Monday, 30 July 2012

Reinventing My Little Black Dress

When my younger sister got married, I was thrilled to hear that she wanted her bridesmaids (including me) to wear black dresses.  And we could pick any dress!  I picked out a black satin halter dress from RW&Co and I loved it.  In the years since then, I've worn it to many weddings and occasions.  The last wedding I wore it to was in June.  And I could tell that things had changed!  Specifically, my body and my style.  Back in 2006, necklines were low and so were hemlines.  Now it's the other way around.  The tea-length of this dress never flattered my short stature.  And after nursing two babies, I'm no longer comfortable with a neckline that low!  Not to mention it was now several cup-sizes too small (apologies to my brother or any other men reading this...A little TMI, I think!)

I was very uncomfortable at that wedding in June.  I felt like I looked trashy, even though I know I really didn't.  This dress would never see the light of day again without some serious changes.

It took me a long time to figure out how to deal with the neckline.  And here's the result! (same shoes!  From my highschool grad)

What I did: 
- cut 4 inches off the bottom
- cut off halter straps
- sewed insert in v-neckline
- added boning to bust and sides(surprisingly easy in a lined dress!)
- added 3 or 4 inches in the back.  I could get the dress on and zip it up before, but once in it, moving and breathing and eating were difficult!  I think I added too much, so I may take it in.
- added lace to accent the details and make it look like a new dress rather than a halter dress with the straps cut off.

I didn't get a picture of the back of the dress, but it has a ladder-like pattern of lace to hide the seams in the hemline fabric that I added to the back.  Maybe I'll take pictures of just the dress details and add them here.

I finished the dress just in time to wear it to a formal masquerade birthday party on Saturday night.  I swear that I was fully stopped and not actively driving when I took this illegal picture on my way to the party.

I'll post more tomorrow about the amazing party and the mask I made!

Boy, I need to start bringing a hairbrush to events like these.  My hair looks positively scraggly next to the guest of honour, Julie from Papercastle.

In The Old Road


  1. Wow, Jo, you wouldn't even know it was the same dress. Well done!!!

  2. I wouldn't recognize it as the same dress, either. Beautiful! I love it!

  3. Your dress makeover was lovely, Joanna. And your hair looks VERY pretty. I see no scraggles. ;)

  4. A wonderful makeover! I wouldn't have guess that it was the same dress! Thanks for sharing at the All Star Block Party.