Tween Dress Makeover

This week, this very evening actually, is Princess’s very first semi-formal dance! She wanted a pretty new dress-but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a one time use item. I love her dearly-but this is a 6th grade dance-not a prom.

Princess of course wanted a new dress like some of her friends. I knew we had a fancy dress I had purchased at the thrift store for a pittance years ago:

I think it’s pretty, but she wasn’t wowed. I offered to alter the dress and make it more fashionable for her. We drew a few plans and talked it over and came up with a plan.

First I detached the skirt from the top. We took a black tank top that princess already owned (and that had white latex paint splattered on the bottom) and sewed the skirt onto that empire style.

Next we took the top, cut the sleeves off short, cut a slit down the middle of the front, and shortened it to bolero length. I hemmed that all around and viola:

Now I’m an average sewer-not a professional seamstress. If you look carefully there are a few mistakes. The gathers aren’t perfect. I didn’t fray check or turn under the raw cut edge of the skirt-if it was going to be washed frequently that would unravel. But this dress really just needs to last for a single night–so it’s good enough. And she is just THRILLED with it.

Isn’t she beautiful?


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  1. Cathy Polachek says

    I think you did a great job! My mother made my sister and mine prom dresses and one year it was about 20 minutes before my date (my husband of 29 years) was to pick me up. Yeah for super moms!
    PS: Your Princess looks beautiful!

  2. Deborah Aldridge says

    That is beautiful, and so is she. OMG! 6th grade? The first picture I ever saw of her, she was missing teeth. What a beauty she has turned out to be….like her mama.

  3. Bobbi Jones says

    Love the dress and M looks sooo sweet… grown up…enjoy every minute…..before you know it ,it WILL be the prom!

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