Saturday, April 19, 2014

Concert Dress Refashion: From Drab to Fab!

Here is my newest Refashion project!

As some of you know, I am a professional singer. A while ago, I refashioned a concert dress for a series of concerts around New Years Eve. Finally I am getting around to posting!

While I would definitely not ever order very cheap dresses from China over Ebay anymore nowadays (...!), I decided to transform this drab thing into a glamorous dress. In my defense: I didn't used to get paid enough for one concert to be able to spend hundreds of Euros on the dress alone...

Let's zoom in a bit. The old version had really cheaply made flower decorations. Nothing about it looked fancy, except that I really liked the shape in general, and it fit me perfectly, since I once even had a seamstress alter it for me...

 Funny thing is - for the concerts this dress was for I got paid a lot of money. I originally wanted to buy an amazing robe for them. But then I just didn't find anything I considered worth the money, which is why I ended up refashioning.

 I bought expensive embroidered lace fabric, which cost about the same amount a cheap new dress would have cost...

More zooming in from old (strange yellow stain-lines along the stitching...): new:

Here is the back before and after...

As I said, this fabric was really expensive... But isn't it gorgeous?

I bought the width I needed at the hem of the dress. Then, forming the shape of the skirt part, cut out some of the motifs "on the way up" and carefully stitched the tulle together again. Up close it looks a little Tim Burton-esque...

...but with the green skirt behind it and moving around it is really not bothersome...

This way I didn't have to cut through any of the embroidery.

There was A LOT of hand-sewing in general, and I really tried to be careful and precise.  Look at the stitching along the zipper...

 In the front I cut out the embroidery and stitched it on directly to the old dress, cutting away the tulle around the edges. It wasn't easy placing the flowers, since the motif isn't symmetrical, and since I had to cover up those strange stain-lines...
Here you see it pinned in place before I hand-stitched it on...

I am especially proud how I handled the sides. I left the tulle run to the side-seam, and cut out the motif which lapped over to the front, stitching it on carefully...

I placed some gold trim along the diagonal in the front, and more gold around the neck... - yes, all by hand.

For the first concert, the gold trim around the neck wasn't finished, and I discovered a safety pin and some un-stitched places afterwards too, haha!
After that, the dress did a fabulous job and got many compliments...

 This is the Musikverein in Vienna...

I'd say an amazing venue like this definitely needs a fabulous dress!

With all the gold around me, the dress looked perfect. Here is a somewhat unusual view of me in action...

It's a bit late to wish you all a Happy New Year now, so I'll just say Happy Easter instead ;-)

Take care,


  1. I realy impress !!! The dress is amazing ! I want to hear the voice that goes with the photos of the concert !

  2. Wunderschön !!!! Was für eine Arbeit , aber auch : was für ein gigantisches Ergebnis ! Das Kleid sieht sooo toll an Dir aus ! Ich bewundere die Geduld für solche Refashions
    LG Dodo

  3. Wow, fabulous. You really transformed that dress. And it does fit you so perfectly - worth saving.

  4. Rita Hatchett AdcockApril 20, 2014 at 3:35 AM


  5. You transformed the dress into a stunner! Excellent work.

  6. Wow, what a transformation. That picture of you in the dress says it all, the expression on your face says you feel like a million bucks, which is exactly how you look.

  7. Wow! It's so beautiful! Great job!

  8. You are such a talented girl, not only with needle and thread but also with your voice!! The dress turned out wonderful!

  9. So many secrets behind your appearance. I am really amazed with what you did with dress. Your ideas are so fresh and good. Who would say that a person with such profession do all these things. You are definitely an independent person. To be honest, thanks to you, I found a shoe making course here in Belgrade, Serbia, and I would like to attend it and make shoes for me as you already did. All the best, Maja

  10. Liebe Dodo, tausend Dank, was für ein schöner, enthusiastischer Kommentar! Liebe Grüsse zurück - Katja

  11. Maja, thank you so much! How fabulous that you found a shoe making course! You will have so much fun... My next post will be a shoe making post again, coming up very soon ;-)

  12. You did a FABULOUS job on that dress!!! What a rush to be on that stage in that dress singing!!! Just..... fairy tale like...............

  13. Brilliant, Katja YET I know already from previous visits to your blog: Usually I can put up my 'approval thumbs' blind. Keep going, please.
    Very very well done with this one as well - despite having been beautiful already before you beautified it even more.

    LG, Linda

  14. Linda! Thank you so much for that lovely comment! Makes me feel good! Have a wonderful day!

  15. … you rightfully can: do so with pride!