Sewing Project: Queen Gown

Sewing Project: Queen Gown

Sewing Project: Queen Gown

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Finally, the long waited “Queen” gown I made for my daughter is published here!!!! With details and photographs, including those taken during the performance :)

A big thank you to all of you who encouraged me to sew it instead of buying it off-the-shelf. I never thought that I could finish it on time when I was given only 7 days before she wears it for the dress rehearsal and 11 days for the performance. I thought of getting one off-the shelf and embellishing it but I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with the result. So……

Every time I walk into my craft room and see the gown hanging there, I’d think “I made this?” It is just like a dream that I spent 7 late nights and early mornings (I have a day job, so I can only sew it at night) to get it finished, with no pattern to follow!!!! Even my daughter couldn’t believe that it was made by her mum as I didn’t let her see the gown until I almost finish it. By the way, kids are not allowed to enter my craft room, with pins and needles every where, it is a dangerous playground!!!

The performance just ended last Friday and the gown is a great keepsake especially for my daughter. Though the gown just had been on stage for a few minutes for the performance, that’s good enough to surprise the audiences. I received some sweet compliments from other parents, most of them don’t believed it when I said “I sewed it”, anyway I may not look like a tailor or a fashion designer, but I definitely am a hobby craftswomen.

Queen-Gown_wip1 Upon making up my mind to go for the “DO IT MYSELF” decision, I quickly drew the pattern for the gown with the inspirations from some gown photos I found on the web. I am no professional sewer or seamstress and I didn’t attend any proper tailoring class before. All I have is self-taught from book and guidance from my mum. Yes, I made a few garments by following pattern book since I was in my high school, with no proper training. I met with failure along the way but it didn’t stop me from sewing. Here I am, drawing my own paper pattern for the first time and it is challenging.
If you wish to made this gown, there are some online gown patterns available in places like McCall and SewingPattern.com. But you can’t find mine there, oppppsss!

Queen-Gown_wip2I went to a few shops during my lunch time the next day and quickly got some materials for the gown, like red linen and black satin (I changed to white in the later stage), ribbons, pre-pleated ribbons, laces, buttons, zipper and also a pair of open-finger long hand glove… basically anything I came across that I might need. I ended up buying more than I needed :p

Queen-Gown_wip3The cutting began after the kids went to bed and there was no one to disturb me. I was excited and started to cut the fabric, made a few mistakes and wasted some fabrics though. Well, at least I learned something through-out the process.

Queen-Gown_wip4I made the black top (right) on the first sewing night and let my daughter try on it to check if the measurement was correct, and her first reaction was “Mummy, why did you use black, I don’t like it!”…. emmmm… I had the same opinion too, so I wasn’t surprise when she made that comment. Without a second thought, I trashed the first night effort and replaced the black satin with white satin, resulting in a white-red-gold combination (left). And, I also extended the V-waist a little as the first pattern was too short and the V is not noticeable… problem with self design pattern… lol!!!

Queen-Gown_wip5Next, on to the sleeves. That was a pair of puffed sleeves where I embellished it with 3 stripes of ribbons.
I called up my mum to ask for some help in drawing the puff sleeve as I never sewed one before. It is not difficult, just split the sleeve into 6 equal vertical parts, glue them onto another paper with double the spacing in between them (if you want it puffier, add more space in between), and extend the curve on the top of the sleeve with same spacing. Redraw the sleeve with correct curvature, that’s it! I later found a website with detail photos for the “puffing”, but it is only “puffing” the top and not the arm hem.

Queen-Gown_wip6Phew, luckily the sleeves came out PUFFY. I got it right :)
The red center piece on the top is a combination of gold powdered lace with red fabric. I later found out that it is non-washable… dry cleaning may work but not water.

Queen-Gown_wip7The top was finished and I needed to get on to the bottom skirt fast. I was running out of time and the bottom need more time to finish as it was heavily embellished.
Basically the bottom was made up of 4 pcs. of rectangles and 4 pcs. of triangles (curved bottom).
I sew lots of pre-pleated ribbons onto the white satin triangles. At first I sew them slightly over-lapping each layer, I later added another layer in between to make them look “full”.

Queen-Gown_wip8Sewing them up took up a lot of time as there were 22 layers of pre-pleated ribbons in each triangle. Took me a night to finished it.

Queen-Gown_wip9 I added 3 stripes of ribbons on 3 pcs. of the red rectangle fabric, otherwise it will be too plain for that part. The center piece is a combination of golden lace and red fabric exactly like the top.

