Revamping a used dress

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by stash, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yes. I understand why the labor cost is high. I have never hemmed a ballroom gown, but I have worked with silks and satins plenty -- fabrics that can be SO hard to work with. I'm not suggesting that the cost of hemming should be cheaper.

    I'm suggesting that one can get to a point of diminishing return, when buying a dress. If I were to pay, say, $3000, for a resale gown, $300 for alterations might seem entirely reasonable. If, OTOH, I spent $400 for a resale gown, $300 might seem a bit much to pay for a few inches of added length, especially since I'd be unlikely to recoup the cost of alterations from a low-cost gown, if I ever decided to sell it. Make sense?
  2. Standarddancer

    Standarddancer Well-Known Member

    Oh I see where you came from Pygmalion, you've been sawn in your whole life and you are a dancer, so probably you could try to handle it yourself. If you are handy with sewing machine, guess you can try hemming, then worse becomes worse, you could always take out the threads by yourselves to remove the horsehair hemming and bring to someone really experienced with the fabric.

    I don't sew at all, so always need to bring to someone really experienced with the ballgowns to get my desired expectation, and I always found it is really pain on the neck to explain to someone has no idea what competition ballgown should look like in movement. Sorry I'm not able to give advice for the sewing process of hemming, maybe someone make their own gowns can explain how to hem horsehair in more detail.
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Gotcha! My own motto: When in doubt, hire a professional. It works. :wink: :-D
  4. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

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    here are some detailed pictures of the dress' bodice
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yes. More stones will add a lot to this dress. Are you planning to intersperse the new stones with the old or to remove the old stones and start over?
  6. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    I have yet to decide that. I think for the mesh part i'll just add stones by just outlining the existing pattern. But for the main body, I have no idea yet.
  7. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Perhaps you could use the crystal AB scattered in the bare areas to create more contrast (particularly the red mesh on upper bodice and arms). Or, remove the existing stones from the mesh and only use CAB there, with some larger sew-on CAB stones along the neckline and v-back. It seems a bit monotone as is. Are the current stones good quality or crappy ones? Sorry, can't really tell from the pics :?.
  8. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    I did get some Crystal AB and Deep Tanzanite stones to add on. I please the stones currently on the dress are of decent quality but not the best. But I can't afford the best as it is at the moment anyway so I don't mind. I'm not looking for the most perfect dress, just something that is decent enough for syllabus competitions that allow costumes and possibly the begging of novice, until I can afford a more expensive and better quality open dress.

    I don't plan on taking out too many of the existing stones, if any, if I don't have to.
  9. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Perhaps you and mindputtee can come to an arrangement, since she doesn't appear to suffer the same paucity of sewing talent.
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks Joe. That's exactly what I was hoping -- that stash would be able to find somebody who sews.
  11. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    I'm going to take a look at it tonight. I'm not sure if this is going to be good for my itchy sewing fingers or very very bad... must. resist. urge. to. buy. fabric.
  12. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Stash: I'm gonna PM you info on inexpensive but very nice stones :cool:
  13. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Itchy fingers! ;)
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Don't feel bad, mindputtee. My Mom (No, I am not making this up) actually has an entire house for her excess fabric. Well. Actually not a house -- it's a little out building on my parents' farm, about the size of a one bedroom apartment. It's full of fabric, partially made garments, quilt tops, etc. Hey. The power of the sewing force is strong in this one. :wink:
  15. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    Mindputte looked at the dress last night and she suggested the horsehair idea. Now time to start saving up the money for it :p

    The stones also arrived last night and I brought them along with the dress. They look good! I think what I'm going to do, with mindputte's suggestion, is outlining the existing stone work with Crystal AB and then fill in with the Deep Tanzinite
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Is horsehair expensive?
  17. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    Mindputte said it's about $2.50-3 a yard, so I would need about $100-150 worth. Not horrible, but just need to save up for about a month so I can get it.
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Okay. That's not too bad. :cool: :-D

    FTR, I want to see pictures of the end result. Just sayin. :wink: :friend:
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah and does Joann fabrics keep horsehair in stock? If so, maybe you can use one of their 40 - 50% off coupons and get it for less. If it's not a normal in-stock item, that won't work, since the coupons are not applicable to special orders. But if it's normally in stock, a coupon might save you a few bucks. HTH.
  20. bowman500

    bowman500 Member

    I've bought all my horse hair through Ebay,,,,prices can't be beat!

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