Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Prom Progress

This is an update on the prom dress. First, I am not usually nervous when I sew. Sewing is calming for me. It smooths everything out and creates a peaceful environment. Sewing soothes my soul. Making this prom dress has been so fraught with anxiety for me that until I did my daughter's first fitting, I was completely unnerved.

This dress is a big deal to my daughter. She is a senior in high school and this is the most important dance she will ever attend, well until her wedding! Since she was a little girl, I have been dreaming about making this dress for her. My desires for her to have a great dress almost got the best of me. It took me forever to cut the dress out. Then when it was cut out, I took out several seams several times, because I want this dress to be perfect. I don't want it to look homemade when her classmates will be wearing store bought dresses that will cost of hundreds of dollars. I want my daughter to look beautiful. So, this has not been a calm or peaceful process.

Below is a picture of the beginning elements of the dress. I am using a Vogue pattern that I made for my niece's prom dress last year. A forest green polyester crepe, crystal piping, and a crystal art deco style trim for the straps.

I spent today putting the dress together. My hands shook the entire time! My mouth was dry and I kept wondering if I was up to the task of making my daughter look beautiful. It didn't help that my family reminisced on Sunday at dinner about some of the dresses I had previously made for my eldest daugher ~ not very flattering stories I might add ~ and their skepticism also concerned me. I just didn't want to fail my daughter.

So I got the dress constructed and it was time for the first fitting. The pictures of the fitting are below.

This is the back view of the dress - first fitting.

This is the front view of the dress - first fitting.

We made several changes. First, the darts were enlarged. I had deliberately sewn the darts smaller because my daughter is a little bustier than my niece but she needed the darts made deeper for contouring. Also since my daughter is pear shaped, I needed to decrease the 5/8" side seams to 3/8" which gave her more room around her hips. I also changed the ruching on the backside and added bra cups to the top. We have changed the straps on the dress, it will be a halter neck with the art deco crystal strip sewn to a silk organza ribbon to provide some support for the crystal string when tied.

We did one more fitting and like the way the dress fits now through the waist and hips. So tomorrow evening I will hand sew the zipper in, add the piping and line the dress through the top. My daughter loves her dress and her reply to my nervousness, "I was never worried. I knew you would make me the perfect dress!"

And with that my hands finally stopped shaking!


  1. There is no way that this dress is going to look homemade! It's looking absolutely beautiful and I just love the idea of a halter neckline.

  2. First of all, your daughter would look beautiful in a potato sack!

    Secondly, this dress is stunning and custom made, not "homemade." Unless homemade means made with love *smile*

    Thank you for being so honest about how this dress is making you so nervous. It shows sewists like me that even the women I look up to get unnerved at times!


  3. This is going to be stunning....what a fun dress..
    Can't wait to see pictures of the day of the event


  4. Wow! Dress is going to be perfect!

  5. Interesting site. Useful information. Bookmarked.


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