A Dress For The Ball

I have a friend who is just about to clock off secondary education FOR EVER – she’s in upper sixth and her Leavers’ Ball is fast approaching. A few weeks ago, I get a message from her, asking my opinion on the dress she wanted followed up about ten minutes later by ‘Can you make it?’. I confirmed, she found me a pattern, and I went to Scotland for a fortnight.


I made up the toile according to her measurements before she came up to stay with me a few days – but the less we say about that the better! I was dubious while making the toile up, because my friend is about as thin as a stick and as wide as a piece of paper, but the toile was bigger than I was! Ended up taking it in about six inches and going two sizes down on the pattern… oops!


So, India came up on Friday and we went to buy her fabric – I am not even sure what fabric it was, but it was shiny and smooth and not silk or satin. It doesn’t show up in the picture very well, it looks royal blue, but it is actually teal in one direction and green in the other. Spent the entire day calling it mermaid fabric! She bought blue polycotton for the lining.

India is a very awkward shape, I probably could have taken the back panels down to a six, or a four? Making up the dress was easy: Its a seven piece bodice and a three piece skirt with boning and a lining.


I was worried about the boning – I’ve never done it before! So I had all the sewing books I own pulled out next to the pattern, and thank god for May and Patrick because the way the pattern was telling me wouldn’t have worked! The stitching is not necessarily the neatest on the boning, but its secure (and on the lining) and I was rather pleased with myself when all six pieces were sewn in.


And the dress was coming together! It really is a beautifully simple dress and pattern, and once the boning was in, just seemed to fit India so much better!

The biggest problem I had was the hem: I was determined that India would be leaving with her dress, and so I decided to sew the lining layer to the top layer in an attempt to give the skirt a little more fullness and so I didn’t have to hem twice. I, personally, am not 100% happy with the hem, but it is reasonably neat, and India is happy, so I guess that is all that matters.

SG107722 It was exhausting! Forget play in a day, this was extreme ball dress in a day! She left, Saturday afternoon, with a completed dress. WHOO!! 24 hours. Whole prom dress from start to finish (totally not extremely proud of myself at all!).



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