Upcycled Birthday Princess Dress, Part III: Revising the Design

So, now that I’ve bought the bridesmaid dress to use for my purple fabric I’ve had to adjust my previous design sketches a bit. Partly because the fabric is so pretty that I can’t bear the thought of this being a one-use dress, so I’ll have to make the size adjustable– that’ll require some structural changes. The other reason is that the embroidery on the bodice just cries out to be displayed properly, which I wouldn’t have been able to do with my original design even if it had been adjustable to begin with. So I’m scrapping the bodice part of it, at least, and starting over.

First of all, I’m going to make the bodice a separate piece from the dress– that always helps to accommodate different sizes, and it will make it easier to alter the structure without messing up the skirt. I’m going to use a technique I worked out on my Grey Lady dress— adding lacing loops on either side of an inverted box pleat to create expandable panels– to make the bodice expandable. I’m going to put pleats into both side seams, running up into the puffed sleeves. And I’ll put elastic into the sleeve cuff so it will expand with the arm.


Aside from the expandability, I’m also going to make the bodice entirely purple to showcase the embroidery. Still haven’t figured out how I’ll place the patterns, but I’ll manage eventually.

The general skirt design won’t change, as I’ll leave enough extra length in the bottom swags to let down for a longer skirt when she inevitably grows taller– they’ll just be less drape-y. However, I’ll have to make two separate skirts– the bustled overskirt and the white underskirt– to accommodate height changes. The white underskirt will be non-adjustable, but can be replaced entirely as she gets taller. I’ll end up cutting the skirt part out of the white flower girl dress and just making a new waistband for it so it can be worn separately. The overskirt will have a flat-front waistband with an elastic back.

Of course, all of these revisions basically mean that the flower girl dress is no longer really a “base” for the main dress– more like an inspiration. Sure, I’ll be using the satin skirt as an underskirt, but the bodice (being too small anyway) isn’t really getting used anymore. So much for this being an easy project where I won’t have to put in my own fastenings. Why does this always happen? Oh, yes, because I always go overboard…


2 thoughts on “Upcycled Birthday Princess Dress, Part III: Revising the Design

  1. Pingback: Upcycled Birthday Princess Dress, Part IX: Done! | It's All Frosting...

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