Dancing The Night Away

Homecoming!  The first big dance of the year.

Daughter is 16 and now dating.  While she has attended occasions before, she can now go in the company of a very fortunate young man.  Of course, such an important event calls for a new dress.

We hit the thrift stores and Daughter came up to me very excited waving, well, part of what could be called a dress.  It was $12, but the bodice did fit perfectly.

However, it was strapless and had a bubble skirt. Please forgive me if you personally love bubble skirts, but I have never found them flattering.

“But, Mom,” pleaded daughter,  “The color is perfect and we can tear out the skirt and build sleeves and we can make a petticoat and it will be very ruffle-y and perfect and I really want it,  PLEASE?!”

So we took it to the counter.  It was marked “x2” on the tag, meaning that there should have been a second piece–maybe a scarf or jacket?  The second piece was nowhere to be found, so would I take it for $8.  Sure. Oh, and that color tag is half-off today, so your total is $4.

OK–I am feeling better and better about this purchase.


Daughter went to work right away tearing out the skirt.  She was right.  There would be enough leftover fabric to build the rest of the top.


In my big pile of junk there just happened to be (if you believe in coincidence) a piece of matching blue tulle.  We built a very ruffle-y petticoat.  Just as she dreamed of.


We were trying it on for about the tenth time Wednesday night when disaster struck.  The zipper TORE.  Not the fabric next to the zipper.  The zipper itself.  We both wanted to cry.  But,  instead we went to bed.

A good night’s sleep later and things looked brighter.  Plus I was pretty sure I knew how to tear out and replace the zipper in this particular dress.


No, it wasn’t much fun.

But, it went back in better than I expected.

We took the fabric cut off the skirt and constructed a top.


Daughter very diligently stitched the sleeves in by hand, the only way to really do it right.

And we were done.


Today, her friend came over to do hair and make it all fancy.


And she is off to dance the night away.


All’s well that ends well, right?!

28 thoughts on “Dancing The Night Away

  1. So glad all went back together the way she envisioned. She is so beautiful, I doubt anyone even notices the dress! Plus, what a wonderful memory she and you have of this special time in her growing up.

  2. What a vision your daughter had. She could tell right away that the dress was going to be awesome and it certainly was. Good luck on your next “find”.!!!

  3. How cute is that dress? And $4! Plus a lot of work and a zipper. =) Even cuter, the girl wearing it. I love the braided part on the side of her hair. Amazing young woman you have there. Lucky young man who was her date.

  4. Wow, you two are amazing…the dress is gorgeous! Of course, your daughter is as well. I hope she has a great time!


  5. Your daughter has *exceedingly* good taste and vision. I never would have thought of refashioning the bubble dress in that way. It came out SO MUCH NICER than the original! Beautiful photograph of your daughter. The dress fits perfectly. Well done! I hope she had a wonderful time.

  6. What fun! I love bargains, and recreating them. Your daughter has your inspiration, what a fun project to do together. I t makes her special night even more special than an off the rack dress. She looks beautiful.

  7. Oh my goodness! Her dress is GORGEOUS!!! You and your daughter are SO creative…she for spotting it’s potential and you for your garment making skills! I am SO envious! You have definitely instilled in your daughter a skill that will serve her well throughout her lifetime! Kudos mom and daughter alike!

  8. I too like your upgraded dress with the sleeves and underskirt much better than the original. You both did an excellent job! Your daughter is beautiful in this dress.

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