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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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  • kaye steeper January 09, 2017

    cant believe shes growing up so fast

  • Lea Stormhammer January 09, 2017

    Lovely! What a beautiful daughter you have, Brandy, and what a beautiful outfit for the dance. I hope she had a wonderful time.

    Our children have their first dance in two weeks and are really excited about the whole thing!

    Thanks so much for sharing,

  • Norma January 09, 2017

    Beautiful girl, beautiful dress. I always had hand-me-downs for the formals I had to attend. I also had to do my own hair and makeup. Those are the times memories are made of. I am so glad you also got great pictures to go with those memories.

  • Laurie in central NC January 09, 2017

    Winter is a lovely young lady. Such a wonderful story of how the outfit came together. Beautiful!

  • Kim McCulley January 09, 2017

    She's beautiful and skilled, too! Lovely, so lovely.

  • Roxie January 09, 2017

    She is so pretty. In a few years when it is time for her wedding I am betting she makes her own dress. She has a real talent and an eye for beauty. I love to see girls dressed in beautiful gowns that are not cut to the bare skin and leave 'nothing' to imagination.

    Last year my daughter in law and I took my only grand daughter shopping for a prom dress. Sabrina, my grand daughter wanted a dress very similar to Winter's dress except she wanted it to be in a gold color (school colors) We looked at many dresses and so many were short or strapless or cut up the thigh. Goodness these are teen girls, not ladies getting ready to go on stage someplace....Sabrina is tall, she is full figured (big bust) but not fat by a long shot...she has a difficult time getting modest clothes. Anyway we found a pretty dress that was a 'mother of the bride' dress in a bridal shop. After looking at so many prom dresses and not seeing anything at all very modest we were about to give up and I was all set to make something...but Sabrina had her heart set on a store brought dress because it was her first prom and she wanted to share the experience of getting the dress with her mother and I. We found the dress and I did make a few alterations, as I said her bust is big and her hips are small. Her waist is 27. She is so beautiful in her pictures. She wore new gold sandals with the dress, (the prom was in May) and I had taken her to get her hair and nails done (a good friend of mine owns her own salon. I had so much fun doing that with my grand daughter. It was wonderful. (she also wore flat shoes because her "date" (her brother) is not real tall.

  • Jen@FrugalSteppingStones January 09, 2017

    Winter looks lovely! More importantly, I am amazed at her excellent sewing skills. I wish I had them myself.

  • Nancy January 09, 2017

    Well done and very beautiful! This is how we roll at our house in the thrifting department as well. Lars is continuing to thrive in the costume design program at SUU. We thought of you as he took pictures of his latest transformation of a wedding gown. He did the photo shoot at Lake Las Vegas just before New Years. He took a photography class and took his own photos rather than needing you to take his pictures this year. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post of your own beautiful daughter! You have such talent, Brandy!

  • Jo January 09, 2017

    Wow, the results of hair, dress and makeup are fabulous! Winter may be creating a career for herself here! I know a man who built his own floral business and owned his own shop for many years, who started out by making homecoming corsages for his friends to give to their dates (and his own date) in high school, just to earn a little money.
    I love all the alterations -- she is so much braver than me when sewing! She has a talent for these things, it's obvious.
    How great that all this cost next to nothing. One of my daughters wore clearance dresses to prom, the other borrowed dresses from friends. This is even better, actually -- it costs less than clearance but can be kept and worn again, unlike borrowing.

  • Kristi January 09, 2017

    You have raised a rarity in this world -- a true lady. She will certainly go on to bless those around her with her talents, intelligence and beauty.

  • Francie January 09, 2017

    Your daughter is beautiful! She looks stunning in the dress, gloves, shawl and hair accessories.

  • Holley January 09, 2017

    STUNNING!!! What a classic beauty! Well done!

  • Rhonda A. January 09, 2017

    This post has just blown me away. First of all, the gown is stunning...I can't believe it was bought for just $1 to start with. It was so kind of your mother to offer it to Winter.

    Second, I don't think I'm even close to having the skill set to alter a dress to that extent. Needless to say, I am in awe of Winter's ability to do this. It looks so professional, I honestly would have never know it was even altered! Again, just outright stunning!!!!

    Then there are the accessories...just WOW! I LOVE that necklace!!!! I can't believe you found it at a yard sale for $1. The earrings are beautiful. The scarf matches the dress so well, I would have thought it came with it. And those vintage gloves are so, so elegant! I love that you fixed them by swapped out buttons from your sewing stash, too.

    Finally, words cannot express how absolutely amazing this photo series is. Brandy, I am in complete awe of your talent in photography. What a precious gift you have. The beautiful horse was such a wonderful touch, too. I hope you will be framing some of these photos for Winter. They are so magical, they deserve a place of honour on the wall!

    BRAVO to all of the hard work and talent that went into such a special event for your daughter. You and your daughter have all outdone yourselves on this one. Thank you sooo much for sharing with us!!!!:D

  • Juls Owings January 09, 2017

    SO beautiful , she is just beautiful.

  • So CO Mary January 09, 2017

    Lovely, elegant and refined. This almost brought tears to my eyes. Such a rarity to see a young woman who is beautiful as well as modest. For some reason I was really reminded of the movies of Jane Austen novels. Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Congratulations to you and your husband for raising such a treasure and to Winter for her many skills (and excellent taste!). Wealthy young woman who are debutants don't come close to achieving this level of taste and style.

  • momsav January 09, 2017

    Wow! What an amazing daughter you have!

  • Barb January 09, 2017

    Winter looks just perfect. She is so good at sewing, making over that dress so well. Congratulations to you both.

  • Yolanda January 09, 2017

    She looks perfect! I haven't seen her since she was a young girl. What a beauty she has grown up to be!

  • Patt January 09, 2017

    So lovely! Winter has done another amazing job with her sewing. It is a talent to be treasured. I love that she was able to have a vision
    and execute it. She has grown up to be such lovely young lady. So many talents and so beautiful from the inside out. Congratulations to You and your husband. The photos are beautiful thank you for sharing with us.

  • Bless January 09, 2017

    Your daughter looks so much like you! I just love the story of how everything came together so she had the perfect outfit for the occasion.

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