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.
Step 1: Supplies
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
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
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
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
Cut the bodice away from the skirt section at the seam.