Silk Crepe-Back Satin for the Prom

I’ve made a few prom dresses over the years.  Generally I shy away from this type of sewing because of the high expectations for the dress. I don’t want to dash someone’s dreams. However, every once in awhile someone special to me asks if I will make a dress for them…usually I end up agreeing. This year it was my niece.

ivory silk and lace prom dress

 

This dress process started with a scouting trip to Mood Fabrics’ NYC store. Her color was mint green. So with the help of the staff at Mood, I came up with four swatches that I sent to my niece.

ivory silk and lace prom dress

The back and forth process took a couple of weeks…then it got busy at work so it took a minute to get back to the store. I’ll tell you I was a little worried taking the “approved” swatch back to the store because we all know that fabric moves out of that store at lightning speed. I also had to take this sketch (very poorly drawn by me) to find all of the elements that my niece wanted in her dress.

ivory silk and lace prom dress

Oh, and I was doing this on a Friday afternoon after a week that had made me cross-eyed and tired. Again, thanks to the wonderful staff at Mood, I ended up with an amazing silk crepe-back satin in the perfect shade of mint green. There’s an awesome selection available online too! But as you can see from the sketch above, I also needed some sheer sparkly fabric for a sleeve and to cover the bodice.

After trekking all over the main floor looking for something sparkly, sheer, youthful, and cheap…*LOL*  I gave up!  I couldn’t believe that Mood didn’t have what I needed.  So I went over to the cutting table that’s located by the trims. While I was waiting for Noel and saying hey to George who was cutting a knit for a new customer, I moved slightly to the left and that’s when I saw it.  The trim that saved me from having to hit the streets of NYC at 6:30pm on a Friday evening to find an embellishment for the dress.  It was a wide embellished lace trim in MINT GREEN!  People, when I say the heavens opened and I heard the angels sing, I’m not exaggerating!

ivory silk and lace prom dress

I took the lace trim over to Noel and asked if he thought it would go with the fabric.  After emphatically encouraging me to buy it and to buy an extra yard (which I soooooo thank him for!), I headed home with fabric, trim, lining and a zipper.  Mood has some awesome trims online here and of course you can buy the necessary notions online too.

I did a quick fitting with lots of photos to help me with the final construction and then the drama happened.  If you simply must read all about it, the posts are here.

ivory silk and lace prom dress

Suffice it to say that the finished product is more a result of my hand sewing than my wonderful Janome 8900 QCP’s stitches.  The lace is hand stitched to the dress.  The lining is hand stitched to the fashion fabric.  There aren’t quite as many hours invested in this dress as in my last Mood lace project but quite a few episodes of “CSI Miami” were watched while I sewed the lace onto the dress.  Oh yeah, this is important – I used Butterick 4343 as the base for the dress.

ivory silk and lace prom dress

Here are a few more pics of her wearing the dress…

ivory silk and lace prom dress
ivory silk and lace prom dress

 

ivory silk and lace prom dress

Suffice it to say that Mood is a great big playground when it comes to finding fabric to use for a special occasion dress.  Also let it be known that next month, I’m playing in the cotton aisle. I need something easy yet special cause this dress just about killed me!  *LOL*

Seriously, I’m looking forward to cotton—designer cotton—next month!!!

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Comments


  • Ginger
    May 31, 2013

    CAROLYN. This is AMAZING!!!!! It turned out perfectly! You’re so talented! Your niece looks so beautiful!

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Thanks Sonja! She is soooo pretty in this dress isn’t she?! And the piers was the best background EVAH for the pics! I’m thrilled she was happy!

  • kris
    May 31, 2013

    Carolyn, I admire your qualities of honesty and humility. I always enjoy reading your blogs.

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy my ramblings.

  • Liza jane
    May 31, 2013

    Beautiful! The dress and your niece!

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Thanks Liza – but she’s not as cute as that bundle of joy that’s at your house now! 🙂

  • oonaballoona
    May 31, 2013

    ah carolyn, she’s going to treasure this beauty for YEARS. you deserve that cotton!!!

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Oona, she already has another event planned to wear the dress to! So I’m happy that she’s happy with it!

  • Rose
    May 31, 2013

    The dress is gorgeous — so is your niece!

  • Heather
    May 31, 2013

    Beautiful girl wearing a beautiful gown. Carolyn you have made a great job of this one, it must have been very stressful. I so enjoy seeing what you make – being of a larger size myself it is inspiring.

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Heather – it was a challenge to sew but a good challenge! I think you could use that pattern for a woman any size. It’s a great pattern!

