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The $1 Dress

The 1 Dress The Prudent Homemaker

Winter just attended her first formal dance, a Winter Ball put on by the local LDS Seminary, which she attends. They have 375 students who attend a religion class early every morning an hour before school starts. 

Because of our dating standards, only those who are 16 and older could bring dates to the dance. Everyone was welcome to bring friends to the dance.  Winter invited a cousin to come with her, which worked out well as Winter's closest friends are 16 and had dates.

Our plan was to scout thrift stores for a dress, but then a dress came along. Winter told my mom about the dance and my mom mentioned a dress she had bought at a garage sale for $1 several years ago. She had never worn it and she said Winter could have it if she was interested.

Dollar Dress The Prudent Homemaker

Winter really liked the dress, but it was several sizes too large. She removed the sleeves, took it up in the shoulders, and took in the sides. 

The sleeves were unlined. I spent $1.50 for some fabric to line them. She cut the sleeves smaller and sewed them back on.

Adjusting the shoulder seams meant the back was a bit too high. She cut the neckline down in back, and then removed the zipper and put in back in a bit lower for the new neckline.

 Dollar Dress Detail The Prudent Homemaker

Her accessories were simple.  She took a warm scarf that I bought at a garage sale last year for $1, wore a pair of earrings that were a birthday gift from her grandmother a year ago and a necklace that I had given her for that same birthday (I paid $1 for the necklace at a garage sale).

Dollar Dress Necklace Detail The Prudent Homemaker

She had a pair of vintage gloves that were given to her when she was a child. One of the buttons was broken and the buttons were white plastic that looked to have once been pearl covered. She removed them and replaced them with some pearlized shank buttons from my button jar. 

Dollar Dress Gloves Detail The Prudent Homemaker

She decorated a hair comb with a piece of a broken cubic zirconia bracelet that she received at a Church activity a couple of years ago and part of a broken plastic pearl necklace. I gave her a set of plain hair combs for Christmas, and she used one of them as the base. She glued the jewels on with some E-6000 glue.

Dollar Dress Hair Comb The Prudent Homemaker


Dollar Dress shoes The Prudent Homemaker

Her shoes were a recent gift. Her friend's mom had bought a pair of pearlized pale pink shoes for her daughter online. The shoes and the box were both marked "Child size 7"--but the shoes were too large for her daughter. I wondered if they were possibly an adult-sized 7, and I tried them on, but they were still too big. I asked Winter, who wears a women's size 10, if she wanted to try them on. They fit her perfectly!

Dollar Dress Black and White The Prudent Homemaker

She did her own hair and makeup. She and a few friends got together ahead of time and Winter did hair for a couple of the girls and another girl's makeup.

Several friends had dinner ahead of the dance at a friend's house near the dance, and then they all went together to the dance.

Dollar Dress 2 The Prudent Homemaker

 She'll have other occasions to wear this dress again, so it will get plenty of use in the future, too!

Flourish 2

Linking to: Moonlight and Mason Jars

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  • Cathi January 09, 2017

    Wow. Amazing collaborative effort for an amazing and beautiful result. Wow

  • Mary January 11, 2017

    You look like you belong on Downton Abby, well done young lady.

  • Rachelle January 09, 2017

    She looks very classy and elegant. This is DEFINITELY better than the silly amount of money I spent on prom/homecoming back when I was her age. I hope she had lots of fun!

  • Debby in KS January 09, 2017

    Oh, I was thinking the very same thing! I spent a whopping $160 (plus tax) on a prom dress....back in 1980. My shoes were $50, my purse was $30. That's not even counting the hairdo and manicure costs. The manicure was $7 and really my favorite part of it all! That was long before manicures were normal for HS girls. I was a life-long nail biter and made a NY resolution to stop biting them that year. My mom told me that if I kept it, she'd let me have a manicure for prom. Out of that whole expensive night, my favorite part was looking down at my beautifully polished nails!!! I never even really liked the dress. I have no idea why my parents let me spend so much money. I wouldn't let a daughter spend that much now!!!

  • Andrea January 09, 2017

    What a beautiful and resourceful young lady. Well done Mama!

  • Holly January 09, 2017

    Lovely and practical. What a combination!

  • Cindi January 09, 2017

    The whole outfit is gorgeous and she learned so much putting it together.

  • Kirsti January 09, 2017

    So beautiful! And what a wonderful opportunity to learn how to be creative and resourceful. I hope she had a wonderful evening!

  • sherri kiger January 09, 2017

    A very classic look, beautiful !

  • Patty January 09, 2017

    Well done, WInter, Grandma and Mom. She looks like a princess and must be so proud of her hard work.

  • Pat January 09, 2017

    Beautiful girl and beautiful work!!

  • lora disporto January 09, 2017


  • Pam January 09, 2017

    Winter looks beautiful. What a talented girl you have raised!

  • Lynn from Ramona January 09, 2017

    Elegant young lady. Momma you should be proud. I like her little friend too

  • Rozy January 09, 2017

    What a testament to the tender mercies of the Lord--all coming together to make a first formal dance special! Winter is beautiful from the inside out. Thanks for sharing.

  • Traci Best January 09, 2017

    She just looks amazing! How much more she will look back on this event with fondness because of all the work she put into it.

  • Becky January 09, 2017

    The whole outfit/dress/accessories/beautiful girl----it's all so nice. In the past, our girls have belonged to a group that did formal dinners, and we needed to be creative as well. I'm sure you feel a real sense of satisfaction knowing she had such a good time, and even better--didn't break the bank! I'm glad she will be able to wear it again because, even though the dollar cost was low, her time altering the dress is very valuable, too. She is learning good sewing skills, but even so, I'm sure it took some time to do all those alterations. Great job! You did such a good job on the photo shoot, too. Good memories for her to keep!

  • Ingrid January 09, 2017

    What a stunning and resourceful young lady

  • Mitzie January 09, 2017

    What lovely pictures of a pretty, talented and creative young LADY.

    I'm going to ask - how did you arrange for the white pony? Since only those 16 and over could bring dates I'm assuming Prince Charming (who doesn't exist anyway) didn't ride him there ;) The pony is a unique touch for sure.

  • She's actually a mustang, and she belongs to a friend a couple of streets over. I took pictures with Winter and her friends with the horse the day before the dance. They all ride the horse on a regular basis.

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