If you have a little sewing experience and some free time, you can create a unique prom look and save money at the same time. Prom dress patterns, which come in all sizes and styles, can provide the design and instructions you need to make a gorgeous prom gown that's totally you.
Buying Modern Prom Dress Patterns
You can find a great selection of patterns at your local fabric store or craft shop, but the Internet is your best resource if you're looking for something unique and really special. Check out the designs at some of the following sites.
Simplicity has an amazing selection of special occasion dress patterns, including many looks that would be perfect for prom. Whether you're planning to go long or short, glitzy or simple, you'll find a design here. Most patterns also come in plus sizes, and they are all labeled with the difficulty level.
Some patterns, like Jessica McClintock 1907 allow you to create a variety of looks using just one pattern. This pattern includes instructions for making a short, cocktail-length dress, as well as a longer mermaid-style gown. You can also choose from strapless and halter necklines.
Although McCall's doesn't offer the extensive selection that you can find from Simplicity, it does have some beautiful and simple designs. Instructions are easy to understand, even for beginners, and some designs also come in extended sizes.
If you want to create a look that is one of a kind, you can't beat pattern M6466. This incredible pattern gives you 11 different mix-and-match pattern pieces. There are four different bodice designs, including one-shoulder, draped, strapless, and sheer overlay and two different waistband styles. You'll also be able to choose from four different skirts: long full, short full, short straight, and bubble. Amazingly, you can use this pattern to create a trendy one-shouldered short dress or a classic 1950s-style full prom gown.
Butterick is another famous name in sewing patterns, and they have a limited selection of evening gown designs. Most of the designs are very simple, which makes them easy to sew. However, if you choose one of these patterns, you'll need to embellish it with trim or choose a really special fabric to make it fancy.
For a fast and easy gown that has plenty of youthful style, try pattern B4343. The pattern include four different dresses, but the one-shoulder column dress is sleek, sophisticated, and perfect for prom.
If you're looking for a prom dress that is right on trend, BurdaStyle is a great bet. The pattern manufacturer's website is very easy to use and allows you to sort by material, difficulty level, and more. Many of the patterns even feature photos of real women wearing the dresses, which can help you envision what your finished dress will look like. What's more, you can download the pattern directly to your computer and get started sewing right away.
One great pattern for novice seamstresses is the One-Shoulder Flounce Dress. This simple pattern is perfect for prom and affordable and easy to make.
Buying Vintage Prom Patterns
One way to really stand out at prom is to wear a vintage-style dress. If you make your dress from a vintage pattern, you get the retro beauty of an older look without the condition issues that can come with vintage clothing.
Officially a division of McCall's, Vogue has three unique lines of out-of-print sewing patterns for evening gowns: Very Easy Vogue, Vogue, and Designer Vogue. While the out-of-print nature of these patterns makes them a little more expensive, they are worth a look. Many of these designs are exceptional.
If you have a little sewing experience and want a look that says "Va-va-voom," you might enjoy making pattern V2891. This vintage figure-hugging evening gown has a low back and a short train and is perfect for an hourglass body shape.
So Vintage Patterns
So Vintage Patterns has an everchanging selection of prom gown patterns from other eras. You'll find everything from 1970s-era maxi dress to 50's puffy cupcake gowns. Long or short, easy or difficult, there's a pattern here that could be perfect for you.
Etsy is another great option for vintage prom patterns. The selection changes all the time, but every decade from the 1940s on is well represented. Some patterns have been used before, but if your size is similar, you can use them again.
Free Patterns for Prom Gowns
If you want to save money on your prom gown sewing project, you can use a free pattern for the design. Although the selection of free patterns is limited, there are a few that would work well for prom:
- Modern Sewing Patterns offers a free downloadable pattern of an evening gown with a sheer overlay. The design is moderately difficult and would work best if you have some sewing experience. You'll have to resize the pattern according to your measurements.
- Sew Like My Mom has a helpful tutorial for making an infinity dress. The tutorial doesn't include printable pattern pieces, but it does show you how to cut the fabric to match your measurements. You can tie this dress in dozens of different ways to create totally unique prom looks. Use a fabric with a little sheen to make it more formal.
- Your Style Rocks offers a free pattern for the "Eva" dress, crafted from knit jersey fabric. The stretch in the fabric will make it easier for beginning seamstresses to get the right fit. In fact, if your fabric is stretchy enough, you won't even need to add a zipper. Use a fabric with sparkle or metallic accents to give this dress the glitz it needs for prom.
Helpful Tips for Choosing a Pattern
There are hundreds of great prom gown patterns out there, and one of them will be perfect for your needs. Keep the following tips in mind as you choose your design:
- Identify the look you're going for. Do you want classic glamour or trendsetting elegance? Keep yourself from getting overwhelmed by narrowing down your personal style.
- Assess your experience level. Have you been sewing for years, or is this your first project? Pay attention to the difficulty level of the pattern to keep yourself from getting frustrated.
- Keep your budget in mind. While many patterns are available for less than ten dollars, the materials may not be as inexpensive. If you're on a budget, be sure to price the fabric and notions you'll need before you start on a design.
- Buy extra fabric. Everyone makes mistakes, and it's better to buy a yard or two of extra fabric and have some left over, than it is to run out of material. You can always use the extra fabric to make a matching wrap or bag.
- Measure yourself carefully. Find your bust, waist, and hip measurements before you buy a pattern. Patterns are sometimes sized strangely, so you might be a larger or smaller size than you ordinarily buy. Use your measurements to guide you.
Using a pattern to make your prom dress is a great springboard for creativity. After all, the hard work of designing the gown is done for you, and you can choose the exact color and texture of fabric you love. You can embellish your gown with flowers, sequins, lace, or any other trim you choose. With a little work, you'll have a prom gown you can be proud to say you made yourself.