Lovely Laurel-Vintage Prom Dress Refashion

One of the first dresses I ever made was this lovely Laurel back in 2013.  I have a few of my mothers vintage hand sewn dresses that have hung in my closet since she gave them to me when I was a teenager. I really hate to have things just sit unworn though. I decided once my sewing improved I’d refashion some of these dresses to make them wearable.

My mother made the original dress (that’s her below!) back in 1966 for her Junior Prom.  It’s a lovely cream lace overlay tea gown with a fitted bodice and waist, short sleeves and back zip. It fit me to a tee as you can see in the before pics below.  I’m so in awe that my mom made this at just 16!

My Mom-Junior Prom- 1966

My Mom cicra 1966 Handmade Dress. Lovely Laurel-Vintage Prom Dress Refashion


Me-Before Pictures-2013

Lovely Laurel-Vintage Prom Dress Refashion Laurel Refashion-Before. Lovely Laurel-Vintage Prom Dress Refashion

The underlay was a satin that had since discolored and had a few stains I couldn’t get out.  I wanted to preserve as much of the lace as possible so I first separated the dresses’ lace from the satin.  I thought a shift dress would be the perfect silhouette for the amount of fabric left was left after working around the stains.  I felt the silhouette is still modern but appropriate to the original era of the dress.

Laurel Dress Colette Patterns

One of the first pattern companies I started sewing with as a beginner was Colette Patterns. Those patterns really taught me how to sew.  The directions were easy to follow even as a newbie. Plus I’m a sucker for pretty packaging!  I snapped up the Laurel Pattern as soon as it was released and made this dress.

I kept the scalloped lace hem of the original dress as my new hem.  I underlined the entire dress with a sheer cotton in a coral color (it’s actually a curtain sheer) to add a bit of contrast to the cream lace.  I kept a 3/4 sleeve-which I always love- and kept the silhouette simple.  I made this back in 2013 so my memory isn’t perfect, but I’m pretty sure I cut a straight 8 using Version 1.

Here are the original pictures after I first made it:

Lovely Laurel-Vintage Prom Dress Refashion Lovely Laurel-Vintage Prom Dress Refashion. Laurel Refashion After Shots 2013, Sew Pomona

As you can see it turned out a bit shorter than I’m really comfortable with. So it didn’t get worn as much as planned.   I probably would have lengthened the pattern if I had been more experienced.  But it’s still well constructed and I love knowing I’m wearing something that my mother wore too.  That’s why I was so excited when I realized over Me Made May this year that this looks fab as a tunic over jeans.  I may have to make a pair of matching shorts or coral leggings to wear with this as well.

Worn for MMM 2016:


Lovely Laurel-Vintage Prom Dress Refashion

Lovely Laurel-Vintage Prom Dress Refashion

Isn’t it wonderful knowing you’re wearing something old and making it new again!  Happy Sewing!

11 thoughts on “Lovely Laurel-Vintage Prom Dress Refashion”

  1. What a great refashion! It’s so cool that you have some of your mom’s handsewn stuff, and even cooler that you sew well enough to remake them for yourself.

  2. It really makes me happy to see this dress again in all its iterations! “A thing of beauty is a joy forever!” And I’m also talking about you! Just beautiful!

    1. Thanks Mom! I’ve always been so impressed with the clothes you used to sew! Glad you’re talent passed to me. Love you! :)

  3. really lovely – both are very dressy and each in their own way. V impressed with your moms dress, my own prom dress was finished by hand and with a few safety pins as i rushed it at the end and sewing machine refused to do any more!

  4. That is a BEAUTIFUL refashion! I agree that your mom’s 16-year-old sewing skills must have been pretty stellar. My husband grew up near Detroit and that picture of your mom looks so much like the neighborhood he grew up in! Crazy! Thanks for sharing. I really love what you did with this.

    1. Thanks so much Lisa! I agree, I’m super impressed with my mom’s skill. You should see her wedding dress! Crazy that your husband recognized the background. My mom’s family is from MI- she grew up in a suburb of Detroit, in Dearborn. Small world :)

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