Last weekend was the annual Vampire Ball hosted by PEERS. I wore a dress I made from a 1950s pattern that I am calling my “black swan” ball gown because the many organza ruffles remind me of a tutu.
The skirt of my gown had what seemed like miles of organza ruffles. I was able to save a lot of labor by using fabric that already came pre-ruffled. I thought that the strips of ruffles all ran parallel to each other, but actually change direction every few rows. It made the fabric a little harder to sew, but probably added more visual interest. It was certainly very fluffy! (I had many people asking to pet my skirt).
The bodice was made using Vogue 8789. I highly recommend this pattern for its flattering shape and ease of construction. The facings for the neckline are cut as part of the bodice pieces, and folded inside and tacked. (I’m used to sewing and wearing historical garments that have more boning and structure up top, so this seemed to go together extremely quickly). The Vogue pattern has a short skirt and is meant for daywear, but I was able to adapt it to an evening gown by making the skirt longer and fuller. I felt very elegant in this dress; I think my friend Kim captured my mood perfectly in the photo below.
The sash was made of red stretch taffeta, tied into a large bow in the back. The front was accented by a rhinestone pin from my costume jewelry stash.
Black dresses are always hard to photograph, so here’s a lightened close-up of the fabric:
You can’t see my shoes but I was wearing my American Duchess tango boots to give me some extra height as I socialized with the undead.
- 4 yards black ruffle organza (skirt): $79.96 from Fabric Wholesale Direct
- 4 yards black broadcloth (lining): $9 from Fabric Wholesale Direct
- 1 yard black stretch taffeta (bodice): $3.99 from Fabric Wholesale Direct
- 1 yard red stretch taffeta (sash): $3.99 from Fabric Wholesale Direct
- Vogue 8789 pattern: $12.70 with shipping from eBay
- Zipper and thread from stash
I want to thank Fabric Wholesale Direct for providing all the fabric for this project! The ruffle organza was a very cool fabric and definitely turned heads! It was also my first time using one-way stretch taffeta, and I found it to have a nice body and opacity, and be very easy to work with.
You can read my tutorial for this dress posted on the FWD site!
Update 12/8/16: Here is a photo courtesy of the talented John Carey, of me sitting on the downstairs steps in my ballgown!
A very visually appealing ensemble! Thanks for the heads up about Vogue 8789, I will definitely check it out.
Thank you Cindy! It’s a good pattern; I’m already using it again for a cotton day dress.
You’ve always had great costumes. But it seems like this year you’ve totally outdone yourself with one spectacular ensemble after another!
Thank you Jean! You’re so kind to think that!
Very fun fabric! It looks like an immensely elegant outfit to wear.
Thank you! At moments I did feel like
I was on the red carpet!
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