It’s been very busy around here lately. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the pics of my daughter’s formal dress. It was her first formal (or prom), so it was an exciting time for her, and lots of planning went into the dress and the look she was going for.
She asked me to make the dress last year, so we had plenty of time to decide on the design and find the perfect fabric. This was the inspiration, found on Pinterest. It looked to me like it was a separate skirt and top, but she wanted it as a dress. The split was also a little high I thought!
The fabric we found was a polyester satin in a really good medium weight. I also used a cream stretch lining, which was lovely to work with. There were lots of other bits and pieces that went into the dress, as there was a lot of hidden construction inside such as shapewell, boning, soft bust cups, elastic, ribbon and hook and eyes!
I worked on the bodice pattern first and did quite a few toiles before I was happy with the shape. My daughter is a C cup, so quite curvy, with a small waist. This is what the inside of the lining looked like after applying all the boning and cups. I did originally take the centre boning up to the top of the centre seam, but then took it down lower, as it seemed to sit better there.
The skirt was very simple shape, a rectangle shape gathered at the waist. The skirt lining underneath was more fitted and had darts at the front and back waist. The split on the right side made things a little more complicated, but I managed to get everything facing the right way up eventually. I wasn’t sure about the gathers at the waist at first and tried to talk her into a more fitted skirt shape, but she knew exactly what she wanted, and would not be talked out of them. I think they ended up being quite sweet, and they made the dress look like a young, fun party dress, which was exactly what it was meant to be.
I loved how the outside of the dress was so simple and the inside was so constructed. The shape well, the boning and the cups did all the work and gave the lovely shape to the bodice. The grosgrain ribbon was sewn down on the waist of the front lining and closed with a hook and eye at the back. This helped to cinch the waist in while taking pressure off the zip. The elastic also helped to take a little pressure off the zip and helped when doing the dress up.
After hair and make-up she was transformed. A million photos later, and a great night was had by all. We both enjoyed the process of working together on her vision. She was actually a very good customer, with no hissy fits, and always obliging to try the dress on when requested. She received many compliments and proudly told everyone it was a mama made dress! She was also thrilled that no one else had a dress like hers, and she didn’t have to worry about anyone turning up in the same dress.
Here she is on the arm of her beau, looking dashing in his 3 piece suit. Note the beautiful corsage he gave her to wear on the night.