  • Erica B.
    May 31, 2013

    Carolyn, it was totally worth all of the blood, sweat and hair pulling. She looks classy and stunning! Job well-done!

    • annie
      May 31, 2013

      It is breath-taking!

      • Carolyn
        June 1, 2013

        Thanks so much Annie!

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Thanks Erica! I still think the hair, makeup and background scenery contributed so much to the finished garment!

  • Mrs K
    May 31, 2013

    Beautiful dress – beautiful gal! I’m sure she got rave reviews. You’re a wonderful aunt.

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Thanks Mrs.K and she did get amazing reviews from her friends on the dress!

  • Kay
    May 31, 2013

    It is stunning! Your niece looks perfect in it!

  • sheila
    May 31, 2013

    Absolutely Stunning… your niece looks awesomely gorgeous. Great job Carolyn.

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Thanks Sheila for your wonderful compliments!

  • Meredith P
    May 31, 2013

    Lucky girl to have such a talented auntie! It turned out beautifully, even with the fitting drama! Really an unusual and sophisticated dress for prom (in a good way).

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Yes, that was the comment by almost everyone who saw it, how elegant she looked! Thanks for your kind comments!

  • Amanda S.
    May 31, 2013

    I am sure those fancy dress days are coming for me soon. Not sure if I should be excited or scared. You did an awesome job and she looks lovely!

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Amanda – be a little of both! *LOL* Although I’ve made several of these for my own daughters and I’m telling you it helps having them in the house for fittings! I’m sure you will make amazing dresses for your darling little girl, as well as vests & cumberbands for your sons!

  • Clio
    May 31, 2013

    Beautiful! Your niece will remember this dress forever!

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      I hope so! But I think in the moment of being thankful that it fit and seeing how pleased she was with it that I offered to make her wedding dress! *LOL* Thank God she’s only 17 and heading off to college so I have a few years before I have to make good on that promise!

  • Lauren
    May 31, 2013

    Well it was definitely worth it in the end – the dress is beautiful and your niece is a BABE (can I say that about your niece?? Gah I sound like a predator hahahaha). Glad you stuck it out, and I don’t blame you one bit for wanting to move onto cotton next month. Designer cotton… yum haha 🙂

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Lauren – you are funny!!! And yeah, I’m feening for some designer cotton…saw it the last time I was in Mood and I want some bad!

  • twotoast
    May 31, 2013

    Wow – turned about beautifully. You wouldn’t know that there had been any drama! Your neice is stunning and was probably the only person walking around in such a fabulous, custom fit dress. I bet she felt like a million dollars! Cute prom date too!!!

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Thanks yes she said she felt amazing in the dress!

  • Pam from South Australia
    May 31, 2013

    What a great result and what a lucky niece.

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Thanks Pam! I think she enjoyed wearing the dress!

  • Jessie
    May 31, 2013

    Beautiful Dress!! Lovely couple too. She looks elegant, sophisticated, classy. Well done as always.

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Thanks Jessie for the wonderful compliment!

  • KayoticSewing
    June 1, 2013

    Amazing dress, Carolyn!! Wow!

    Your gorgeous niece is lucky! What a kind and loving aunt, to make such a beautiful dress custom made for her out of love!

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Thanks so much! It was quite a journey but well worth it!

  • patricia
    June 1, 2013

    Carolyn, you have out done yourself again!!!! Your niece’s dress is absolutely breath taking!!! Your are a wonderful and talented aunt. A memory that I am sure your niece will never forget. One of these days you may be making her wedding dress!

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Thanks Patricia! Yeah, I think me making her wedding dress is a real possibility!

  • dara
    June 1, 2013

    Beautiful sewing Carolyn as always !

    • Carolyn
      June 1, 2013

      Thanks Dara – your kind comment is appreciated!

  • Lori
    June 2, 2013

    Carolyn, the dress is stunning. You did a gorgeous job with all the construction and thanks for all the construction information. Your niece is stunning in your beautiful creation.

    • Carolyn
      June 3, 2013

      Thanks Lori she does look beautiful doesn’t she?!

  • Amy
    June 3, 2013

    Stunning, Carolyn! A gorgeous dress on a gorgeous niece!

    • Carolyn
      June 3, 2013

      Thanks so much Amy!

  • Cissie
    June 5, 2013

    Just gorgeous. You must have achieved “favorite aunt” status with this! She looks beautiful in it — and happy as well!

  • Sarah Gunn
    June 5, 2013

    So pretty, Carolyn! ….. And it looks beautiful on this special young lady. Good job as always!