Dress for a Prom Queen

Prom DressI was so excited when my grandaughter asked me to make her prom dress. I knew it had to be perfect, especially since she was nominated for Prom Queen.  But where to begin?!

First, I had her email me some pictures of dresses that she liked, then I looked through patterns, vintage and new, to see what I could start with to create our custom design.  She wanted something above the knee, with a full gathered skirt that would stand out, corset style top, and of course sparkles.

The pattern I started with as a base was Simplicty 1910.  I knew I could take the pleats out, shorten the length, add more netting for fullness, and dip the front down to add just the right look.

The fabric:  I took her to Gail K’s in Atlanta where we searched for two hours before coming up with all the right fabrics.  The beaded and sequined embellished lace netting for the outer corset started the looking process.  Finding all the coordinating fabrics was quite a challenge, but we did it.  We ended up with all different types of fabrics from silk to polyester.

She looked beautiful in our creation; by the way, she did become Prom Queen.

Here are photos of some of the processes and details.

Duck Taped Bodice

Duck taped bodice

I made a temporary form of her bodice using a tee shirt and duck tape.  Then I cut it up the sides to get it off of her.  This way I would have the correct measurements and her form to use as reference with me, while she was at school.

Tip: Use a tee shirt that is tight and form fitting.  Pre cut strips of duck tape for quick usage.  When placing the duck tape, don’t pull too tight so you don’t distort the body. Most important: Make sure the person can breath.  LOL

Picture of Grandaugher and Grandma


Muslin of dress


I always make a muslin first, so that I can assure the perfect fit.

Close up of Muslin

Details of the muslin.

I use different colored Sharpies for my markings.  Even though I knew I wasn’t going to use the pleats, I still marked them for placement references.  I had to add fabric at the top of the waist for the gathers, because the waist top was cut out to create the pleats.

IMG_1819The dress has a side zipper, so the corset really doesn’t have to lace up. I took the loops that would have been for the lacing off, because I wanted to use sequin trim as my faux lacing.

IMG_2065Hand picked side zipper.

IMG_1823Inside lining with little whimsy polka dots.  Boning was put in so the dress would stay up while dancing.

IMG_1825 IMG_1824Layered gathered netting makes the dress flair out and keep its shape. The polka dot skirt lining created a little fun when she danced and twirled around.

IMG_1827Back Detailing

IMG_1828Front Detailing. The lace netting was not cut in individual pieces.  I wanted the fancy bottom edge that was straight, to curve up into a vee to finish the bottom of the corset nicely.  To do this I hand sewed the netting in little bunches and tacked it to the face fabric and underlining, making sure not to catch the lining.

IMG_1842Front of Dress

IMG_1843Back of Dress

Here are additional pictures.






11 thoughts on “Dress for a Prom Queen

  1. Pingback: Prom Dress in Threads Magazine | TechNeats

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    • Thank you, Everyone.

      Maria – I’m sure you can learn to deviate from a pattern. For starters, why don’t you find a pattern that has a collar you don’t like, and another collar you do like, or a different sleeve, or a dress with a waist seam that you want to change from a straight skirt to a fuller skirt from another pattern. Possibly I can help you by doing an article about it. Let me know what you want to change.

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