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Alyce's Formal Dress

Added Nov 20, 2011

by natski

Sydney, Australia






My lovely sister Alyce asked me earlier this year if i could make her Formal Dress. Here in Australia, once your finish your final year exams you have a big dressy Formal to finish school.
In May we sat down and decided on a dress style- taking cues from Valentino’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection, but with a few changes- incorporating a strapless sweetheart shape and including a corselette.

Alyce’s style is refined and simple- she doesnt like a lot of bling or anything over the top, so we stuck to a dress that was simple and refined.

After making a trial that she was happy with we went to purchase our fabric from Tessuti , who i have always found to be extremely helpful and have a great range. We bought silk georgette and silk satin in a dusty rose and as we couldnt decide on the day we purchased over the phone our tulle in a latte colour.

The corselette was made from a cotton material (actually old sheets- it had a herringbone pattern and was very thick!) with steel boning and hook and eye tape finished with grosgrain ribbon.

The bodice was princess seam with five layers of material- tulle, silk georgette, silk satin, cotton material and silk duponi and plastic boning. The skirt was a half circle skirt made of tulle, silk georgette and silk satin. Unfortunately the silk materials were not wide enough to construct the skirt from two pieces- so these was made into quarters.

The flounces were constructed from tulle with an organza bias binding finish. It took me a bit of time to construct the front flounces because of the curved bodice.

The belt she wore is from Saba and her clutch is from Peep Toe shoes

While the dress took me a long time, as i am really only a beginner sewer, i am really stoked with the outcome. The idea was to have a dress that was simple, elegant and beautiful, just like Alyce, and i think, combined with her accessories, hair and make up, we nailed it. She got lots of compliments off her friends and the parents around.

I think she felt she looked beautiful and special- and on this alone, i am a really happy and proud big sister. I liked the fact that for one of her biggest moments in her life so far, i was able to help and bring her ideas and style to life.

Photos by Flutter and Click Photography

Material Notes

Silk Georgette
Silk Satin
Fine Tulle
Silk Duponi




Spring, Summer
Garment Type
Evening Wear
Cotton, Organza, Satin, Silk, Tulle

31 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • D7a6db275dcdb6b6756a4a484dbb9ae93866ead1_large

    Mar 31, 2014, 04.19 AMby Holly H

    Is the tulle silk?

    1 Reply
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      Apr 7, 2014, 12.59 PMby natski

      No it wasn’t, it was out our price range, however we bought the softest tulle we could without being silk

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    Oct 8, 2012, 01.52 PMby dmd1177

    I know I’m a bit late in writing a comment, but I think this dress is amazing. The fit is wonderful and the finished look is impeccable. Well done, your sister must have stole the show on the night, but in addition she now has a dress that she can adore for the rest of all time, knowing that it was made by her big sister with love. Absolutely adorable.

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    Jan 11, 2012, 11.23 PMby gemmaclaire

    This is absolutely stunning!!! Fantastic work! You are the best big sister ever!

    1 Reply
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      Mar 7, 2012, 07.09 AMby natski

      Thats so lovely of you to say!

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    Dec 6, 2011, 01.22 PMby jennifermhall

    I agree with everyone – you can well be very proud. Down the track you will make more I am sure. My daughters have asked me to help with theirs (2 so far) and my sisters asked me for their bridesmaids dresses and a bride gown after I made my own. With lots of time to dream and rework designs, plan the construction and make mock-ups (toiles) for good fitting, you will achieve anything. I have shared my recent grad dress for Tess. We are in Townsville.

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    Nov 28, 2011, 11.16 AMby chanel2005

    This dress is beautiful, it has an elegant and classy look, I’m from Australia too, keep up the good work, are you self taught or you studied somewhere?

    1 Reply
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      Nov 29, 2011, 06.48 AMby natski

      Thank you!

      i am a self taught sewer

  • P10707190_1_large

    Nov 27, 2011, 03.53 PMby chased-away

    this is beautiful!

  • Img_4018_large

    Nov 25, 2011, 05.52 PMby Mikki mannings


  • Charlie-deeshadows1_large

    Nov 23, 2011, 06.50 AMby smallone

    you are no way a beginner sewer! valentino should hire you tomorrow much prefer you interpretation.

  • Img_0007mb_large

    Nov 22, 2011, 09.33 AMby Dibii

    Absolutely stunning! I also can’t believe you are the begginer in sewing. I hope I can make something similar and find courage in me for making it. Great job, very inspiring!

    1 Reply
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      Nov 22, 2011, 10.33 AMby natski

      thank you!

  • Dsc09595avatar_large

    Nov 21, 2011, 07.22 AMby Ralf Schmitz

    one word: ADORABLE!!!!

    1 Reply
    • P1130366_large

      Nov 22, 2011, 10.32 AMby natski


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    Nov 21, 2011, 04.01 AMby pambox

    That is so ethereally beautiful, and really suits her in colour and cut. Incredibly well done!

