10-minute swank. Alternate Title: Instant Evening Gown DIY

Gown 002

Dress: Self made. Shoes: Charlotte Russe, purchased at Goodwill $4.99. Earrings: Gift from parents. Bracelet: Vintage rhinestones, gift from grandmother

Last summer, I made a maxi-length swimsuit coverup inspired by this lovely post. Short version: cut a rectangle of fabric as long as you want and wide enough to reach from one shoulder, wrap around your back, and back up to the opposite shoulder. Add straps. You’re done. Check out the post, though, it’s gorgeous. It was on the “fresh pressed” list for WordPress at the time, and while I’d seen other tutorials for similar swimsuit coverup dresses, something about the grommet and the chain made the dress appeal to me in a way others (including commercial versions) don’t.

It took about 10 minutes and under $20, and was intended to be worn at a convention in Las Vegas, to a pool party. But that dress was never actually worn. It was torn up and made into ninja masks so we could infiltrate a different party. Ok, maybe “infiltrate” isn’t the correct word, we were pretty conspicuous. But it just goes to show how easy and inexpensive this project is.

Worth it.

Worth it.

Recently I made another one. This time, instead of a swimsuit coverup, I wanted a dress that I could wear to a fancy dress party. So I added bra cups on the inside using a hand-stitched blind hem technique, and hand sewed in a few other spots so the slit wouldn’t suddenly open all the way up.  This makes the dress no longer a wrap and a tiny bit difficult to put on, as it’s easy to get muddled in the folds when I pull it over my head.  I also used lace edging instead of chains for the straps, mostly so that they would lie flat and not move around for dancing. The chains are beautiful, but much more suited for lounging and walking than dancing and pretending to be a spy.



The end result: I’m pretty happy with it. I mean, it’s not red carpet worthy, but hey, it took hardly any time or resources. I might go back and add a second layer of the black to the inside as a lining; very occasionally you can see a small peek of the ivory bra when I twist quickly, and the inside of the dress looks pretty awful since I used an old cut-up bra instead of sew-in cups. The lace sometimes gets twisted, too. But it stays in place well, even while doing high kicks and diving behind a couch with a custom-painted Nerf gun. Which is pretty much required.

2009-01-01 00.00.00-18

[Insert cheesy joke about a license to kill]

Cost: Depends on your fabric. A decent jersey shouldn’t run you more than $10/yard though, unless you’re really going all out. I needed somewhere in the ballpark of a yard at 40-something inches long and 40-something inches wide for the wraparound. This version was free, as the lace seam finishing was from my mom and the fabric was given to me by a friend. It pays to be known as a scavenger; people will give you stuff they’d otherwise throw out.

Difficulty: Very easy to make the coverup; you might not even need to sew! Fairly easy for the dress version, it can be a little bit tricky to secure the bra invisibly.

Time: Negligible, even with adding the cups.

This dress is a lot of bang for your buck, and a lot of wow for not a lot of time. Just make sure you get fabric that has some stretch and doesn’t fray.

P.S. This is the first post featuring makeup. O.o Proof that I’m not 100% anti beauty. I just don’t like a painted face to be everyone’s baseline. Also, there may come a day when I’ll learn to do all that fancy highlighting and contouring and underlining and blushing and eyebrow plucking and whatnot, but it is not this day. Just good old eyeshadow and lip gloss. It’s the schmanciest of fanciness in hippie-town.

Hi there.

Hi there.

P.P.S. Eat my shooooe.

Hurr hurr

I can’t stop giggling at my slightly quizzical expression and derpy, gross shoe. You’re welcome.


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