Revamping a used dress

stash

Well-Known Member
#1
Hi everyone!

So I bought this dress for a great price at the MIT Open. I loved the dress and the fit and the price was right so I couldn't say no. There are few things that need to be repaired, but the thing I really want to do is add more stones. The dress is very one dimensional in my opinion.

Do what I decided to do is order more stones. I ordered Crystal AB and Deep Tanzanite AB. If you have some suggestions on designs or placement post them here please. I have no idea what I'm going to do yet, but I figured I would have a better idea once I see the stones in person.
 

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#2
What's the exiting stone work or fabric design on the top? If it were up to me, for my partner, I'd get the skirt lengthened a bit. Or add something on the bottom to make it pop more. Prolly add another color to it, for it to be more eyecatching, but then thats just me.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#3
No idea on designs, yet, although I will think about it. I love the idea of stones in a contrasting color, though. I think you're right. It is one dimensional, right now, but a good fixer-upper.
 
#4
I mean like existing stonework on it. Like a closeup of the front top of the dress. You could do some nice bead work (w/ bugle beads) on some lace (ie: fashionsforpassion. com/display.php?cat_id=2#S-3989 3rd pic) , if it doesn't have anything yet along with the stoning. Even some nice rope work on it. (ie: fashionsforpassion. com/display.php?cat_id=2#S-4487 3rd pic). Just have fun with it and take a risk. There are infinite possibilities. Just take into account your resources and height and all.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#5
Those sound like great ideas, noname. :-D

It might be nice to see close-up pictures of the existing stoning (if such pictures exist.) That would probably help people who are trying to make suggestions.

I really do like the idea of tanzanite blue stones against the red dress, though.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#7
as this dress is nearly identical to one I am selling, I can tell you that a pattern in sapphire stones would be smashing on it....I like simple dresses....I think it is lovely...if it is a tad short, I would recomment another layer of chiffon at the bottom
 

stash

Well-Known Member
#8
Hi guys!

Thanks for all the input. I know it is a tad too short, and if i knew how to sew I would get right on that and add another layer. But sadly---my sewing talent is dismal at best. I believe it was a juniors dress (had JN on the tag as a size). Other than the length of the dress, it fits perfectly.

As for the detail, there is some lace patterning already on the dress. I had some better pictures but for whatever reason they would not upload to DF. I'll try again later and get some closer shots of the back and details of the dress.
 

Standarddancer

Well-Known Member
#9
The pattern you found is pretty good for bodice stoning, regarding skirt lengthening, probably the simpliest way is to add a layer of horsehair at hem, like the one I have now.

Just I have a pastel colored dress, can easily use plain horsehair (without matching color of the skirt), your dress is red, for dark or strong colored dresses, need to buy matching color horsehair, can't use plain one, could be a little of work and running around searching for matching the same shade of red color, unless you could find a perfect matched contracting color of horsehair hemming, but to complete the look, you need to decorate the bodice with matching colored stones to matching the contrast colored hemming as well.
 

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Standarddancer

Well-Known Member
#11
I wouldn't take my good dress to a non-seamtress, if someone claims that they are savvy with sewing and they do at home, you'd better see the person's work before give a nice dress to him or her.

Better go to experienced seamstress, and be careful if a seamstress has limited experience of dealing with ballgowns, you need to explain the skirt has to be flying big during movement, not straight hanging down not moving in motion.
 

mindputtee

Well-Known Member
#13
I don't remember what the bodice looks like, but I recently discovered etsy is a great place to find lace appliques. You could use something like this (in the right color of course):

and then stone on top of it to add dimension to the dress.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#14
I wouldn't take my good dress to a non-seamtress, if someone claims that they are savvy with sewing and they do at home, you'd better see the person's work before give a nice dress to him or her.

Better go to experienced seamstress, and be careful if a seamstress has limited experience of dealing with ballgowns, you need to explain the skirt has to be flying big during movement, not straight hanging down not moving in motion.

My question is what can a non-seamstress dancer do to modify this dress inexpensively? There's no point in buying a bargain, used dress, if you have to spend big bucks on getting it fixed by a professional, ballroom-experienced seamstress. If one could afford a professional seamstress, one probably wouldn't be buying a bargain dress. Is there any other way to get the dress lengthened?
 

Standarddancer

Well-Known Member
#15
Experienced seamstress probably charge $150 to $300 to such small job hemming, if they know what they are doing, cheaper non-seamtress might charge $30 to $50, but could easily screw up the job and make damage to dress, what's the point for saving but running big risk of destroy a nice dress?

You could use someone who really does great job for sewing, but inexperienced with ballgowns, then the trade is you will spend lots of time explaining and babysitting and describing what ballgowns should be look like, and the end result might still be off. Possibly someone who is not in the ballroom world does not know the high price ballroom dressmaker is charging so here you might save, but be prepared of the frustration when you talking to the person who is completely clueless of the kind of movement of the dress she is supposed to create and end result might not exactly what you had expected.
 

Standarddancer

Well-Known Member
#17
I only experienced once paying $300, that's for shortening the dress and that dress has maybe 5 layers of huge underskirts, skirt huge and puffy, job was shortening + hemming back the horsehairs, so involves re-trimming horsehair too, and 5 layers are big job for her to do; She was super, did it without alter a bit of the dress's original shape and movement. That's the only and most expensive time I paid a very good seamstress.

The red dress OP has does not look like 5 layers, so most likely much less, maybe around $150. I'd rather pay 150 for a peaceful mind than $30 for losing sleep, keep worrying my dress got ruined by someone has no clue of what ballgown should look like.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#18
I understand completely and agree. I've sewn clothes pretty much all my life and would never presume to touch a ballroom gown.

I'm reacting to the impression I got from the original post.
 

nikkitta

Well-Known Member
#19
If there is more than one layer to the skirt, there is a possibility of lowering an underlayer or two, depending on the gown's construction. You can add a 2-3" or whatever band of chiffon/lycra as appropriate near the hip area and theoretically that will bring the skirt layer(s) lower, leaving the top layer undisturbed. Unless the overlayer is very sheer, no one will be able to see the sewn-in portion.
 
#20
Horsehair would be a great way to add a little bit of length and preserve or even improve the movement on this dress. The reason for the high cost charged for hemming is that the hemming on these dresses is very time consuming and not all seamstresses have experience with the fabrics and desired flow as Standarddancer mentioned.
 

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