    1 Reply
    • P1130366_large

      Nov 22, 2011, 10.29 AMby natski

      Thank you!

  • 5196510037_0646d0f80e_o_large

    Nov 21, 2011, 03.32 AMby kelepso

    Great replica, based on the inspiration. The photos look great too!

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    Nov 20, 2011, 09.56 PMby infinite-plus-one

    wow, this is absolutely gorgeous, i think i just feel in love

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    Nov 20, 2011, 08.50 PMby madebymeg

    absolutely stunning! i cannot believe that you are a beginner sewist. amazing!

    1 Reply
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      Nov 20, 2011, 08.55 PMby natski

      I have been sewing for around 2 years- this was the most challenging item i have made.

  • 149646_461287717745_580112745_6144100_1261499_n_large

    Nov 20, 2011, 08.45 PMby gaviccaabri

    Fabulous! She looks amazing. You made a fantastic job there :)

    1 Reply
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      Nov 20, 2011, 08.55 PMby natski

      Thank you

  • Black_stockings_-_alberto_varga_1930s__thumb_large

    Nov 20, 2011, 05.50 PMby natfraga


  • Black_stockings_-_alberto_varga_1930s__thumb_large

    Nov 20, 2011, 05.50 PMby natfraga


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    Nov 20, 2011, 05.37 PMby Chrissie Bee

    This dress is stunning! Great job.

  • Missing

    Nov 20, 2011, 05.24 PMby claudinka

    Beautiful. So elegant and natural (without bling-bling ;-) And thanx for the good description. I have a formal dress where ein want to change the skirt (it’s way too small for me :-( into something similar. And I was thinking about how to do it in order that it has a nice fall. Maybe I am going to stick to a half circle as you did.

    1 Reply
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      Nov 20, 2011, 08.54 PMby natski

      I fell in love with the skirt- its so flattering and soft

  • Missing

    Nov 20, 2011, 04.24 PMby slinkykitten

    A gorgeous dress for a gorgeous young woman!

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    Nov 20, 2011, 02.36 PMby patti-r

    Alyce’s Dress and she are both Lovely!!!!

  • Patti_12-28-2011_large

    Nov 20, 2011, 02.36 PMby patti-r

    Alyce’s Dress and she are both Lovely!!!!

    1 Reply
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      Nov 20, 2011, 08.53 PMby natski

      Thank you!

  • 267619_10150240216071864_592951863_7584678_5036718_n_large

    Nov 20, 2011, 01.41 PMby Priscilla Folley


    1 Reply
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      Nov 20, 2011, 08.53 PMby natski

      Thank you

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    Nov 20, 2011, 11.36 AMby natmarie

    This is truly gorgeous! Great job. I hope Alyce decides to keep this dress for years to come. It looks like something that can be passed down.

    1 Reply
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      Nov 20, 2011, 08.53 PMby natski

      I hope she keeps it, otherwise i will!

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    Nov 20, 2011, 11.30 AMby Redsonia

    What a beautiful dress!!! I am also a beginner and your story insipered me finally to move to the next level and try out something more difficult. Congratulations, you are very talented!

    1 Reply
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      Nov 20, 2011, 08.53 PMby natski

      Wow thank you! I love a challenge- so this was the perfect project. There are SO many resources here on the internet and in books so really you cant go wrong! Give it a try- its a great feeling at the end!

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    Nov 20, 2011, 11.06 AMby Louisa Wu

    I’m from Australia too! She looks so beautiful congratrs for the finishing of the HSC

    1 Reply
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      Nov 20, 2011, 11.34 AMby natski

      Thank you!

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    Nov 20, 2011, 10.41 AMby meggiemoo

    Oh wow, that dress is stunning! I have 3 years until my youngest sister’s formal, and I’d love to get my skills (and her confidence in my skills!) up to a level where she’d let me make her formal dress, or at least her awards night dress or something! Anyway, congratulations on a beautiful, beautiful dress, and congratulations to your sister for graduating!

    1 Reply
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      Nov 20, 2011, 11.33 AMby natski

      I was lucky- there is 10 years between us! But i only started sewing maybe 2 years ago. She didnt want anything incredibly out of my skill range, so that was good- i just made sure i took my time with what i was doing! If i can do it, anyone can do it!
      Thank you for your kind words

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    Nov 20, 2011, 10.14 AMby natski

    Thank you so much for your lovely replies! She had a wonderful night and got quite a few compliments on the dress, so that made her feel special!

  • Me_large

    Nov 20, 2011, 09.45 AMby CationDesigns

    For a beginner sewer (and even if you were advanced), this dress is a beautiful accomplishment. You totally nailed the simple elegant look. What a lucky sister Alyce is to have you!

  • Bb7de33790f452f995b33d947c89eabba5ec31c8_large

    Nov 20, 2011, 07.18 AMby nattyjane


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