31 Days · Color · Sewing · Style

31 Days: Color – Day 26: Prom Dress Skirt, The Rust-Colored Version

I have been looking forward to this project all month. And it’s October, so I love orange more than ever, so even though I’ve got Halloween costumes to sew, I took a break from it to work on this skirt today. (Which really just plays into the idea that I procrastinate on the projects I’m not thrilled about, but I carve out time for the ones I do. But we all do that, right? We prioritize what we really want to do and sometimes push off what we NEED to do. Hmm, really want to ponder this more, but there’s not time right now. “IN NOVEMBER” is my new mantra!)

orange rust prom dress

So this dress. It’s a prom dress that’s way too big, but I loved the color when I saw it. (It reminded me of this bronze skirt I pinned a few months ago.) I was at a garage sale on the other side of town, and this woman had lots of clothes that her daughters had cleaned out. She said all the clothing was $1. I found a bag of old prom dresses and started getting excited. (Didn’t show it of course – you have to have a good poker face if you’re haggling at a yard sale.)

“A dollar for these dresses, too?” I asked.

“I don’t know, they are nice dresses. They are worth more than $1 for the fabric alone.” This was true. I was already thinking of what I could make for BG with the pink and blue gauzy layered dress and was wondering if I would be up for converting the emerald green beaded dress into a skirt.

“Do you want all of them?” she asked.

“Yes, I like them all. I think there are four dresses in here.”

“You can have them for $5.”

SOLD! Apparently they were worth much more than a dollar for the fabric – like, 25 cents more.


Turns out the dress is made of 4 layers – a top layer of mesh that is embellished with ribbon, another layer of mesh, a layer of satin, and then a layer of a different satin. Even though I was planning to use this technique to turn it into a skirt, I could tell that working with so much fabric was going to be challenging.


Did you notice the little “evening bag” that came with it? After I finished the project and after Husband came home from work, he asked BG to take her purse to her room.

“That’s not my purse, Daddy!”

“Are you sure? I don’t think it’s Mama’s purse.”

“It’s not mine.”

I said, “It’s mine, but you can have it if you want.”

Two minutes later, she came to find me in the kitchen. “I really don’t want this purse, Mama, but thank you.”

I feel the same way.


In an attempt at corralling all that fabric, I started with a quick baste stitch just below the bodice to secure the layers together.


Then I chopped off the bodice.


Next I measured about how long I wanted the skirt and marked that with chalk. (And then my chalk ran out! I’ve been using this chalk pen for over 10 years! I was shocked. And I have LOADS more sewing to do this week, so I grabbed a piece of regular school chalk from BB’s stash. Hope it works just as well.)


Because the dress is so big, I needed to gather it (using this technique) before attaching it to the elastic waistband.


With the dress inside out, I placed the elastic waistband on the inside and pulled the basting threads to make it snug. Then I ran a regular straight stitch (while stretching the elastic a bit) along the top and turned it right side out.

DIY Skirt from a Prom Dress

And here it is, my rust-colored version of a tulle skirt.

DIY Skirt from a Prom Dress

And honestly, I was surprised that the skirt ended up the same length in the front and the back. I was working very quickly and not too precisely, but it turned out beautifully.

DIY Skirt from a Prom Dress

DIY Skirt from a Prom Dress

It’s funny that today was orange day, because there were lots of projects going on in my house today that happened to be orange. One is a little treat for the staff at the preschool (no pics because I want them to be a surprise!)…

orange yarn…and the other involved orange yarn. (I loved how pretty these yarn balls looked in this old wooden bowl I found last week. As we were leaving swim lessons, our swim teacher said, “You do garage sales, right?” Does a one-legged duck swim in circles? “I stopped by a great one on the way into town, and I called my mom to tell her about it, too.” We went, ran into our swim teacher and her mom, and dug through the antiques. This bowl came home with me.)

crochet orange

I haven’t crocheted in years, but I had an idea that a piece of Husband’s Halloween costume would work if I crocheted part of it. I had to take it out twice, but I think I’m remembering how to do it. This will be a quick project – shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes. I’d forgotten how relaxing it is to spend a cozy fall evening on handwork. Not that I need another project right now. Maybe in November?

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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6 thoughts on “31 Days: Color – Day 26: Prom Dress Skirt, The Rust-Colored Version

  1. Rust- I never really thought of it as a color to wear but it is the perfect fall color and looks amazing on you! PS: When you say “In November” is it like when Olaf sings “In Summmmmeerrrrr”? Cause that is how I read that. And I bet you are singing it to yourself now ;)


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