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This is a great project for a beginner seamstress. Most thrift shops have several old prom dresses to choose from. There are few things more frustrating than spending $40 on fabric and a pattern and then realizing you cut it out wrong. Sometimes I get an idea for an article of clothing but don't want to spend a lot of money on fabric, I will go to the thrift shop and look through thier clothes until I find an item that I think will work to cut up and use for that particular project. Now, I'll be honest with you, it doesn't always work out the way I want it to but I always learn something from the experience. A few weeks ago I went to the local thrift shop and found this beautiful long, purple satin dress. Of course it was a size 4. I paid $5 for it. Took it home and figured out a way to make it work for me. 
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Step 1: Supplies

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An old long dress, Sewing machine, thread, straight pins, measuring tape, seam ripper and scissors. You may need to purchase a zipper.

Step 2: Original dress

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The original dress was in great shape, it was lined and the hem was still intact and there were no stains on it. When purchasing clothing at a thrift shop, inspect the articles closely, zipper, buttons, etc...

Step 3: Cut off the bottom of skirt

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Measure how long you want the skirt section to be. I left the original hem because it was in good shape. I measured 24" up from that all the way around and pinned the lining to it. Cut 1" above that, this is for the seam allowance. Stitch 1/2" from the top edge, sewing the lining to the skirt section.

Step 4: Remove zipper

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I was able to use the original zipper. If you want to do this, remove it carefully with a seam ripper.

Step 5: Deconstruct dress

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Cut the bodice away from the skirt section at the seam.
parisusa1 year ago
For tons of ideas like this one - SO much fun! Check out this blog (also a published book). by: Marissa Lynch Have Fun!
elewis032 years ago
Awesome job!
katvanlew (author)  elewis032 years ago
Thank you!