Yay, the prom dress was made in time! I’d been planning this make for ages, but there were lots of calamities involved, which meant that I didn’t actually finish it until two hours before the prom – despite knowing what I wanted to make since around October.
Year 13 prom (which is basically the last year before going to university for those who have a different school-year-system to us here in the U.K) isn’t as big a deal as the year 11 one, so I knew that I didn’t need to make something glamourous and glitzy – I wanted an outfit that I’d be able to wear again, preferably on days where I’m not doing anything exciting rather than for parties and whatnot.
So, I decided that what I wanted was a matching cropped cami top and maxi skirt, in the same fabric. That way, after prom I could wear them both separately on more chilled days, or together for a bit of something-something if I’m going to a Summer barbeque. I knew that I wanted to go for a burgundy fabric, which was lovely and floaty and able to do that parachute skirt thing when I spun around, but that also had a nice bit of weight, so that I wouldn’t be bearing my pants to everyone around me when a little gust of wind came along!
The patterns that I decided on were:
- The Ogden Cami – True Bias Patterns
- Simplicity 8019 – A gored button-down skirt in lots of different lengths, based on a vintage 70s pattern
I started with the skirt first, because I figured that it would be the part that would take a bit longer. So I cut out the fabric and started merrily on my way, until disaster struck when it got to attaching the waistband. The first time the waistband went wrong was, admittedly, my fault – I’d cut a size 8 rather than a size 10 (like the rest of the skirt) which was a bit of a booboo. Giving myself the ‘oh Harriet you noodle’ eye roll, I started to cut out a waistband in the right size – but I still ended up with the same problem! The waistband seemed far too small for the skirt, and no amount of easing was going to get it to fit. The only way was going to be to add pleats. So I got a bit cross with that, and moved onto the cami top.
The top went far better, and I sewed up the majority of it in a day. By this time (bearing in mind everything has been around the same time as me having a lot of hospital stays because of my jaw, so I didn’t really have much energy to sew) it was getting quite a lot closer to the date of prom, so I decided that I really did need to address the issue of the skirt.
To be honest, needing to use a different pattern for the skirt ended up being a blessing in disguise – as I was making the Simplicity version, I couldn’t help thinking that I wasn’t as happy with it as I wanted to be. I’d originally bought the pattern with the intention of making the shortest version, so I’d just been using it out of convenience – what I really wanted was a massive full circle skirt that could be lovely and floaty and make me feel a bit like a princess. Out came the Sew Over It Betty Dress pattern. I don’t know why I didn’t use this pattern in the first place! All I needed to do was draft a waistband, and attach it to the two (yes two! The Simplicity pattern had about 8) skirt pieces, hem it, and voila – a prom skirt!
So, I’d had one disaster by that point. Now it was the day before prom. All I needed to do was sew up the side seams of my Ogden cami and hem it, and it would be done. I did those things – which admittedly did take me all day because I needed to take lots of naps -but then decided that I really didn’t like it. The fabric was too weighty for the cami, and it was WAY too big for me – I’d started making it before I lost so much weight, so it was based off of my previous measurements. The back was sagging, the side seams were about four inches too wide, and the straps were very long. Admittedly, I probably could’ve saved it, but I was in the mindset where I’d rather start all over again than to salvage something that I really wasn’t happy with.
Due to having made two skirts and one cami, I’d run out of the burgundy fabric, so couldn’t cut out another Ogden. I did think that was fine though, because it seemed to be a wee bit too heavy for the pattern anyway, and I really couldn’t afford another disaster – I was starting a whole new top on the same day as prom! I cut the pattern smaller, made the hacks that I wanted (making the necklines a little more pointy and deepening the back v) and cut out a nice lightweight black viscose that I had.
I sewed it up lightning-style and tried it on with the skirt, knowing that if this hadn’t worked, all of my stressing would’ve been completely wasted and that I’d need to wear my backup dress (which was RTW – and I really wanted something I’d made because I knew people would ask me if I’d sewn it myself). But thankfully, it was perfect!
Despite all of the stress and panic and wasted fabric, I ended up with a dress/ co-ord that I was really happy with, and was actually probably better than it would’ve been if it had gone right first time. I wooshed off to prom in my very long and floaty skirt, had a wonderful time, and lots of people told me that they really liked it! Mission accomplished. I feel a little bit stressed out just recounting this story, so I think I’ll leave you with some photos (including some from the night) and have a lay down on the sofa.
Have a great week everyone, I hope you like my prom dress!