June 10, 2010

Own Your Look 2010

Joann Fabric's make your own prom dress, and make it yours contest!  I made my first formal dress, and have entered the contest.  We will see how it goes!   Here are the nitty gritties for all of my followers who love sewing as much as I do!
I knew that I wanted some the folds and drapes of the turqoise blue dress(Jenny and I have affectionately dubbed them cupcake skirts) in the pattern below in my dress, but I didn't know what else.  At first I thought I would just make the pattern, adjusting the neckline and then have a lot of fun with the bolero.

  However, after seeing pictures of Jenny's wedding dress, I fell in love with the bodice, and decided I would try to do that.

We conversed over facebook a little, trying to figure out how to modify my pattern, and after sending me the some pictures, we decided it would just be easier to draft it.

So, she puts a lot of time and effort into creating this lovely post here, describing to me how to go about it.  Then our internet dies for 48 hours!  Ahh!  I needed the dress done in 57 hours, so...not knowing how long it would take till I was able to read her advice in detail, I plunged into some of my own stacks of patterns to try to find one I could modify.  I found the one below...
I copied the the patterns onto paper bags from the waist up, and started cutting.  Well, that isn't exactly what I didi, I raised the neckline, then started cutting.  I rounded it, instead of making a "V" like Jenny's. I also moved the straps out so it would be more of a boat neck.  

After modifying it, cutting it out of some scraps, and sewing it up, it looked like this.^^^  The white thing was simulating a sash.  Not to good looking you say?  Well, I thought it was wonderful!  So I tweaked a couple more things and cut the pieces out for the top and the bottom.
Then I sewed it together and voila!  No, not really.

One of the requirements for the contest was that I wear the dress to a dance.   Where is a homeschooler supposed to find a dance?!  Well, our homeschool co-op was having a "spring banquet" and I knew the majority would be dancing, so we are covered right?  Well, the date for the party is sneaking up fast and before I know it, it is Monday (dance on Thursday) and I don't have my bodice worked out!  Aahhh!  Well, I had my fabric.  By Wednesday I had the bodice and basic skirt done and was starting to put them together.  Obviously, I awoke bright and early Thursday morning and went straight downstairs to sew.

The party started at 7:00 I believe...  5, 6, 7, roll by it is still not done.  finally, around 8, everything is done but the "frosting" part of the skirt that gives it the cupcake name.   I mark all the dots on the lining and on the dress, but when I try to pin them up, nothing matches!  I am WORN OUT by this time.  So we wing it.  Just make it look random right?  That is the way it is supposed to look right?   Well, these things aren't as easy as they seem.

Finally, 2 hours late I get there.  Hey!  I can enter the contest!  Yippee!

Please give me your HONEST, most brutal opinion of the skirt.  I can still change it, I have a day or two...

*Edit* 6/17/10
I forgot, like the most important part!  When you make it yourself, for yourself, it fits like a dream!  No tight seams no loss-of-breath-in-a-corset feel like most formals.  It is SO comfortable, I want to wear it all the time!  Except then it would get dirty, and just in case I do get into the top 20 and have to send it in, they probably want it clean. :-)


  1. Wonderful job! It's beautiful! I'm so jealous - I wish I could sew like that! :)

  2. Joanna,
    It's *gorgeous*!!! I LOVE the color, beaded waist, and of course, the "cupcake" skirt! I'm very impressed with your skill - sewing a formal dress would scare me silly. But even with all that crunched time, it looks beautiful! I'm sure you made a grand, fashionably late entrance. :) Better late than never, right?
    Again, thanks for sharing! Your sewing always inspires me. :)

  3. I think you did a BEAUTIFUL job, Joanna! Especially since it was your first formal, first drafting experience, probably first time working with that kind of fabric (that's how my first formal was -- first non-cotton project). I really love how it turned out and I'm honored to have been able to help, even a little :)

  4. Joanna, You did a great job! I would have never guessed that you made up your own pattern.

  5. Joanna,
    It's simply lovely! I love the color and design! It is just beautiful! I always enjoy seeing what you are sewing lately!

    Joyfully in Jesus,

  6. Wow Joanna! It's beautiful! Honestly, I'm not an expert on "cupcake" skirts (never made one in my life) so I think it looks lovely! I love the decorated sash too.

  7. Dear Joanna,

    It. Is. Gorgeous.


    P.S. I love the skirt, and wouldn't change it. :)

  8. Thanks guys! I'm SO happy with it.

  9. Hi Joanna!

    I popped over to wish you a happy birthday, but then I just had to read all about your gorgeous dress. I LOVE it. I have really liked those "cupcake' skirts for a long time, too. You did a GREAT job. I have to buy a formal for a hot date with my husband for our tenth anniversary, but now I want one just like yours. I need it by next week, though, and with four small children, there's no way I'll make one by then. So I'll just have to admire yours from afar.

    Anyway, happy, happy birthday!

  10. "Oh my Go'th' it i'th' 'th'o cute!"