Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pretty in Polka-Dots: 1980's Prom Dress FINALE!

Do you ever wish that you could go back in time and relive your prom? For some, maybe not. But my younger sister? She got to relive our older sister's prom. As you can see from the photo, my older sister certainly got into the fashions of the time. You can't tell from the photo, but that is white polka-dotted tulle circa 1988. With three (3!) layers of ruffles. All asymmetrical, of corse. They really don't make them like that anymore, do they. Thankfully. (Hey, isn't my sisters date great! The original? Not so much.)
My younger sister bought tickets to a children's program fundraiser with the theme of 1980's Prom. We dug this family jewel (which my mother still had) out of the closet and decided it needed to be the belle of the ball once more. As I mentioned yesterday, we had to do some creative altering since my 25 year old sister was not in high school anymore ;)

Lets start with a photo of it before we started working on it (please note sad droopy bow):

This dress was too small. We first thought about ripping out the zipper and moving it in. It had been taken in and a black sash was added in 1989, so this would be the third time around for this dress. Once we removed the zipper we realized this tactic wasn't going to work. Instead, we decided that we would add eyelets in the back and make it more like a corset.  This by the way was not my idea, but Laurel's. So, thank you Laurel!

I hand stitched twill tape to the lining on the area I was going to put the eyelets. I figured that it might need a little more stability — it was cheap twenty-year old satin, and I also didn't want to be able to see the seam on the back of the dress, which the machine would have done. I wish the photo of my hand stitching had come out, I was pretty impressed with myself, so you will have to take my word for it. After that I made a back flap out of new satin that I bought, that I also hand stitched to the inside of the dress. This would cover any exposed skin that might peek out. Here's a photo of that along with the start of the first row of eyelets:


I had to take in the side seams at the top of the dress, which was now too big. Go figure. After 20 eyelets total, and seams taken in, we laced her up with a cord that matched the gloves. We did try an off-white, but the pink seemed to pop a little more: (please excuse her bra, this was last fitting late the night before)

She also hand-made the corsage and the boutonniere:


Here are some of the final photos, with hair and make-up done, at the prom (and after drinks):


And a side by side comparison 1988 and 2010:

Final verdict: 2010 Prom had a crinoline underneath and clearly cuter (and higher) shoes! This definitely seemed to help with the not so flattering hemline. Pouffy dress + high heels = much better! Trust me when I tell you that 2010 sister's make-up was much brighter than the photo shows. There was yellow, blue, pink and purple. She did not take home the crown that night, but did make Prom Court. It was so much  fun to take a dress I remember being such a big deal as a child (I was 10) and giving it life again. Please note the not so sad bow. The wonders of what a few stitches can do :) If you want to see more of the process, check out my album here. And thanks to our older sister for being a great inspiration!

So, how did we do?  Should we have taken the crown, or what?! 

1 comment:

  1. Goodness! This really needs to be made into a movie. Great job!