Silk Faille Prom Dress

You read that title right – I made a prom dress this month! And not for a high schooler (please, we all know I’m not that unselfish), but an actual prom dress for myself 😉

Before you get too skeeved out at the idea of a 30 year old attending prom, I should point out that my best friend is a high school English teacher, and thus gets 2 free tickets every year. I weaseled my way into being her date because I wanted an excuse to make a fancy dress. Wouldn’t you do the same? 🙂

Butterick 6019 - complete!

My first advice for anyone who plans on making fancy evening garb during this time of year – for prom or not – is to plan EARLY. I thought I was being clever by starting this in February, but I definitely should have ordered my fabric even months before that. I had my heart set of using silk Faille from Mood Fabrics – as I knew that it would have the perfect amount of body and stiff drape needed for this particular pattern – but by the time I placed my order, they were sold out of virtually every color (thanks, prom season!). Fortunately, they still had plenty of black silk Faille, so while my dreams of a red dress was definitely shattered a bit, at least I got the Faille part!

Speaking of silk Faille, it’s *such* a weird fabric. It’s very stiff and almost feels like plastic. Which, again, is perfect for this sort of dress – but it was a little strange to sew up! It also frays like mad and likes to show pin holes. I serged all my seams and tried to pin within the seam allowances as much as possible, and that certainly helped. It tends to crease whenever given the opportunity – which makes it great for construction (easy to press and manipulate, yay!), bad for sitting. Overall, though, it was fairly easy and satisfying to work with. And also, in case you were wondering – it’s pronounced “file.” I did not know that until I was humbly corrected 😉

Butterick 6019 - complete!

Butterick 6019 - complete!

There was quite a bit of work that went into the making of this dress, which ended up taking me a few weeks to complete. It was very satisfying to watch it all slowly come together, though! I used Butterick 6019 as my pattern, and made the view with the full circle skirt. While the pattern didn’t necessarily include anything super hard, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart! There are a lot of steps to engineer that bodice – it’s self-lined, has bust padding, boning, shirring, and a lapped zipper. The halter strap is also removeable, should I decide to go strapless at a later date. For the hem, I added 2″ wide black soft horsehair braid, which gave the bottom a gorgeous flare without the addition of an itchy petticoat.

Butterick 6019 - progress

I documented the full process of sewing this dress on my blog, which you can ready about here – Part 1, and Part 2.

Butterick 6019 - complete!

It’s very rare that I ever have the opportunity to sew something this decadent, so I’m pretty happy that I was able to take advantage of it this year! Now if only I can find more excuses to actually wear it, hmmm…. 🙂



  • Baye
    April 26, 2016

    The dress is beautiful, and, yes, I would love an excuse to make one of these. On the pronunciation, I looked it up before seeing your note about the pronunciation. It seems the pronunciation is one of those that depends on whom you ask. It is pretty evenly divided, aside from those speaking French, between long a and long i. Ironically, neither of them are the French pronunciation.

  • Erica Bunker
    April 26, 2016

    You look so pretty! How fun to make a prom dress — for yourself! I would love to do prom over. Or just have a reason to make a ball gown!

  • Gorgeous dress! The fit looks just perfect. I, too, would love an excuse to make something fancy, so I totally get why you jumped on that train. Have fun!

  • PsychicKathleen
    April 26, 2016

    Oh my! You will steal the show! The belle of the ball! Gorgeous and congratulations on a beautiful job – wow you will have to find some lovely nightclub in NY to show this off. Amazing with the lining and boning and absolutely perfect fit.

  • Amy
    April 26, 2016

    Wonderful dress! I hope that you enjoy wearing it to prom and that you can find many more fun excuses to wear it in the future. I’m sad I got into sewing after the period of my life where it felt like everyone was getting married. I could have made so many fun dresses! Instead, I found myself picking up sewing during the period where it felt like everyone was having babies. Oh well. I can still live vicariously through people like you and your beautiful dresses!

  • Susan
    April 26, 2016

    I learned it was “file” and thought to myself “don’t say ‘fail’!” and obviously now I want to say fail almost every time! The dress is so beautiful!

  • sallie
    April 27, 2016

    This is so lovely! And how fun to have an excuse to make a fancy dress!! I love the style on you, and all your attention to detail really paid off, the fit is killer!

  • Peter
    April 27, 2016

    It is gorgeous and I love the it’s black — so classic. Very inspiring, Lauren!

  • Cennetta
    April 28, 2016

    Love, love your “prom” dress. Lauren, I think it a wonderful opportunity to make a fancy dress. Besides, you don’t look a day over 18. 😉