is now!

I don't have a Before picture. Before, it had
-no straps
-no ruffles or purple along the top (bodice ends with the blue cups)
-skirt longer, and all the same length
-bodice was smaller and had a side zipper

It was rad but way too tiny. The color combination on the skirt's tops, but the high waist and ruffles completely covering the outside looked cylindrical and sad.

Here's what i did
-enlarged the dress from the ribcage up
-added straps
-added embellishments to the top
-changed the skirt
-replaced side zipper with back buttons
-reduced the cup size/shape
-added hanger straps
cool instructable!- doll clothes. <br>to Very Interesting: <br>maybe go to Goodwill, or other second hand place, buy a cheap damaged wedding dress, hopefully similar, and get your confidence going. <br>If you know any little kids ;you might try making a doll dress from the left overs. <br>Have Fun!
Thanks for posting this, and please share more of your creations. In this economy, it's not only necessary to repurpose clothes, it's fun too.<br /> I have a wedding dress from the 80s that would look stunning if it were altered. I'm just too scared to do it.
Think about it this way:&nbsp; if you're not wearing it anyway, what have you got to lose?<br /> <br /> It's inevitable to screw up a few garments when you're new (I still do), but that gives you more opportunities to come up with creative workarounds.&nbsp; Plus, you can always practice on things you aren't as in love with.<br />
Like Blue Oyster Cult always says, &quot;don't fear the reaper,&quot; right? You probably haven't worn that dress since forever! I&nbsp;bet you won't mess it up, cause no matter what you'll learn a new thing. Maybe you can start small, like hemming it, or putting in darts, removing the sleeves or something.<br />