Design-a-Dress Birthday Party!

On July 8th, a group of girls cut, sewed, and glued their way to a unique dress at Miss Patsy's 9th birthday party! Patsy's mother had the idea, so she collected plain vintage bridesmaid dresses from thrift stores. She enlisted me to help with the technical sewing- customizing the structure as directed by the girls and fitting the slightly oversize dresses to the girls. I helped them change lengths, add slits, and re-imagine necklines and straps. It was hard work, but so much fun! It was great practice having to work with a "client" quickly under pressure. Once the dresses fit, the girls had fun rummaging through the trims, laces, feathers, sequins, flowers, and ribbons that were set up in stations. I taught some of them how to use a sewing machine, while some of them chose to add flair with hot glue.

Once the girls finished embellishing the dresses to their liking, they headed to Makeup and selected a few accessories. Then they made their way to the runway for, drum roll please: a red carpet fashion show! as Glamorous by Fergie blasted through the speakers, the party-goers walked down the red carpet (a red plastic banquet tablecloth) making sure to strike a pose here and there. Each dress said something about the maker's personal style- there was a blue and green earthy dress, a bold red dress with black flowers, and a simple, yellow dress with white lace, to name a few. The show was caught on video camera, and a roving spotlight (a camping light) added more excitement.

It made me happy to see the girls confidently showcase the re-imagined dresses they worked so hard on! This party encouraged the girls to tap into their own creativity, and also reinforced positive body image. The family put so much effort into this day of design, and I was pleased to be part of it!


  1. So cool! What a great idea for a girl's birthday party! I can't imagine recreating that many dresses on the spot. Way to go, Sarah - that must have been a lot of hard work!

  2. I love this! Is the runway show online? I would love to see what everyone created!

  3. It was a lot of hard work, but the girls were so excited about the whole thing that it didn't seem like work! I haven't gotten a copy of the video yet, but once I do I will see if they mind it being online.