Princess Jessica’s Prom Dress

I think I have kept you all in suspense for quite long enough. This evening is Jessica and Tom’s leavers prom and so I am allowed to reveal the dress I have been working on for the last few weeks.

I was feeling a bit poorly today so Mr Ooobop, like the knight in shining armour he is, set off with his new birthday camera without sparing the horses. The following photos are some of the loveliest he has taken. And I think you will agree that the beautiful subjects contribute somewhat to the awesomeness too.

Meet Jessica. The most wonderful 16 year old daughter of my friend Tina. Can you now picture the pressure that was to create her a prom dress fitting for such a beautiful princess?!

Jessica having hair styled

Jessica having hair styled

Tayla Harris was in-house hairdresser for the evening and styled Jessie’s hair beautifully. Complete with little jewels to match her necklace.

Hair jewels

Hair jewels

And ooo… look. A cheeky first glance of the bodice! Such a tease, I know!

Hair styled with jewels to match necklace

Hair styled with jewels to match necklace

With make-up, hair and outfit complete, enter Jessie’s Prince Charming – the lovely Tom. I’m so pleased he liked his tie. He didn’t really have much choice in the matter, bless him. It was delivered seconds before this photo was taken. I only finished it this morning! And here we also have a side view of the prom dress. I’m getting there, honest!

Tom's arrival and receiving the tie

Tom’s arrival and receiving the tie

The tie was made to match Jessie’s sash as you can see. And Tom did a much better job of tying it than I did!

Tom putting on his tie

Tom putting on his tie

Tom looking more like Prince Charming every minute!

Tom looking more like Prince Charming every minute!

So now they were both dressed to impress, Mr O worked his magic and took some awesome shots of them together. Don’t they look adorable?

Jessica and Tom

Jessica and Tom

A beautiful portrait of the prom Princess and her Prince

A beautiful portrait of the prom Princess and her Prince

I would love to be a fly on the wall tonight and take a picture of them dancing together. The dress is a circle skirt underneath 10 layers of gathered polkadot tulle so you can imagine just how twirly and frothy it would be.

A little dance to limber up!

A little dance to limber up!

Jessie came to me with a firm idea of what she wanted and luckily for me there was a very similar pattern in one of my old Burda magazines. I’ve got quite a hefty collection now. It’s always a joy to go through back issues and see patterns you didn’t notice first time round. But this one was on the money! The only thing I had to do, knowing how standard the sizing works, was to do an FBA. And I had to learn how to do it pretty quick!

prom dress idea

Thankfully for me, and for Jess, I had recently come across a great set of instructions on the By Hand London site. These totally took the fear factor out of the whole process. And I learned so much. Not least of all to come down 2 sizes for Jessies petite body and then doing an FBA. It took just 4 fittings to get it right but oh it was so worth it.

Side view of the dress

Side view of the dress

The strapless bodice section of the dress is boned. For good reason! This was a first for me too. Though I did discover some fantastic boning in my local haberdashery department that sold pre-cased boning. I just had to sew it directly onto the open seams.

The front and back have rouched tulle stretched across 2 panels

The front and back have rouched tulle stretched across 2 panels

The front and back have rouched tulle stretched taught across 2 panels. I love the way they ‘butterfly’ out from the centre seam. And I love how classic and timeless they both look here. Reminiscent of the 1950s.

Full skirt. 3 layers.

Full skirt. 3 layers.

The tulle overlay is ivory in colour and works so well to soften the pink. Kind of like a frothy strawberry milkshake, don’t ya think?! Of all the techniques involved in making this dress, funnily (or not so funnily) the most tricksy part was gathering all those 10 metres into a 27 inch waist. I even made several gathering threads to avoid breakage but it was still a nightmare. I ended up gathering small sections at a time and pinning it on the underskirt, on the mannequin and then hand tacked it all together before I even thought of taking it to the machine!

The bodice and skirt are lined in full with a slightly darker pink lining. That was one of the easier bits! Unlike the Burda instructions, I sewed the circle skirt lining to the waist seam and then once the bodice lining was seamed at the top, I turned under and hand-stiched the waist seam of the lining over the raw edge of the skirt lining.

Oh yes! How could I forget? The shoes!! Check out these amazing Kurt Geiger shoes that Jessie snapped up in the sale for a mere £29! Pink patent leather with bows and bling!

Kurt Geiger shoes

Kurt Geiger shoes: Pink patent leather with bows and bling!

Have you got loveliness overload yet? I think I have. But hang on I forgot to show you the back. Pretty bow sash and all

back view of the dress

back view of the dress

And so the ‘royals’, unfazed by their impromptu photoshoot, bade their farewells and headed off to the prom.

En route to the prom

En route to the prom

I would so love to have seen everyone’s faces as they walked in together.

