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Prom Dress - a story of self discovery

Added Jul 9, 2010

by suzetewilliams

Toddington, Bedf...






This is my proudest project yet. When my friend asked me if I would make a prom dress for her daughter, I was really proud that she thought I could pull it off, but I was petrified. I don’t think I’ve ever had someone putting so much faith in me before, so really scary.

As we all know teenagers are very aware of themselves, image is very important and the most certainly do not like to stand out – well, not in a negative way anyway, so you can imagine that I was super nervous – didn’t want to destroy this poor girl’s prom, so I made a mock dress with a cheaper satin in case it went wrong. Luckily she liked the mock dress, but we had seen a gathered bodice on another dress in a shop that she really liked, but I had said that I didn’t know that I had the skills to make something like that. I really liked that top too and wanted to learn how to make it, so I did and surprised her with it. To my delight, she loved it! Well, I did use a McCall 5806 pattern for the bodice. She had liked the skirt from the mock dress which was from Simplicity 3784 and so here we have the dress.

The most difficult thing I did was having to tweak the bodice until it fitted right. I absolutely hate unpicking stitches (don’t know why), so that was a bit challenging. I also had to learn to sew beads. I know that this sounds silly, but sewing a bead is fine, but a cluster of them in one place needs a lot of thought. I had to unpick a few to get them in the right place.

We weren’t sure whether or not to add silver trims to the bodice midriff, so I made a detachable belt of the satin fabric and sewed two rows of silver trim in the middle so that she would have the choice. Luckily, she liked it and wore it with it.

I have learnt many valuable lessons with this dress. The dress is not perfect by a lot of standards, but it is perfect for my darling Jodie and it looks perfect on her. I learnt that I have to believe in myself, after all, others do believe in me. I have learnt that it’s OK to make mistakes, you learn by making them and no one expects me to be perfect except my imperfect self. I have learnt most of all, that I can do anything that I put my mind to 100%.

So here in my journey of prom dress discovery, I am willing to take compliments as well as criticism and be proud of both.

Thank you for reading and I hope you like it, but if you don’t that’s OK, I’m still learning and will be learning always.

Material Notes

Liquid Satin Fabric, Taffeta Lining, netting, zipper, beads, silver trims, diamant trim, boning




Garment Type
Evening Wear
Satin, Taffeta

15 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Dscn5250_large

    Nov 28, 2010, 07.56 PMby mixtlii

    Thhis story is so cute, and the dress is beautiful! Well done :D

  • Curly_hair_large

    Aug 20, 2010, 10.30 PMby morphomixstress

    Just looking at this dress makes me feel special.

  • Yaya_2010_me_2_large

    Jul 20, 2010, 06.42 PMby cblackmon

    Love it, Love it, Love It!!!! I’m so inspired by this. I think I will give it a try.

    1 Reply
  • Dsci0410_large

    Jul 12, 2010, 01.57 AMby momsgotanewhobby

    I love both dresses! The bodice and beading on the purple are fabulous but the belt really takes it up a notch. You did an awesome job and she looked really pretty.

  • Chrysanthemum_large

    Jul 11, 2010, 09.23 PMby maria3

    Love it its pretty.

  • 20080307_large

    Jul 10, 2010, 06.19 PMby brenda42

    Both the mock dress and the finished version are absolutely lovely! I really appreciated the story behind the dress as well – and you should be very proud of your work and what you learned. You brought sunshine into my day with this project :-)

    1 Reply
    • Il_430xn_156061385_large

      Jul 11, 2010, 05.37 PMby suzetewilliams

      Thank you for you kind words. :-)

  • Strawberry_large

    Jul 10, 2010, 10.33 AMby strawberrypancakesbykim

    Wow! That’s very nice! I would wear that dress at my prom!

  • P1130366_large

    Jul 10, 2010, 02.10 AMby natski

    Congratulations on creation! Looks fantastic!

    1 Reply
  • E76be14d8789f533e0d80b435fd33b0c65fc2c98_large

    Jul 10, 2010, 12.13 AMby clothesmaker

    You did a fabulous job. It fits her beautifully and more important she looks like she loves it . good job.

    1 Reply
  • Sart_large

    Jul 9, 2010, 08.54 PMby tamezdc

    The gown is adorable. I like all the details from the beads to the belt, the length, the shirring, and even the color. The fit is impeccable!!

  • Me_2_large

    Jul 9, 2010, 08.38 PMby msgems

    Aw, its gorgeous. She looks absolutely lovely in it. I hope she had a great prom!

  • 532698_10150742947249316_1888144941_n_large

    Jul 9, 2010, 08.24 PMby keren

    Shirring – smocking – roching – all the same thing. At least that’s what I gather from Burda magazines and people’s creations here on burdastyle…

  • 532698_10150742947249316_1888144941_n_large

    Jul 9, 2010, 08.17 PMby keren

    Shirring is that thing that you do when you zigzag over a “thread” of elastic and then you make several rows of that and then you pull the elastic and you get this effect. I guess it doesn’t have to be elastic, but it is gathering on the fabric and not at the seam.

    Gathering is scrunching the fabric at the seam by pulling a basted thread or two and then sewing the scrunched fabric to a non-scrunched fabric, so you get tucks. It doesn’t necessarily involve elastic.

    At least that’s what I know… :-)

    1 Reply
    • Il_430xn_156061385_large

      Jul 9, 2010, 08.20 PMby suzetewilliams

      Ah, I see. In UK English that’s called smocking. Yes, gathering is a terminology we use here and it’s exactly what I did with the dress. So I’m still confused about the shirred thingy. :-)

  • 532698_10150742947249316_1888144941_n_large

    Jul 9, 2010, 07.55 PMby keren

    BTW the top isn’t shirred is it? It looks gathered. So much better than shirring!! How did you make it?

    1 Reply
    • Il_430xn_156061385_large

      Jul 9, 2010, 07.59 PMby suzetewilliams

      Yes it’s gathered. I wasn’t sure if it meant the same thing. My English is great, but I’m still getting to grips with sewing terminology in English. They called it shirred in the pattern, but it instructed to gather it, so I don’t actually know what shirred means. Lol :-)

  • 532698_10150742947249316_1888144941_n_large

    Jul 9, 2010, 07.37 PMby keren

    Wow, amazing job! The bodice looks great!!! And the silver belt is lovely. How wonderful it must be to make something that makes someone else happy! And to do something you have not done before and were unsure you’d do in time, and then for it to come out great!! Lovely dress and so kind of you to make it for your friend’s daughter. The creamy white dress is also very pretty.

    1 Reply
    • Il_430xn_156061385_large

      Jul 9, 2010, 07.47 PMby suzetewilliams

      Hi Keren, thank you very much. xx

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