Sewing a Prom Dress

Make a beautiful gown for prom!

Sewing a prom dress is a great way to express your individuality and ensure that you have a one-of-a-kind gown the night of your school's big event. If you're up to the task of making a gown for prom, read on for some tips and ideas to make this project an easier one from start to finish.

Prom Gown Patterns

Selecting prom gown patterns is as easy as the click of a mouse or making a quick trip to the local fabric store. Most of the patterns you will be browsing through at a local fabric store can be purchased online but be sure to allow for shipping time if you're on a tight deadline. The following companies sell prom gown patterns online:

If you choose to buy your patterns on eBay, be sure the patterns are uncut unless you know how to size a dress pattern.

Select Material

There are many materials to choose from when you're making an evening gown. It is important to read the back of the pattern package though to see which materials work best with the pattern you've chosen. In addition, make sure that you are familiar with the type of material you choose-satin and silk are difficult to sew, as is chiffon. Have an experienced seamstress assist you if you're unfamiliar with these materials, as mistakes are costly and difficult to correct.

Cut Out the Pattern

Before you cut out the pattern you've chosen, measure yourself. Even if you think you know your exact dress size, measure your bust, waist and hips to be sure. Once you've cut out a paper pattern, you won't be able to make it bigger, only smaller.

Cut the Material

When you've completed cutting out the prom dress pattern from the tissue paper, it is time to lay out the material and then pin the pattern to the material. Follow the directions on the pattern exactly. The directions will tell you where the folds of the material should be and how to lay the pattern on the bias. After all of the pieces are arranged correctly, use sharp scissors to cut the pieces carefully.

Sewing a Prom Dress

After the pieces of the pattern are cut, follow the directions included with the pattern to decide which pieces will be sewn first to how to finish the seams. Don't skip any of these steps or your prom dress may look more like a junior sewing project than a beautiful designer gown.

Take your time when sewing a prom dress. Rushing a project can lead to mistakes that are time-consuming to correct. Be sure to use the appropriate thread for the project and use the best needle setting for the material you are working with. When you take things slowly, you'll be able to make adjustments when needed.


It is important to check the fitting of your gown throughout the sewing project. Check sleeves (if any) to make sure they aren't too tight before sewing them onto the dress. When sewing the bodice, be sure the bust isn't too tight and that it falls at your natural waist. The length of the dress is also important. Try on your dress with the shoes you will be wearing to the event. The length can be adjusted accordingly.

Final Check

Once your gown is completed, have someone check it for you while you're wearing it. Look for obvious problems such as loose threads, bunched up material and gaps. A second opinion is always helpful when you're making your own clothing. If your gown seems perfect, go back and finish the seams and hemline to give it a professional look.

Prom Night

When prom night finally arrives, you'll look great and have a gown like no other. If someone asks where you got your fabulous dress, you'll be able to say, "I made it!"

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Sewing a Prom Dress