Updated: Jun 27
Make a prom dress with this step-by-step guide. Pick out the right fabric, choose a pattern, and then put it all together with easy instructions. Whether you want to make a simple dress or something wild and unique, this guide will show you the way.
What You Need to Make a Prom Dress
1. Get Inspiration
Prom is meant to be fun and so it shall be even when making your own dress. You can look at trends online and in magazines, and even go shopping at a few stores to see what's out there. But most importantly, opt for a style you are comfortable wearing above all else.
2. Choose a Pattern or Make Your Own
Depending on your level of skill and confidence you can either make your own pattern or copy a dress you already own, change a few details and you're off to the races! If making your own pattern is still a bit daunting to you, there are several great pattern sites out there that offer easy to higher sewing skill patterns. If keeping things simple is your goal, look for patterns with clean lines, minimal details and that call for easier fabrics (avoid chiffon!) Check out simplicity.com for some good options to start your search.
I picked up this pattern a few years ago and it would be a perfect choice! And I like the bonus of “designing” your own look by easily switching the bodices and skirts.
3. Pick a Suitable Fabric
A general rule of thumb is a floor-length dress calls for 3 metres of fabric (145cm wide at least) and Shorter dresses 2 metres. If you've bought a pattern, suitable fabrics will be listed on the back with how much you will need for your size.
This is the most fun part about making something, you have free reign to decide on colour, texture, weight, etc. There's a world of options out there and these are my favourite online sites to peruse fabric choices:
Check locally as well for Joann's or Fabricland and independent retailers.
4. Make a Mockup in a Test Fabric
This step is crucial if making your own pattern, but optional if you are following a store-bought pattern. Use a cheap, discount fabric or an old cotton bed sheet to sew up a test of the main layer of your dress. This allows you see how the pattern will go together, test the fit and see if any changes need to be made before going onto your good fabric.
It’s time to go all in and cut out that nice material And start putting together your dress. The benefit with a commercial pattern is that they have instructions to go along with them.
If you are looking for an easy way to practice and familiarize yourself with the process of sewing a formal gown, check out one of my half-scale sewing classes. There are currently 3 unique dress and each with you valuable dressmaking skills to use in the making of your prom dress!