Here is the before & after shots of my dress for Carnivale 2012.
Process: I found this ugly, ugly dress at Value Village, but those kinds of old beaded things can be transformed into awesomeness with some patience.
First, I cut the sleeves off, cut the top off (at the armpits, straight across), and turned it 90 degrees, making the side the front.
I got a strapless bra that matched the fabric fairly well, and hand-beaded a matching pattern onto it, to blend it to the rest of the dress. The dress was old, so the beads/sequins were quite aged & somewhat discoloured, which proved difficult to match when trying to buy supplies. Lots of beads fell off as I was hacking & slashing the dress, but I saved them all as I went, and used them to do the new beading… so the colours & shapes were identical, & I didn’t have to rely on imperfectly matched new ones.
As the dress was a bit small for me, I added a piece in the back: a double layer of black and black-with-gold-shimmer fabrics, gathered and draped sort of like a tail, and then added pieces that I saved from the sleeves, to decorate and blend the join. A dressmaker’s dummy is really handy for this part.
Add a line of sequins to a neck strap and voila. Tacky to terrific in two weeks!
And, this is what I made it for:
(Really wish I hadn’t been so nervous about trying to adjust that mic-height before I started…but hey, it was my first time singing for real into a microphone, so I’m cutting myself some slack.)