I've made a few prom dresses over the years. Generally I shy away from this type of sewing because of the high expectations for the dress. I don't want to dash someone's dreams. However, every once in awhile someone special to me asks if I will make a dress for them...usually I end up agreeing. This year it was my niece.
First some information on the materials used to make the dress...
4 yards of 45" wide mint green silk crepe back satin from Mood Fabrics
3 yards of 60" peach polyester lining from Mood Fabrics
4 yards of 14" mint green embellished lace trim from Mood Fabrics
22" bone color invisible zipper cut down to 14"
Taupe colored lace from the notions stash
Silk organza for the bodice
I covered a lot of the construction details in these posts...along with the drama of the fitting challenges. However, there were a few things I wanted to highlight about the making of this dress.
Even though the lace is stitched onto the fashion fabric in the bodice area, there is a silk organza underlining basted to the fashion fabric to give the silk body and to hold all of those hand stitches without crumpling.
The sleeve was made by cutting it out in silk organza and then the lace was stitched to it. It was made longer than the sleeve I stole from another pattern because my niece wanted the pointed sleeve hem with thread chain that's used in bridal dresses, as part of her dress.
After I tore the dress apart to give her more room in the bodice area, I also added a silk organza gusset to the sleeve in the under arm area. I did this so that it would fit the dress' armhole that now had it's own 2.5" gusset.
I added my signature lace trim embellishment to the lining. It seemed to add a really nice dimension to the dress.
But I have to tell you that I did machine stitch the lining to the fashion fabric at the front slit. I really wanted this area to hold together and I was worried that my hand stitching might pop with the getting in and out of the party bus (yes limos are passe, a party bus is how they get to the prom now!!)
I cut the zipper down to 14" because I wanted the dress to open up so that she could get into it but I didn't want an unsightly zipper ALL the way down the side of the dress.
The sleeve hem and thread piece was totally improvised. I really meant to get back to the garment district to purchase an actual bridal accessory piece for this. I never made it...work was just too hectic. So I improvised by making my own thread chain and stitching over it. It's just okay but it works because by the time I got to this last thing, I was so done with the dress.
Finally there is a lot of hand stitching in this dress. Not only did I hand stitch the lace trim to the dress and the sleeve but I also hand stitched the lining into the dress. Mostly because the pearl and sequin embellishments in the lace made stitching it in by machine a nightmare. After a couple of broken pearls and broken needles, I realized that the only way I was going to successfully get the lining into the dress was by hand.
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A few more pictures of my niece wearing the dress at the piers in her home town prior to heading off to the prom...
This is my favorite picture from the photo shoot...
Isn't she just beautiful in this pic?! Her hair was done by my daughter, who spent the day with her and is responsible for the great pictures! Now you see why my daughter takes all of my pictures, she has such a great eye! And my niece's make-up was done by her sister. It truly was a family affair with her sisters in and out of her parents house all day, as well as aunts & uncles and friends. I was sent texts all day long with updates!
She sent me a note on Saturday morning to thank me for the dress...
"I had a good time Auntie and I absolutely loved my dress! I can't thank you enough for the amazing job you did on it! I love you!!" See isn't she just precious! Yeah, I think I'd make that wedding gown for her in the future! *LOL*
I'm so thrilled that the dress turned out well. It was worth the drama and the sweat & tears...
...as always more later!