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Refashioning to the max-i

I call this the Promaballoona project.

If you don’t know about Oona and her “recent” Promaballoona you’re missing out. I wanted to go but had my own deadlines to work to and couldn’t whip up a dress in time (or sort the minor matter of flights out).

Watching with jealousy as everyone else got ready, attended and had a kick-ass time made me think of my own “prom” gown. I use air quotes because I’m talking about my graduation ball from University instead.

I was such a silly girl. I bought a vintage 70s dress that made me feel like a Bond-girl in the casino…

…problem was my kick ass dress didn’t help me have a kick ass night. There was no James Bond to liven things up!

I barely had any friends in my year, and the ones I did have weren’t attending. I got some nasty comments on my dress. And I had a pretty lame night overall.

I cringe when I look back on it.

Errr and for the record NO, I’m not putting any pictures on here as I’m cringing all over again at the thought! *Shudder*

It’s all okay though because I gate-crashed my friends’ ball the next year while I was doing my MA and we had an amaaazing time.

Ahem, anywhoo I still loved the dress and had wild ideas every now and then to chop it up and refashion it.

I’m not really a maxi dress girl being so tiny. And the huge flouncy sleeves just swamped me really.

But check out that gorgeous flower detail. That had to stay.

The dress is pure acrylic, which is partly why I think it photographed so incredibly badly with flash and without. But it looks good in person trust me.

First I unpicked the sleeves and sewed the arm holes as if the dress was always strapless. A little fiddly since I didn’t unpick the whole back bodice so had to turn the seam allowance inside and topstitch into place.

Then I removed the skirt and lining completely. The skirt is a lot tighter than my uni days since my derriere is now more pronounced!

So I made a new skirt pattern that was more gathered and swishy then the maxi column skirt and cut the lining and fabric out.

I then sewed it all up and made sure I added pockets to the skirt. Because who doesn’t love pockets!

The zip was a bit tricky. The dress had a lapped centre back zipper.

Due to my unpicking and altering work I had to upick the whole thing and turn it in to a centre back zipper. It actually came out rather neatly!

I finished the whole thing in about 7 hours (split over a series of nights) and wore it out on Saturday to a lovely dinner in Harrogate.

Dinner was for my Mum’s and Brother’s joint birthday celebrations. We went to the amazing William and Victoria Restaurant in Harrogate.

I still think I made it a touch too long. I wanted it at knee level but it’s just over my knees so still makes me feel a bit titchy! I’m going to take up the hem a couple of inches to raise the va va voom.

I’m really pleased that I now have a dress I can still wear and can hopefully create some happier memories to associate with the dress.

(15) Comments

  1. Great job – it looks lovely 🙂

    1. Thanks! I’m lusting after your claret coat. ooooh vintagey goodness

  2. Now that is a save! This looks fantastic all finished up 😀

  3. sewbusylizzy says:

    What a brilliant save! Awesome job.
    I can’t bear to touch my high school formal dress. Despite the fact it’s a shot green/blue raw silk wired hem (mullet hem no less – not too severe but it’s there) with a strapless heavy black silk top – it’s such a fashion icon of its era I’m keeping it forever as is! Yes I’m a frock tragic!!

    1. WOW. This dress sounds amazing. And I must say a little scary. But sure it’s awesome!

      1. I wore it to work a few years ago – I sort of headed up a month-long fundraising activity for ovarian cancer and blogged about it – a different dress a day for a month – and I somehow got everyone involved as we raised $5000. One Friday we had Formal Friday – so I hauled out The Dress

        1. Oh wow. Does that mean there’s a photo? Amazing fund raising though.

          1. Just follow the jpg link – that’s to a photo of me sitting on an office cupboard in the dress.

          2. you look smashing!!!

  4. better late than never indeed, and what a great way to save the good memories. it looks like it was made for you! how do you still fit it?!

    (i LOVE that you went for maxi length bond girl, by the way.)

    1. Thanks Ms Balloona! I’d love to be a Bond girl. But one of the ones who looks sexy as hell but can also KICK ASS!

  5. What a lovely refashion, much more wearable and you look super happy in it!

    1. Cheers! I love how you’re posting in gorgeous sun and I’m too scared to take my cardigan off to show the new shoulders because it’s sooooo cold here 🙂

  6. I love my photographer but looking at these pics again I cringe!! I must post less blurry photos once I’ve altered the hem using my self timer. Sorry Mr Almond Rock!

  7. I love the dress!! It was a good choice to keep the flower!
    I must say university wasn’t what I expected either, I had friends but when I had to take a year out after my first year due to sickness going back was really hard.
    My friends were all in their final year and the people in my (now 2nd) year already had groups of friends and I never really felt like a fitted in.

    One thing it did teach me was to not rely on others to introduce themselves, now I am the semi confident one who introduces themselves even though I am feeling really shy.
    Also makes meet ups a lot easier 🙂
    Katrina x

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