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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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  • Cindy in the South January 09, 2017

    Wow, just wow!!!! Sooo amazing she was able to do the alterations ! Winter is beautiful!!!!!

  • Sarah January 09, 2017

    Absolutely gorgeous! What talent she has to put all those details together so perfectly. I hope she had a great time!

  • Debby in KS January 09, 2017

    Oh, so so beautiful! And I love that she looks like a young lady and not a......I'm sorry to say this!!!!......floozy! I've received so many pictures of my nieces and friends' daughters and the dresses are cut UP to THERE and DOWN to THERE, ya know? I so clearly remember a boss of mine bringing in his daughter's prom picture. I was surprised they even had a prom because their church/school prohibited dancing. I was stunned to see her dress was hugely absent of any modesty. He asked what I thought and I told him she looked very grown up. He sighed and said, "My baby looks like a hooker." I thought that was terribly sad. I often wondered why he allowed her to wear it.

    Brandy, thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures. It's refreshing to see a picture of a lovely and modest young lady!

    I also love the cost!!!

  • Hilogene in Az January 09, 2017

    Brandy, what a wonderful post! Thank you. Congratulations to Winter for creating a beautiful and magical dress and looking so beautiful! And congratulations to you both on figuring how to make magic with such ingenuity! Really great photos. This post made my day to see something so wonderful.

  • Linda Shields January 09, 2017

    Winter is so beautiful. What a prize she will be one day soon for a husband--sooo like her moher!

  • Marivene January 09, 2017

    Winter looks lovely, & did an amazing job altering her dress. I am glad that her Seminary put on a Winter Ball.

    Our 4 children attended a total of 3 high schools in 2 states, & none of the Seminaries sponsored formal dances. It would have been nice to have an alternative to the school dances, where both the music & the attire left a lot to be desired. For the most part, our kids chose not to go.

  • Marcia January 09, 2017

    Thank you for sharing the photos and the story of how everything came together. It must be so much more rewarding for Winter to know she has not caused extra, unnecessary spending, and yet has put together a fantastic, and appropriate outfit for the occasion. I love the details of the accessories, especially the gloves. My granddaughter took 14 years of dance lessons and had gloves and wigs (and plenty of barely appropriate outfits) but she did put the bits and pieces together with other dresses to make other outfits also. We paid a pretty price for those accessories, but she is an expert now with makeup and accessories. We did formal outfits and Halloween costumes. I am happy I know how to sew, even if she doesn't---her mother and I still laugh about a "FIX" I did to one of her first maxi-dresses. It was a casual summer sundress, but she loved the plunging neckline (and actually developed her adult figure fairly late, so got away with it for a while.) After a few wearings, she brought it to me for mending--had stepped on the hem and pulled out some of the waist seam. While fixing that, I also sewed the neckline up a good two inches higher, and she never noticed until we told her about it when she was a couple years older! (She's much more modest now, but does have a good figure--and has learned a little more about looking elegant instead of eye-catching.)

    You and Winter both must be very proud of providing a stunning look with a minimum of money. The lesson will serve her well throughout her life. And I'd guess she got some advice during the alteration phase from her clever and artistic mother! The sleeves look very nice and you would never guess they had originally looked any different. Great job, both of you!

  • Mariana January 09, 2017

    I love the lace top of the dress. Looks like a $160 dress to me!

  • Jennifer Brown January 09, 2017

    A lovely look for a lovely young lady. Great job, Winter! Brandi, the pictures and the resourceful nature of you all are amazing. I hope they had a wonderful time.

  • Lili@creativesavv January 09, 2017

    That's really wonderful, Brandy and Winter! Winter, your dress-altering skills are superb. You will be able to clothe yourself, beautifully, for life,at little cost, with those skills. And Brandy, you have taught your daughter such great resourcefulness. Well done! To both of you!

  • Mandy January 09, 2017

    Winter looks absolutely beautiful and classy! She is very talented :)

  • Roberta in So. Cal. January 09, 2017

    Just lovely.

    Being able to make alterations is a skill that will come in handy many times, I'm sure. (I wish I could just sew well enough to make things that could be worn in public.)

  • Cate January 09, 2017

    She is turning out to be quite a beautiful young lady! It seems as though her talents are just as beautiful. You are to be commended, Brandy.

  • Gabrielle January 09, 2017

    Winter and the dress are both gorgeous!!! As always, she did an amazing job. I love the entire oufit! Kudos to both of you!

  • Christina January 09, 2017

    Amazing!! I wish I could take a dress apart and put it back together.

  • RMF325 January 09, 2017

    She looks great, and she must be a fantastic seamstress, accessories designer and hair/makeup artist to have done everything as beautifully as she did. The photos are wonderful; hope she had a terrific evening at the dance!

  • Ann Lee S. January 09, 2017

    I'm very taken with Winter's ability to produce that lovely hairdo on her own!! Did the mustang have a bath, he is so clean and white in the photos!! beautifully done Winter. Ann Lee S Vancouver Island, BC Canada

  • The girls discussed it and they don't give the horse a bath in winter to keep her from getting sick. They did discuss giving her a good brushing before the photos, but I don't know if the other girls did or not.

    Winter does her hair up all the time; if you look at my previous post she is wearing her hair the same way (including the hair comb), but wearing a sweater and jeans. She follows tutorials on Pinterest and You Tube, and if she sees a style without a tutorial she always tells me she knows how to do it. She says Pinterest is better than any magazine!

  • Jennifer Wilkerson January 09, 2017

    Beautiful!!! You all amaze me with your skills and talents

  • Melody January 10, 2017

    So much talent and beauty you both possess. Thank you for sharing!

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