Added May 31, 2013
My prom dress! I have answered this question at least 150 times ever since I first started sewing “are you going to make your own prom dress?” The answer was always pretty much self explanatory if you knew how many hours of the day I spend in my room sewing.
The dress was completely hand drafted. Over 23 separate pattern pieces were drafted for this dress. It felt so much like a jig saw puzzle while drafting and measuring everything out. I used two different kinds of chiffon for the overlay. One was a plain, navy chiffon, and the other was a navy chiffon with small, gold dotted, grid lines which I used in the detailing of the dress. If you’ve ever worked with chiffon before you’ll know that it’s not the most user friendly of all the fabrics. I had to be very thoughtful of the grainline, otherwise the pattern would distort itself when it was moved to the sewing machine and the fit would be off.
The dress was sewn using all french seams to keep the overlay from unraveling and completely falling apart. Also I’ve found french seams to look sleeker when working with see-through fabric. The seam placements are actually details of the dress itself. Everything was cut out to create a triangle shape. The skirt seams were placed to create a triangle effect going down towards the skirt; this is also echoed in pleated seam around the v-shaped neckline in the front and back.
There are a total of 5 godets in the front, side and back using the gold speckled fabric so when I walked the gold would pop, but only very subtly. There’s a slight train in the back godet of the dress, but nothing too long. I wanted to be sure that I could still dance without getting stepped on all night.
The lining is a completely separate dress made from bright cobalt satin fabric. At first I was going to use navy for the lining, but when I held the under the overlay, the detail of the french seams were lost. With the cobalt it was still blue enough to look navy, but at the same time show off the detail of the seams.
I was working on the dress far into the early morning (4am) of the day of the prom. I finished sewing the last detail of my dress literally 30 minutes before I left to get ready with the other girls. Overall I’d say around 90 hours went into the construction of this dress.
More details and photos over on my blog. http://esther-fromthesticks.blogspot.com/
Chiffon, satin, invisible zipper, thread.
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