Revamping a used dress

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#21
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?
 

Standarddancer

Well-Known Member
#22
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.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#25
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?
 

stash

Well-Known Member
#26
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.
 

nikkitta

Well-Known Member
#27
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 :?.
 

stash

Well-Known Member
#28
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 :?.
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.
 

mindputtee

Well-Known Member
#31
Perhaps you and mindputtee can come to an arrangement, since she doesn't appear to suffer the same paucity of sewing talent.
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.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#34
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:
 

stash

Well-Known Member
#35
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
 

stash

Well-Known Member
#37
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.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#39
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.
 

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