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

ooobop! review: Burda Style March 2013

burda style Magazine March 2013

If springtime Burda loveliness is what you are after then you should go grab yourself a March issue right now! The cover pic itself says it all. The goodies far outweigh the oddities this month. But as we know, it would be wrong to omit them completely! And no less than 12  ‘easy makes’ included. Great news for those who love a quick-fix project.

First up is Spring Fashion itself. It’s still sub-zero in the UK as far as I’m concerned. It read 2 degrees on the dashboard this afternoon but I’m sure that was a mechanical fault. I couldn’t speak for a frozen face when I got home from the shops! But the following pretties are a good reminder that Spring is on its way. Just feast your eyes.

spring fashions

The cover dress as I’ve already harped on about, was so going to be my first make. But she doth hideth one of those aforementioned oddities behind her back, that I will reveal when we get to the wedding!

I love the floaty dress next to it, second in from the top. The line drawing makes it look like an awkward piece but this lady wears it well and I love the choice of vintagy fabric.

In fact its true to say, I would love to make every piece from this section. I think that would just about get me through springtime… oh how a girl can wish!

If the mag ended there I would be happy but still, there’s more. I’d like to think I was a festival-goer. But I’m not really. Have never managed to dress down with much conviction and that is quite essential really! So these ‘Festival Styles’ don’t grab me as much apart from that little tiered mini skirt. I’ve never owned one but always wanted one. And now I have the know-how so no more excuses! Teamed with some statement tights and a pair of Docs… and Bob’s yer lobster!

festival styles

And here come the Wedding Belles! Not sure I like the strange ‘boob wrap’ on the title page. I can see where they are coming from and all, a kind of romantic Jane Austen empire type-ness I guess. But a little bit odd don’t you think? I do like the casual lacy top meets lacy skirt weddingy or not outfit. Very simple and very pretty. And there we have that odd back of the dress that kind of looks like you might be wearing an apron (top right). I have stared long and hard and tried to make myself like it. I admire the attempt to be a little bit surprising but I don’t want to be surprised that much. I just want a back to the lovely front of that lovely spring cover dress! I guess I’ll have to go figure!

Wedding Belles

But I have singled out a very timely dress from this section. Despite her drinking problem, this lady has provided great inspiration for a prom dress I have been asked to make for my friend’s daughter. I was a bit nervous at the prospect. Still am to be honest. But I am hoping she will like this little beauty, with a shorter skirt of course. Because not only will she look stunning in it, the pattern and the instructions look none too complex!

prom dress idea

Colonial Style features some casual fashions inspired by the Indian colonial style. Comfortable and chic. Now I’m all up for that kind of irony but I think there is more comfort than chic going on here. Do love that little rouched cardi though. And the placement of the buttons on the spicy orange shirt!

pioneer spirit

Vintage Pattern time is always a joy. I love how this one has been perfectly recreated from the 1952 lace blouse. But I wore one of these in the 80s when I was a New Romantic and I’m not sure I’m ready to repeat just yet. But it is very pretty!

vintage blouse pattern

The Plus Fashions really make their mark this month. Very bold, very monochrome and very stylish. Not so cashing in on voluptuousness this time but very strong and impressionable all the same

Plus Fashions

And if you are looking for some funky cool kid stuff, that’s all here too.

kids fashion

There are heaps of other styling ideas and easter crafts that you will have to seek out for yourself but I can’t leave without showing you these two cute ideas. Whomever would have dreamed up a cute carrot cushion? Only Burda! And I’m not hot on crochet – I don’t ever leave banging eggs hanging around long enough to need a hat – but just what joy would these little fellas bring to a breakfast table?!

easter craftsThank you Burda Style, for reminding me there is a Spring. There is a glimmer of warmth on the horizon and of course for these brilliant patterns that will serve to keep me pleasantly occupied in the meantime!

Happy sewing everyone x