How to Make a Ballgown

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Ballgowns are not just for teenagers going to the prom. There are many grown-up events that call for formal wear. But, whether teen or adult, it can be difficult to find a suitable gown for the occasion. All of the gowns in the stores are either too expensive or they don’t seem to fit right. If you have basic sewing skills, though, you can make your own ballgown without much trouble at all.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 yards of fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing scissors
  • Measuring tape

Instructions

  1. To make the skirt, cut out a piece of fabric that meets the following measurements:

    The top should be the width of your waist plus 5 inches.

    The fabric should slant down to a width of 45 to 60 inches at the bottom.

    It should be between 35 and 40 inches long.

  2. Sew together the slanted edges of the fabric piece from Step 1, leaving an opening of about 5 inches at the top. Hem the bottom of the skirt. Sew a gathering stitch at the top of the skirt and gather the fabric until it is the size of your waist.

  3. For the bodice, cut out a piece of fabric that meets the following measurements:

    The piece should be as wide as the circumference of your bust, plus 2 inches for seam allowances.

    The length of the piece should match the length of your torso, from collarbones to waist, plus 2 inches for seam allowances.

    Add darts to cinch the waist and curve the fabric at the bust. There should be two darts starting at the tip of the bust and going down to the waist and one dart on each side of the bust.

  4. Sew the bottom of the bodice to the top of the skirt, lining up the opening at the top of the skirt to the edges of the bodice piece.

  5. Sew the zipper in the gap left at the back of the dress. Hem the top of the bodice.

Tips & Warnings

  • To add straps, cut 2 pieces of string or strips of fabric that are long enough to fit over your shoulders. Attach them to the top of the bodice.

References

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