Outside the venue

Outside the venue

A massively big thank you to Mr Ooobop for these amazingly professional photos. I would never have got these together myself. I also have to thank Tina for asking me to make this dress for her beautiful princess. It has been such a huge learning curve for me. I don’t deny there was a fear factor involved. I had no choice but to get it right. But that’s how we learn fast, right?!

And last but not least for the ever obliging Jessica and Tom. You make just the perfect models and have brought such beauty to my blog! I am being totally honest when I say that these pictures brought a tear to my eye. I hope you guys had the time of your life! x

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77 thoughts on “Princess Jessica’s Prom Dress

  1. Swoon! 10 m of tulle! Very interesting to read about the pre-made boning. Mr OBs photoshoot really showcases your gorgeous creations …. On two very gorgeous people!

    • Indeed! Not sure I’ll be doing that again in a hurry! I’m so proud of how quickly Mr O has mastered photography. Even though he claims not to be a creative sort!

  2. Blooming heck. I’m pretty close to speechless. You have outdone yourself – you’ve outdone all of us! That is absolutely amazing. What a beautiful dress (and tie). I can’t even begin to imagine making something like that. And – oh, youth! To be young and in love…

    • Thank you so much, lovely. It makes me beam from ear to ear when I get a comment like this from someone like you. This dress is a real landmark piece for me, highlighting how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned. Mostly from such inspirational peeps as your good lady self xxx

    • Thank you Claire. I’ve since learned that I could have used some tape to help the gathering stitches be more responsive! Living and Learning what it’s all about! 🙂

  3. All beautiful – the couple, the dress and the photos. You have excelled yourself. I do hope the princess didn’t spoil herself later in the evening by swigging out of a bottle of champagne like the model in the Burda pic!

    • Thanks so much Tialys. I knew I was pushing boundaries with this one. Was a little bit scary. But so glad I went for it. They are so cute together and Mr O captured them perfectly 🙂

  4. I’m blown away by how gorgeous the dress is. It’s beautiful and just perfect for Jessica. All that tulle is fabulous and I love the way the pink shows through. There just aren’t enough superlatives!! Well done 🙂

  5. It’s a gorgeous dress! So beautiful with the tulle on the pink satin. And I love how Tom’s tie matches 🙂 Great pictures too, Jessica and Tom are a wonderful couple.

  6. Wow, what a gorgeous dress (and model of course)…you clearly put everything into it Janene and it shows! I love that you didn’t back out of the challenge even if it did involve loads of new techniques…kudos to you lady!

  7. I am so impressed – what a beautiful dress for a beautiful girl! And the matching tie is delightful!! I think that the reason I like the dress so much is that it is the perfect blend of youth and sophistication for a 16 year old. Just delightful!

    • Thank you for your lovely comment. I’m so glad she went for this style. The other girls that Ive seen wore very modern clinging dresses which helped Jessie’s to stand out even more! 🙂

    • Thank you MET. I have two daughters but neither would ever give me such a great opportunity as they hate pink. But all thanks to Jessie and her lovely boyf!

  8. Oh soooooo pretty!!! She does look like a princess. You did an amazing job on that dress. It looks stunning! I hope the two had an amazing time at their prom.

  9. Wowee!! Absolutely gorgeous dress and a beautiful dress wearer! Love the sheer layers and touches of pink. And good on you learning how to add boning to the bodice! Such a lovely couple, I’m sure they were thrilled with their outfits.

    • Awww… thanks so much, Emily. And OMG Congratulations! You look beautiful (in the photos your’e not allowed to show) and your bridesmaid dresses are awesome!!! Great to meet you at BHL’s party. Seems a lifetime away now. Must do something more soon x

  10. O. My. God. I want one!
    That is a gorgeous dress! And they both look so pretty! She’s such a lucky girl to have you make the dress. Just wow!

  11. You did an amazing job with that dress, it is so beautiful, and what a sweet couple they make. It’s so lovely to see all the gorgeous pictures. I hope you get to see more pics of the dress being danced in!
    I feel exactly the same about my Burdas, they’re an excellent resource for patterns.

  12. Oh my. Oh my oh my oh my, that is absolutely exquisite. I am in awe at your patience with gathering tulle! And the combination of the spotted tulle over the pink – a gorgeous frothy vintage milkshake indeed. Love it! 🙂

  13. Total loveliness overload!! Awesome work on the dress, I’d love to be a princess for an evening in it hehe. And the photos, sheesh, Mr Ooobop does such a good job, I’d have thought they were professional!

    • Thanks so much Zo. Will pass on your lovely comment to Mr O too. I think he is well on his way too. But it always helps when it comes from someone else! 😉

  14. Pingback: Princess Jessica’s Prom Dress | Fashion

  15. What a gorgeous daughter and gorgeous dress! How perfect! I’m so envious – I’,m a mother of boys! Sigh…, They are gorgeous boys too but oh to be the Fairy Godmother and sew for Cinderella!

  16. Pingback: How To Sew A Tie | Did You Make That?

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