Sunday, June 02, 2013

The Reveal...

If you haven't already slid over to the Mood Sewing Network to look at my niece's prom dress...it's below.  And if you have already viewed the pics and write up there, I've added some additional information below...


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...

Pattern ~
Butterick 4343

Fabric ~
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

Notions ~
22" bone color invisible zipper cut down to 14"
Taupe colored lace from the notions stash
Silk organza for the bodice

Construction Techniques:
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.



+ + + +


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!







41 comments:

  1. Absolutely, positively STUNNING!!!

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  2. ^^She took the words out of my mouth. This dress is simply stunning.
    What a lucky, lucky niece to have an aunt that will make something this special for her! And I bet she was the only one at prom in SILK, as opposed to polyester!

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  3. So incredibly beautiful and I can't wait to see what you do with her wedding dress when that comes.

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  4. Your niece looked beautiful in her dress, and I imagine everyone thought it was a designer dress (certainly the only one of its kind at the prom).

    Outstanding work.

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  5. Wow, fairy godmother aunt! She looks radiant!

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  6. She's so lucky to have you as an aunt! Beautiful work, and good job on all that hand sewing!

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  7. She looks stunning! What a great fit you got on the dress, it makes all the difference. Your niece is a beautiful girl, and I hope she had a wonderful time at her prom.

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  8. Such a beautiful girl in her amazing dress. I enjoyed following your posts about the making and the rescue was inspirational! Looking forward to your jacket adventures - that pattern has been on my table to make for a few years as well.

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  9. It is beautiful as is your niece. You always do fabulous work!

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  10. Beautiful dress and niece, Carolyn. She gives Beyonce a run for her money in this one!

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  11. Simply stunning! Your neice is so beautiful. I know it's a lot of work, but your heart must be singing with joy over this experience. One of a kind.

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  12. Beautiful niece, beautiful dress.

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  13. Wow! This is a stunning dress and looks great on your niece! I am sure she loved the dress. I am always impressed with your creations. I but your niece will keep this dress for a long time to remember the occasion.

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  14. Absolutely fabulous and perfectly enhances your lovely niece. It will be forever in her memory, and what a nice way to remember her Auntie!

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  15. You always amaze me, but this is extraordinary!

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  16. Holy cow - what a gorgeous dress! What a gorgeous girl (so poised and elegant). What an adorable couple. I love this!!!

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  17. A stunning dress. You did an awesome job on it. It looked perfect on your niece.

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  18. I can't add anymore to what's already been said - you did a beautiful job for a beautiful niece. Great photo of the handsome couple. I hope they had a great time!

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  19. They look like they are ready for the red carpet! Wonderful! ~Teri

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  20. Absolutely stunning dress and your niece is beautiful.

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  21. Absolutely beautiful dress and great looking couple!

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  22. This looks amazing. Your niece looks beautiful and elegant. I have no doubt that she was the most gorgeous girl at the prom!

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  23. Wonderful dress, beautiful niece, and a terrific family to come together to make the occasion that much more special. What a gift you have given your niece.

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  24. Your niece look stunning. The dress is gorgeous. And your work is so well done.

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  25. She is gorgeous and so sophisticated in that dress!

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  26. Gorgeous and so elegant, the lace trim was a lucky find it goes with the fabric perfectly.

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  27. A stunning dress, beautifully sewn and modeled by a gorgeous lady. It looks like it came straight off park avenue. (Forgive me if I have the geography wrong. But straight from the classiest most expensive boutique).

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  28. Your niece is beautiful, and so is that dress!

    Have you posted photos of the other prom dresses you've sewn? I'd love to see those as well.

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  29. Absolutely impeccable sewing! You've really outdone yourself, and your niece looks stunning!

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  30. I can't get over how stunning this dress is! It's absolutely perfect! Your niece is gorgeous! Dude. You HAVE to do her wedding gown now-- I really wanna see it! :D

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  31. I can tell from the photos that your niece feels elegant in her beautiful one-of-a-kind dress. That makes all the work worthwhile! Girl and dress are gorgeous!

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  32. What a beautiful dress on a beautiful girl. She looks stunning and very classy. What a wonderful Auntie you are!

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  33. What a breathtaking dress!! You can tell that a lot of love went into it. She looks stunning. Great job!

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  34. The dress is beautiful, and your niece is so fresh-faced and gorgeous! I love that last photo too.

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  35. It's stunning!As is your niece. Great photos; glad she appreciated your hard work.

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  36. This dress is beautiful! You did a terrific job and it flatters her so well! I'm starting out sewing dresses and this was really inspiring :)

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