Prom Dress Fail and Outdated Blouse Refashion

Sew Much Love Mary
by Sew Much Love Mary

This was a really fun refashion. I was originally only going to refashion the prom dress, but decided to also refashion the blouse. 

The prom dress was given to me by my cousin who ended up with a "prom dress fail" and let me use it for a refashion. (Thank you!!!) She gave it to me Christmas 2016, so I thought it was about time that I finally refashioned it.

So the dress, the bust area just had two circles, the puffy sleeves fit weird, and there was a white tulle material under the lace that was itchy. As for the blouse ( Thred-Up), I bought it thinking I would just wear it tucked into my new refashioned skirt, but when I tried it on, I didn't like how it fit me. It had an outdated fit.The sleeves were too puffy and long and the blouse itself was too long. 

This refashion took me a while longer, but it was really fun seeing the look come together.


Here's how I refashioned the dress: 

1. I cut off the top part of the dress. 

(Still thinking of what to make with it, with refashioning, the possibilities are endless!)

2. I cut out the lining in the dress to use as a lining for my new skirt.

3. I traced out the front and back skirt pieces, using an existing pencil skirt. (The back panel is open for the zipper)

This is what the pieces looked like:

I sewed the side seams and left one open seam, the back for the zipper.

4. The lining of the dress had a "lining," which I kept to keep all the seams clean. 

5. Next, I took off the itchy white tulle that was attached to the black lace.

6. I created three tiers from the black lace and sewed a gathering stitch across all of them. I then gathered all three tiers to fit the lining. I also hemmed all three tiers at this point.

The tiers by size: 

Top tier: 8" x 74"

Middle tier: 15 1/2" x 74"

Bottom tier: 22 1/2" x 74"

7. I put together all the tiers and sewed a basting stitch across to keep all the layers together.

8. I used the sash from the dress to make a waistband. I ironed on interfacing on the "right side" of the waistband. (This is the side that you can see when the skirt is finished)

9. I sewed the waistband piece with the interfacing onto the lace layer pieces, as shown below.

10. I sewed the other waistband piece to the lining, right sides together, so wrong sides visible on the same side.

11. I buy zippers in bulk, so I trimmed it and sewed a tack in place (illustrated by the pink line).

12. I sewed the zipper on the left side first, as shown below. 

13. Next, I sewed it on the right side. 

For a more in-depth explanation on installing an invisible zipper, check out my  Pretty Pleated Skirt tutorial.

14. I serged the open seams of the lining. 

15. I placed the lining on top of the main skirt, right sides facing together. I sewed as close as possible to the zipper.

16. Next, I sewed all around the waistband, as shown by the pink dots.

17. Snipped off those corners.!

18. I sewed the main part of the skirt closed, as close as I could to the zipper.

19. Then, I sewed the lining closed, as close to the zipper as I could. After, I just turned the skirt inside out, with the lining inside!


Next, the blouse. This is what I did to it:

1. I cut off a chunk from the bottom. I wanted it to be crop length. I saved the fabric to make my sleeves in Step 4.

2. Using a seam ripper, I took off the armhole binding.

(I thought I would use it later, but it ended up being too small. Oh well, now I have binding for other future armholes!)

3. Next, I completely removed the sleeves. 

4. I cut out these half circles from the main fabric and lining fabric, using the measurement of the entire armhole as my radius.

5. With the lining fabric and main fabric facing right sides together,  I sewed all around the half circle, except on the circular opening. 

6. I turned that inside out and pressed.

Close up!

7. I pinned and sewed the sleeve to the armhole.

When sewing the little edge of the circle sleeve, just sew as close as possible to it. I used binding to give finish my armhole, so this little edge got hidden in there. :)


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Sew Much Love Mary
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2 of 16 comments
  • Mary Vance Mary Vance on Jan 20, 2024

    The original dress looks so Victorian, I really liked it; sure it could have been made more comfortable to wear. The new blouse with the cut down dress bottom just don't go together. I like the blouse but not with the cut up dress. You did a nice job of sewing but together, not my thing; then you didn't make it for me and you are happy with the results.

  • Rita Horovicz Rita Horovicz on Jan 20, 2024

    The finished product, with the cropped top, made her look fat. Very unflattering look.