Sarah’s Style….. {ultimate little black DIY dress – for under $100}


It all started with an invite. New Year’s Day wedding, and that inevitable burning question of “what am I going to wear?”.

Sure I might be a little shallow with a smidgen of vain, but I know that I am not the only woman out there, who before my eyes finish scanning the time and place of event, I am already doing a thorough mental inventory of all possible dress scenarios in my closet!

Once I have determined that, yet again, “I have nothing to wear“‘, my rational side kicks in. After all, I now have a legitimate excuse to go shopping, or what I like to call…retail therapy.
But alas, my days of running into the city and spending the day idly browsing DVF & Dior on the 4th floor level of Saks, are far…no far, far…back in the past, and my single mom bank account is too blame.

So how do I satisfy my very real, self preserving need, to feel good by looking good when I go to yet another wedding as an almost (still no get) divorcé? My disposable income is not what it use to be. Every purchase I make these days,gets calculated and recalculated on the, must have now to live & don’t really need luxury, two sided scale -that is in my pocket book.

A new dress for a close friend’s wedding….even though, in my heart was a must have, my internal banker was seriously not having it.

My solution, it was time to get creative. I mean, I am going to go all sorts of, Project Runway creative. If they could make haute couture from candy wrappers, I could totally do something with my trusty glue gun and some imagination, right?

I did it. For under $100 at that! I created the ultimate little black dress that I found in Dress Barn (first time I was ever there), with a little help of some feathers & ribbon from my local Stitch & Sew shop, because I needed something that was going to add a few inches of length (the joys of being 5’10) , some cool fake jewelry from target and I was one well dressed mama.
Or at least in my head I was…good enough ;).

Here is how I did it:

What you will need: 1 dress, 1 4inch wide flat ribbon (my dress needed about 3 yards – enough for the hem), 2 inch wide ribbon for sleeve, feather trim for double layer hem and single layer sleeves, glue gun with sticks.

Step #1: Buy black dress with beading for the crazy price of $40 from Dress Barn (originally $50 but there was a 20% discount if you texted some code from your smart phone)

Step #2: Go to my favorite fashion/decor resource Stitch & Sew (ask for Beth, not only is she the best in guiding you to exactly what you need & exactly how much of it, she is the owner) and buy some cool looking feather trim and a large wide ribbon that you can glue it on. Total cost $40.

Step #3: Get your glue gun ready (or in my case borrow from my friend Margalit because I couldn’t find mine anywhere!!) and start glueing! First do one layer of feather trim on the bottom of the black ribbon, a little bit at a time to avoid drying out the hot glue and creating a sticky feathery mess. Repeat gluing with the second top layer of feathers, making sure to leave an 1 inch of black ribbon at the top empty for when we need to glue and attach it to the hem of the dress.

Step #4: Turn your dress inside out, and then slowly start gluing the feather lined ribbon(feather side down) to the hem of your dress. Make sure that the end of the hem meets the top of the feathers, with no empty ribbon sticking out!!


Step #5: Repeat above process with ribbon, feather trim and glue for both sleeves.

Step #6: Accessorize with some very good looking fake baubles from Target! (Bracelets from Target, rings I had). Total $16.99

Step #7: WEAR it with Pride! If you don’t blog about your DIY like me, everyone will think you bought this as a designer piece. I got a ton of compliments and I really think it looks like I spent a fortune on this dress.


Would love to know what you think? Do you want to see more Sarah’s Style DIY posts? Please comment below and let me know!

{full Sarah wedding photo courtesy of Sharon, Fashion-isha. Bejeweled hands photo courtesy of Margalit.}