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Bridesmaid Revisited: Flapper Fringe Swing Dress

Source: Blueprint, July/August 2007


Always a bridesmaid -- and you have the bank account and clothes closet to show for it. Yes, they may be pretty dresses, but something keeps you from wearing them again. To that end, here is an easy alteration for after the altar. The silk-taffeta ensemble you wore only once need not sit in your closet till death do you part. Here's how to turn weddingwear into ready-to-wear.

Flapper Fringe Swing Dress
If only Maria had come from a cathouse, and not a convent, the Von Trapps' dresses she fashioned from curtains might have looked like this. Cut the fringe curtain to approximately knee length, then again to fine-tune the hemline. Since the fringe is never attached directly to the dress, this can be a temporary change.


  • Ankle-length navy blue strapless dress minus 24 inches of length

  • 44-inch-wide fringe window curtain

  • 2 hooks-and-eyes

  • Scissors


  1. Using a sewing machine or a needle and thread, shorten the full length dress. To maximize the flapper appeal (and to make the most of the model's great legs), hem the dress at mid-thigh.

  2. Cut the fringe curtain to about knee length (to make it more manageable).

  3. Wrap the curtain around yourself, at your upper chest, and use a pin to mark the spot where they meet. Add about three inches to that circumference -- to allow for a light overlap -- and cut.

  4. Sew one hook-and-eye set at the top of the curtain's band, at the pin placed in step 3; add another a few inches below, at the bottom edge of the band.

  5. Put on the dress, then fasten on the fringe. Enlist a friend to snip the fringe so it's a little less than an inch longer than the dress hem. (You can do this yourself using a dress form or a skirt hanger.)

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