Keeping Myself Challenged By Sewing Ball Gowns


A friend of mine recently planted this nugget of craziness in my brain: sew a ballgown. Now that it is  firmly lodged in my frontal lobe, all I can think of are ball gowns. I’ve already started collecting vintage patterns for the perfect one. This one here caught my eye; it’s a classic in every way. The pattern is a vintage Vogue from 1947. After the war you will see that garment patterns used much more fabric in their designs since there were no restrictions in place with regards to fabric.

As I look for other ideas and patterns most ball gowns are fairly the same in structure. There’s a fitted bodice, sleeveless or cap sleeves and then a full skirt with yards and yards and yards of fabric. Tulle might be over the main skirt piece, and one could wear a crinoline underneath or not, depending on the amount of volume that is preferred. But, I have a long way to go. I need to pick a design/pattern, and then next, select fabric.  In all of the patterns I’ve picked, the skirt portion has between 5-6 yards of fabric. I’m going to need to clean up my sewing table – and, clear up my sewing to-do list.

Currently, I am working on a cape from the 1970’s and and a full, high-waisted skirt that is lined with silk charmeuse. When I’m finished with this one, and it’s soon, I’m wearing it to The Dressmaker movie when it hits our shores. The cape is moving along and it will be done by December.



These projects are helping me as I move into ball gown territory by perfecting my hand sewing, using couture techniques and so on.  It’s going to be so much fun!  I’m not even sure where I will wear this gown once complete it!

What crazy projects have you sewn? Did you wear them? Let me

in on the details, I would love to know!1a signautre small version 3

Other sewing topics you may enjoy:

  • Ooops, looks like we need to pull some suggestions for you!


Couture Sewing & Tailoring Techniques, Hand Sewing