18th Century Diva

Sometimes we all need that exquisite and elegant dress. You know, that one that makes us feel powerful, gorgeous, and out of this world!

After watching Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst, I decided I needed a dress that resembled the luxury of the 18th century royalty! I just needed to acquire this dress cheaply 🙂

In my usual fashion, I searched through racks at thrift stores and the Goodwill, only to find just the pieces I needed!

Stories of Petey - 18th Century Diva - Floral Dress
Stories of Petey - 18th Century Diva - Brown Dress
Stories of Petey - 18th Century Diva - White Shirt

After purchasing everything, I got my plan in order.  I printed off pictures of dresses in movies that I liked, and got my vision in mind.  I am a very visual person, and often picture how something will look when finished, and go from there. 

When finally getting started, first thing was first.  I took the simple floral dress and cut out the shoulder pads! 

Stories of Petey - 18th Century Diva- Cutting Neckline

Next I began cutting the neckline of the dress into a square shape.  I ended up cutting off one of the buttons, but that’s ok.  Another button to add to my button collection!  You can never really have enough buttons.  You have no idea when you will need one!  These buttons were perfect.  They were antique looking buttons that matched the style that I was going for, but I know that I can use the extra one if need be for something else.

Stories of Petey - 18th Century Diva- Smoothing Seams

After cutting the neckline I folded over the edge and sewed the edges so that they were smooth and rounded instead of jagged from being cut.  I never measure or pin, so I don’t really care if my sewing is straight or not.  I just have fun and go with the flow.

Stories of Petey - 18th Century Diva- Sewing Neckline

After this I cut off the neckline of the white shirt, and sewed it to my floral dress.  It added the old fashioned look that I was going for.

Stories of Petey - 18th Century Diva- Cutting Off White Sleeve

I then cut off the sleeves of the white shirt, and sewed them to the sleeves of the dress.  I turned the dress inside out to sew the sleeves on.  I did accidentally sew the sleeves shut, and even though this added time to my project I didn’t mind. That is what seam rippers are for!

Stories of Petey - 18th Century Diva- Cutting Off Front Dress

The final thing that I had to do to the floral dress was to cut out the front middle section of the bottom of the dress.  I needed it to be open, to show off my brown dress that was going to be the underskirt.

After cutting out the middle I folded the edges over and sewed them to smooth the edges out.

Stories of Petey - 18th Century Diva- Cutting Off Dress Top

For the brown dress, I knew that I only wanted to use it as a skirt.  So I ended up cutting off the top of the dress. 

Stories of Petey - 18th Century Diva - Creating Drawstring

Then I decided that instead of using a zipper or elastic to make this bottom part of the dress into a skirt that I would just turn it into a drawstring skirt.  It really was double my size (in width), so I needed to make it smaller anyways. 

To do this, I folded over the top of the skirt and sewed it, leaving space enough to pull a string through.

Stories of Petey - 18th Century Diva - Creating String

I made my own matching string by taking a wrap that came with the dress, cutting off a strip, and sewing it so that it was a smooth string ready to use.

Stories of Petey - 18th Century Diva - Pulling String Through

Pulling a string through proved difficult though, because it kept getting lost inside.  I ended up tying the string to a pen, and pulling the pen through.  Worked like a charm!

And there you have it.  By putting on the skirt, and top floral dress I ended up with a fabulous 18th Century Marie Antoinette inspired dress!  The only downfall to this dress is that the bottom skirt is so hot that my legs were sweating just after a few minutes of taking the pictures..lol…

Stories of Petey - 18th Century Diva - Final Dress

The whole dress cost about $12.97, not including tax or cost of thread (I really didn’t use much thread at all).  That is a pretty good price for such a great costume! 

Well, I hope that this post has inspired you to get out there and create something of your own.  It can be anything you want.  Anything is possible when we give ourselves over to our imaginations!


Have you ever made your own costume? How did it turn out? Don’t forget to comment or reach out to me on:

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Published by storiesofpetey

I am a lover of stories, addicted to reading and writing. I love to draw and paint, sew and work on projects. My greatest moments are spent escaping into the little adventures of life. I love little adventures!

2 thoughts on “18th Century Diva

  1. You are so clever and talented, the dress is beautiful, great work. I remember my mom countless hours at her sewing machine making our dresses, skating skirts and costumes and lots of alterations. Mom loved sewing just like you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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