Queen-Gown_wip11Had all of them sewn up. Sent to the craft store nearby for serging services as I don’t have a serger machine.
Gathered on the top side of the dress and joined up with the top to make up into gown. Went for another serging service again. There was an interlude for this trip, the lady who did it for me gave me a big eye and said “You made this?”, I said, “Yes, it is for my daughter’s stage performance”. Their customers (mainly seamstress) all hovered around it showering compliments on it… I was like “oh my goodness!!!” blush blush… I am not a pro by the way and this is my first gown sewing :)

Queen-Gown_wip12Back to the details of the gown. I later sewed in the long open-finger hand glove onto the puff sleeve and added a ring of pleated ribbon at the wrist.
I also put in a line of small pleated ribbon on the waist to make it looks more “ROYAL” :)

Queen-Gown_wip13Also, another line of pleated ribbon for the end hem of the gown with the same purpose… ROYALTY LOOK!!!

Queen-Gown_wip14Side view of it.

Queen-Gown_wipdone

Finally finished the whole gown. This gown is displayed with a crinoline in it. I need it to make the gown look inflated and domed. I am saving this for my next post on how to make a crinoline, quite easy compared to sewing this :)

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38 comments... read them below or add one

  1. AWESOME! I’m crazy impressed with that dress. My kids would be SO Jealous of your daughter. Are you going to let her play with it?

  2. Great job! Its absolutely gorgeous!

  3. Fantastic, amazing work, Joanne! Truly one of a kind that your daughter will remember for years to come!!!

  4. Beautiful!! A work of art. congrats…

  5. Joanne that gown came out absolutely beautiful (your daughter is beautiful too.) You did a great job and the fabrics are really nice.

  6. beautiful work!! your daughter looks sweet in it:-)

  7. It turned out gorgeous Joanne!

  8. Wow! She looks so pretty! Where is the prince charming? Well done, mommy!

  9. Turned out beautifully Joanne, I love your choices of fabrics and trims !

  10. Amazing. Great job.

  11. Wow!u’ve done such a great job dear..it’s really beautiful..eventhough takes a lots of patient there but it’s all worth it..congratss..

  12. That is absolutely stunning wow wow wow. Congratulations on a fantastic job. Beautiful daughter too :-) xx

  13. Oh she looks fantastic, well done it was all worth it.

  14. You did a fantastic job. It is so beautiful! She looks like a queen! Good job as always Hugs to the queen

  15. Very beautiful… your daughter and the gown!

  16. It is unbelievable! Absolutely gorgeous! WOW!!!

  17. Wow! Beautiful daughter and gorgeous dress! Very good!

  18. Your attention to detail is incredible! That gown is spectacular!!! Your daughter looks so proud and so should you. Very well done, Joanne. Impressive work!

  19. You did an absolutely incredible job. I’ve been sewing over 45 yrs. I don’t think I could have done as well.

  20. Oh 2 precious…compliments Joanne, great job! It is truly amazing! Great idea 4 my Indira 4 carnival next year…

  21. beautiful!!! i cant believe u jaz sewed it by urself…. fantastic!

  22. Lovely dress!!! Very inspiring!

  23. Wow it is really beautiful. You did a super job!!!

  24. Pingback:Lookie what she made: Queen gown for stage performance · Sewing @ CraftGossip

  25. WOW!! I would never have guessed that this was your first attempt at drafting a pattern. The gown is GORGEOUS and looks like a professional did it. No wonder the pros at the sewing shop were so complimentary!

    I posted a link to your project on Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/lookie-what-she-made-queen-gown-for-stage-performance/2009/11/15/

    –Anne

  26. The dress is beautiful, and so is your daughter. What a wonderful job and great task to take on! Be sure to enter it in some upcoming contest — you are sure to win!

  27. You’ve done an amazing job at creating a one of kind costume for your daughter. I just started sewing about a year ago, self taught. I’m excited to get to where you’re at one day.

  28. This is too lovely… the workmanship is such professional. I would admire it so much!

  29. The dress is amazing!!!! I am sure your daughter was the star of the play!

  30. I thought you said you weren’t the best at sewing. That’s a really, really great job. It’s beautiful!

  31. Beautiful Little girl and beautiful gown.

  32. Fantastic!! Well done!

  33. what a beautiful gown you made for your daughter, you are very talented ;)

  34. stunning piece of art! i am speechless ……

    your 1st attempt at gown-making? i wish i have your talent… so envious!!

  35. I was going through your archives and saw this…all I could say is AMAZING! Considering you don’t use a pattern. Wow!

    • Thanks, Sertyan. Unbelievable huh~ Even my mom was so surprised to see this with her own eyes. I have to thank her for all the tips and tricks she taught me through out my early sewing stage ;)

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  36. You made a wonderful dress Joanne. Wow, your daughter must be lucky to have such a fine dress made with love from her mother!

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