Bethany’s Prom Dress

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It’s been a few weeks since Bethany’s prom so I thought I should blog about her dress. This dress was a labor of love, as well as a great learning experience for me. I decided early on in the process that I would construct her pattern directly from her measurements. I wanted the dress to fit her well and to be one of a kind for her, therefore, pattern building was the first step.

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Following Suzy Furrer’s instructions in Building Patterns – The Architecture of Women’s Clothing, as well as her Craftsy class, Patternmaking Basics: The Bodice Sloper, I designed Bethany’s dress based around her request for a 50’s style dress with a boat neckline. Bethany loves Audrey Hepburn so she wanted her prom dress to mimic her style. So after a couple mockups (muslins), the pattern was ready to go.

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Then came dress construction. I have been learning a lot over the past few months about couture dressmaking techniques and decided that I wanted to incorporate them into this dress as much as possible. I took three more Craftsy classes; one by Susan Khalje called The Couture Dress, and two by Alison Smith entitled Couture Dressmaking Techniques and Couture Finishing Techniques.

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For the main fabric of the dress I used a navy blue satin and underlined the dress in silk organza and netting to provide stability and body. In the bodice I added another layer to house the steel boning near the front and back darts and finally a lining to hide all the hand stitches. To hem the dress, I used horsehair braid (not really horsehair) to create a structured hem and more fullness. To finish it off, I placed a gathered chiffon tie around the waist of the dress.

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So, after many long hours, the dress was ready for prom. I certainly enjoyed the whole process and learned so much. I love everything about couture dressmaking techniques and will definitely incorporate these into more of my sewing.

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