May 1, 2014

DIY Prom Dress!

One of the top items on my craft bucket list has always been to make a dress. I know that the only way I could ever actually realize this lofty goal would be if I had an inelastic deadline for completion and did it with someone else for extra moral support, advice, and enjoyment. So, making prom dresses with Gowri perfectly fit in to my prerequisites: the date of Prom is a deadline set in stone, and Gowri certainly counts as a fellow DIY-er. 

We started the process in February by deciding on the style of our dresses. Since I've never made a dress before, I insisted on having some sort of tutorial. My dress is based mostly from this excellent tutorial done by a Dutch YouTuber. 

Basic Strapless Prom Dress

We almost ordered fabric online, but fortunately we ordered samples first, and from those we realized that buying chiffon from Jo-Ann's was a better bet. After one trip, we had our fabric and supplies purchased for less than $40 each! My budget wasn't that tight but I'll take it... ;)

Probably the only time I've used my Economics and Environmental Science textbooks this semester.
We each made our own patterns and sewed away during spare moments on the weekends. Although my pattern was considerably harder then Gowri's, I was still impressed by how hard it wasn't. Yes, it took time, and no, I hardly did anything right the first time, but it was always doable. I'm sure my next dress will come together in a fraction of the time. 

I didn't fully go by the YouTube tutorial. I made the inner skirt full-length and decided not to do a slit down the middle. I sewed in two rows of bugle beads along the top of the sweetheart neckline for some subtle bling, and added more elastic for support. And for the belt, I made a sash with 12" of the same chiffon fabric.

The tasks of sewing a zipper and sewing with chiffon (and jersey) were new to me with this project. I found these online tutorials to be extremely helpful. 

Sewing a Zipper

My other main advice is to baste virtually every seam by hand when dealing with difficult fabrics. My seam ripper and I were spending a lot of time together until I started basting everything before I messed up...

At the end, the dress turned out, thankfully! I finished it at noon of the day of prom. Fortunately, my poor time management at the end didn't end up in disaster, and the dress didn't even self-destruct halfway through the night!

I also did my own hair. I based it off this Cute Girls Hairstyles tutorial. The difference is that I curled my hair first and then joined it all in a side ponytail with a flipthrough.

And here we are with our handmade dresses. Gowri's dress was black lace with a forest green jersey underneath. So glam!

To everyone who was also at prom last weekend, thanks for a great night! 

Good luck on finals, AP tests, and the increasingly vigilant senioritis virus. We're almost done!

Happy Crafting!!


  1. Wow, this is so impressive! Both the dress and your hairdo look gorgeous!