Perfect Prom Dress

The prom season has begun and what a nice change to see a dress that actually looks nice instead of the usual hoochie-mama-tube-top ballerina tulle skirt I-can-see-your-underpants concoction.

Here is what we started with…not a seamstress’s dream fabric….that fluffy embellished knitted rose sheer over layers of satin but still feminine and dare I say – age-appropriate…halleluiah!


Can you see the hem is pinned up along with the 2 layers beneath it? But wait…what is lurking in the zipper area?

P1180640  Yes, well spotted…the usual back zipper alteration…this time let’s remove 1.5 inches on either side and get that grosgrain belt effect lined up with that invisible zipper. Lots of bulk with all those layers and then folded under and expected to lie flat and the zipper to slide smoothly…not too much to ask is it? The other request is for the narrow original hem to be kept deep enough so it can be worn with high heels instead of sneakers…yes, sneakers but at least they will be hidden.

The one cool thing is the story behind the dress. It was bought 2 years ago in anticipation of this event and just brought out for it’s debut. See the price tag and see why they could not pass it up:


It’s not everyday that you find an Adrianna Papell dress on sale for $89 reduced from $278. So with the addition of some bust pads (above) and 3 hems and tightened zipper (lubricated generously with Zipper-Ease), this prom dress will be worth under $200 and be able to be worn again or sold knowing nothing was cut off and could be restored to the original size.

Now for a close-up view:P1180669 and the finished product with hand sewn hem:P1180670P1180671

Finally what is a gal to do with all that fluffy fabric around the zipper teeth to keep it from jumping in the path of the zipper pull tab? Maybe some hand stitches will do the trick?P1180674

Not the prettiest solution but imagine catching any of that raw-edged fabric at any point and the yanking and swearing that would happen along with trying to release the snagged fibers! I’d try anything to keep those roses away from the zipper and keep the frilly bits tamed!

This week an order from Wawak arrived…what could be more exciting than a box of boobs and jumbo pack of invisible zippers? Yes, there is also a pack of 144 satin covered metal backed buttons that I use for bustles so all this will be put to good use and who doesn’t love a bargain like buy 2 pair of boobs and get one pair free!!! Yippee!box-of-boobs

Thanks for dropping by this week and there will be more brides in the parade and good stories next time!

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21 Responses to Perfect Prom Dress

  1. fabrickated says:

    This is a pretty dress – it looks like palest pink on white with some silver trimming.

    I know it is sensible to keep the excess fabric in case of later alterations but doesn’t this make the alterations rather bulky? I always enjoy trimming my seams before pressing to get them nice and flat.

    Also I love your bargain box. I am surprised at the bag of coloured zips. Don’t you order 100 of everything in white ?!

    • mrsmole says:

      The dress is pale peach in real life and very fluffy. I would love to trim off the excess but the mother wanted everything left inside for the future…so she gets what she wants…ha ha. I do have lots of white things but sewing for others and one day sewing for myself I just wanted a bag of 25 zips for under $25…stores can charge $4+ for long invisible zippers and this way they can be any length once shortened.

  2. Tia Dia says:

    I don’t think the hand-picked stitches look messy on the zipper – it’s looking like a hand-picked zip, and THAT is nothing to sneeze at. 🙂

    • mrsmole says:

      That’s what I thought too, Tia, but you know non-sewers don’t know the labor that is involved with either type of technique unless you point it put…they got both techniques so that sucker will never want to come out again…ha ha

  3. Nice dress, and what’s not to like about a big box in the post!

  4. maryglenn says:

    I got a huge box from Wawak this week too. The cups are great. The next day service is Fabulous Happy Prom Season.

    • mrsmole says:

      On the West/Left coast it takes a little longer but always a treat to see the UPS man knock on the door with my parcel! Thanks for dropping by Mary and I hope your new goodies are put to good use too!

  5. symondezyn says:

    Nice to see a non-hoochie dress for sure! There is hope for the future generations yet! 🙂 and not many people can say they received a box of boobs in the mail – nice one! ^__^

    • mrsmole says:

      The amazing thing is when I check out the same boobs at JoAnn’s they are charging a fortune for the same item, some times even more than I charge with sewing them into the dress. Some brides don’t like this brand and I say to go and find your own…they end up coming back and asking for them…shoulder pads and boobs…crazy prices for a bit of fluff or foam!

  6. sewruth says:

    hoochie-mama-tube-top ballerina tulle skirt I-can-see-your-underpants
    Now there’s a phrase you don’t often read in Vogue magazine!

  7. Courtney says:

    Adrianna Papell dresses are so lovely and well made! I love the handpicking you did on the zip.

  8. Trish says:

    Excellent job on the zip (and a good idea about hand stitching it back). How did you manage to line up the grosgrain strips so perfectly? Do you baste the zipper in before sewing it, or just pin it?

  9. mrsmole says:

    As soon as i remove the top half of the zipper or the full length, it is basted right back into place by hand and then tested…if it works and matches up…a bonus. Then the client tries it on and makes sure it is tight enough to restrict her breathing and then I machine it in. Lord knows we would never want a fraction of ease in the bodice….or would we?

  10. That is a beautiful dress! Nice to see someone picking something classy. You did a professional job on the hem and the zipper too! I kind of understand leaving the large seam allowance. I have dresses I love that I made for myself that don’t fit any more (around my middle). I just can’t part with them! Too late now!

  11. jay says:

    Such a nice dress! You made the right decision with the net around the zip. Fabric catching in zips is no fun.

  12. prttynpnk says:

    That girl has style!

  13. poppykettle says:

    What a gorgeous dress, and she looks so beautiful in it. I love your idea of folding back the grosgrain ribbon at the waist to help reduce bulk – It’s the kind of zipper territory I’ve always been nervous about on a few of my self-made dresses!

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