Cotton Candy Dress

The 70s are back. This time almost every fashion trend of the time is incarnate in one dress. OK, not quite, but it’s a doozy.

Before - Oh, and I cut my own hair again. Haha. I just got it cut, but there was just no texture or volume and I had what looked like a tail. OK. Wow, too much info for a caption. 😛

Everything about this dress alludes to the 70s: the Grecian-style, the crinkly, accordion pleats, the overdone lace, the large, billowy sleeves, even the rosy pink color. While I am a fan of some things birthed in the ‘70s (Mostly music—judge if you will, but I love my Classic Rock), this dress is just too overkill for me.

Sans the lace and pink color, this dress would be reminiscent of Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leah costume in Star Wars.

Girl Power!

All I need is one of these Princess Leia Wig Hats—perfect for the upcoming fall. 😉

Knitting pattern from Bleu Arts on Etsy:

The color and the small crinkled pleats of today’s dress, remind me of the dress pictured below. I found it at an antique store; it’s currently in my Etsy shop.

Rose pleated dress

The difference between the two dresses is that the one pictured above doesn’t need alteration to be worn in a modern context, whereas the lacy, crinkly dress indisputably does. Plus, the lacy dress is pretty large.

Way too big!

Since, I’m not getting ready for an action adventure in space anytime soon (or planning on becoming Lucas’ idea of a space princess), some changes are in order.

To begin Operation  MyLook, I cut off those sleeves.

Shearing off the sleeves

Before taking apart the skirt and bodice, I basted around the top of the skirt in order to ensure that the pleats would stay in place.


Then, I separated the skirt and the bodice.

The dress got too up close and personal with a lightsaber...

I envisioned two garments resulting from this dress.

First, with the help of some fabric scraps I found at the thrift store, I would create a dress.

The light blue fabric scraps that I came across in a bag of scraps form the thrift store (Total cost for the bag, $2)

I removed the lace from both of the sleeves.

Detaching the lace from the sleeves

These would become the front and back of the bodice, which I lined with the blue fabric. I liked the idea of giving the lace more character, by putting a different color behind it.

Blue behind the lace

In order to hide the ends of the straps on the inside of the lining, it was necessary to cut two sets of each piece of the blue lining. A zipper would ensure the best fit. So, I measured and cut out two long strips for the front of the bodice, and four shorter strips for the back.

Cutting the lining- The double lining was a good idea because this fabric is a loosely woven knit, and is semi-sheer.

The skirt was just too big. There was only one seam on the skirt (it was on one side), so I measured and took the skirt in at that seam. I turned the skirt so that this seam would be in the back, which would allow for a zipper.

Cutting the down the middle of the back of the skirt

I used the excess fabric strips cut from the seam to create straps.

Adding the straps to the bodice, between the two layers of lining

Next, the skirt met the blue part of the new bodice…and it was love at first stitch.

Sewing the skirt and bodice together

I gathered the lace at the side seams so that there would be a slight ruched effect in the front.

Gather at the side seam

I then added the lace section of the bodice, with the bottom of the lace just at the skirt-bodice seam.

Adding the lace

The zipper was all that was needed to complete the merger of skirt and bodice. I used a recycled periwinkle zipper from a garment I’d taken apart some time ago.

I’ve never liked zippers very much (simply because of how long it can take to put them in), but I’ll be the first to admit they’re an important tool.

As I was sewing all of the pieces together, the colors reminded me of cotton candy. So, here is the cotton candy dress…

Here it is, paired with a lavender ribbon.

I love the look of this dress. I’m just not sure I can call it a success, despite the fact that I spent way more time on it than any other reconstructions to date. The zipper is just not as professional looking as I’d like.

It's perfect for a wedding, or other special occasions.

Without the belt

In an upcoming post, I will reveal the second garment made from this dress, and the dress made from the bodice of Saturday’s dress.

Just a little side note:

I have wanted to get this book for over a year now, and I finally ordered it with some birthday money.

"How to Make Your Own Shoes," by Mary Wales Loomis

I cannot wait to start making some matching shoes! The best part will be the perfect fit. 🙂 I have abnormally wide feet (those wide load signs come to mind), so I have the hardest time finding shoes.

About Becca

I am a self-taught seamstress, and I love to create unique women’s clothing. This blog is a record of the hodgepodge of sewing projects that occupy my time. Reconstruction projects are my favorite, but I also create clothing from my own designs using both recycled and new materials.
This entry was posted in clothing, diy, dress, recycled, repurposed, retro, sewing, thrifted, vintage and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Cotton Candy Dress

  1. Sarah Lewis says:

    Well, I’m proud of you for taking my advice and giving us some of the cost of your projects. After all that hard work and thinking, thinking, thinking…COST: $2.00 or whatever. It gives a person hope!! :o)

  2. KJBuff says:

    I am absolutely in LOVE with this dress. I want, I want, I want.

  3. Michelle Laffoon says:

    I love it, great job again. Also love the princess Leia wig, gotta look for that knitting pattern LOL. 😀

  4. Laurie Laffoon says:

    Now I want some cotton candy!

  5. Fabi says:

    The dress is so romantic… I just want to wear it holding hands with my hubby watching the sunset… So cute!

  6. wow, I really love this and you are fantastic. I’ve been dabling in upcycling clothing. I’ve been doing it for my girls, they are 1 and 2. So doing it for myself is quite liberating. I like the idea of wearing clothes no one else has. I like knowing that my imagination is at work and I am creating something helpful. I am a stay at home mom so its nice to feel accomplished in more then just meals and toilet training. Thank you for your inspiration and if I was as small as you I would buy all your dresses. ADORABLE. Thank you.

    • Thanks so much! Yeah, I love knowing that nobody else has the clothes that I do. I just checked out your blog, and I can’t wait to see more of your projects. I’ll be watching for new posts. 🙂

  7. Vanessa says:

    I just wanted to say how much I love the final result of this dress! I agree that it is very romantic looking and so different from the original… that took quite a bit of creativity. Even if you spent a lot more time on this one, I think it came out totally worth it! Well done :o)

  8. Marissa says:

    LOVE IT! The perfect dress to end the summer.

  9. Mary says:

    Oh, you have great ideas! Very smart!

  10. verity says:

    i can’t belive that there is a wadsite called verity

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