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Vogue Ball Gown


Happy New Year to you all!

Did you have a good Christmas? If it was anything like mine, it will have been crazy busy but fun both at the same time.

As usual I was more than a little optimistic about what I could do in the run up to the festivities and, on top of all the handmade gifts I had planned, I decided it would be a good idea to make a ball gown for Mr H-L’s annual ‘do’ on 18th December.

Time ran away from me (as it has the annoyingly reliable habit of doing every year) and, before I knew it, there were just TWO days left in which to conjure up this dress or – horror of horrors – wear one that I’d worn previously!

Sleeves rolled up, I got stuck in and laid everything out on the dining table rather than in my sewing room – this close to Christmas I didn’t fancy being locked away from the world for 48 hours.

Minerva Crafts supplied all the materials required, including the most gorgeous shot taffeta in a fabulous shade of turquoise which shimmered beautifully in the light and rustled noisily as I sashayed around in it!


Luckily, the Belville Sasoon for Vogue pattern (V2931) had provision for shortening the torso as well as the hemline. At only 5’2″ I am short in the body and was able to adjust the pattern pieces by 2″ accordingly.

As the skirt featured a fish tail, it had to be shortened at thigh length too, in order to keep the flare falling from the right height – I reduced this by 4″ which meant no further reduction at the hemline was necessary.


Once the adjustments were applied to all the relevant pattern pieces, I started the somewhat mammoth task of cutting out.

There were 78 separate pieces to cut out.

It took THREE HOURS!!!

Cutting out

At first glance, the dress may appear to have quite a simple silhouette to it but don’t be fooled – there is plenty of construction hidden within the innocent looking exterior and I was in my element!

Time seemed to stand still as I immersed myself totally in the heaven that is sewing a dress like this.

The bow is a separate entity and is different to any I have made previously (and there have been many!), stiffened with dress net and shaped with hand stitching.


Formed bra cups are essential in this type of dress as it is not possible to wear a bra and, together with the boning, felt secure enough on my (not insubstantial) bust to dance the night away without a second thought.


My recently purchased invisible zipper foot proved a good buy, even if I have managed forty years without one – anything that makes life easier is always a good investment.

The invisible zip went in a treat.


By midnight on Day One, the shell was finished.

I don’t normally like to use flash, but at midnight there is no other option. The benefit was that it shows how the fabric shimmers in the light – it really is stunning!

P1070006The anti-static lining was constructed in pretty much the same way as the dress, minus the bow detail and neck strap.




The two are then pinned wrong sides together and basted in place.


Onto the foundation which consists of a boned layer and a lining. I used cotton covered polyester boning.


Checking the fit is critical as this stage as it is so closely contoured to the body.


Once satisfied that the fit was exact, I attached the hook and eye tape to the back opening edges of the foundation corset.

Ball gown

The foundation was sewn, right sides together, to the dress and understitched where possible around the top edge.

French tacks were made to loosely connect the foundation to the lining – such a useful technique that I use a lot in linings.


Just the lining to sew by hand to the zipper tape….





Four poppers secure the halterneck strap and a hook and eye finishes the dress above the zipper.


I was in rather a rush as we had to leave in an hour, so narrow-hemmed the bottom quickly on the machine. Ideally, I would like to have had the time to sew it properly by hand.

In reality, no one noticed:)

I wore the designer shoes that I bought for our wedding.


After a three hour drive to the hotel, I could finally relax and get ready for the party. Here’s the dress laid out on our bed whilst I took a dip in the jacuzzi with a G&T!

Four Poster

Unfortunately, if you trust your husband to take a decent photograph of you wearing it – this is the best you’re likely to end up with!!!!

Ball gown pose

As you can see, it fits like a second skin – thank goodness for all that scaffolding within!!



Author: sewchet

Sewing, Crochet and other loveliness!

69 thoughts on “Vogue Ball Gown

  1. Well done you! You look fabulous as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous. You looked stunning. Hope you had a good night. Happy New Year K xXx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You make it look so easy!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done! So ambitious and you pulled it off beautifully. I agree with Zeens and Roger: you do make it look so easy! But 78 pieces?! Crazy! Looks fantastic! πŸ˜€πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, that is totally amazing. πŸ™‚ I don’t sew at all, except very small pieces in straight lines, like cushions, etc. I would never dream of attempting 78 pieces! You totally rock!
    You looks absolutely stunning in your dress, and it fitted like a glove. Wow again!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 78 pieces! I’d still be cutting out πŸ™‚ It looks lovely on and I bet you wowed them all!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Only Wonder Woman could rustle up a dress like that in a matter of hours!! πŸ˜‰ Stunning!.. and, my favourite yet of all your creations!!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! You look stunning. The colour and dress pattern are gorgeous and I am in awe that you made this in 2 days, especially leading up to Christmas. It takes me two days to make simple skirts!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Whit woo sexy lady!! I bet you felt as amazing in it as you looked! Love seeing how you’ve put it all together in the different layers. Mr H.L. needs to take this photography malarkey a bit more serious though! I envisaged you coming down a big sweeping staircase with a G&T in hand! Oh well, he’ll just have to take you to another posh do soon so you can where it again! Love your wedding shoes too! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, it’s not the best photo ever, is it? I was a little disappointed, particularly as there WAS a huge, turning staircase down which we swept!! Keeping those boobs under control is always a struggle but all that boning meant I never once felt like they were about to make a surprise exit from the dress:)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Photo’s still lovely, but I don’t think the menfolk realise how we like to drool over each other’s makes, and it’s hard to get photos too when others are around. Stunning nonetheless! πŸ˜ƒ

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow! What an ambitious make! And you made it a huge success- it looks gorgeous on you! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, I was pleased with the way it turned out, particularly as it I would normally have the luxury of a little more time in which to make it. Who am I kidding? It’s the same every year and I ALWAYS leave it to the last minute!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You look beautiful and your skills are awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That colour really suits you – and the dress looks amazing! I hope you had a great time.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Goodness, I’m in complete awe! 2 days???!!!! And you took construction photos!!
    You look amazing. I’m sure Mr Sewchet was very proud to have you on his arm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I only really need to glance at the instructions for the unique details, otherwise all dresses are constructed in pretty much the same way so you can fly through it. I did only finish an hour before we had to leave, though, so it was a bit hairy then. I had visions of hand sewing the hem all the way up in the car:)


  14. I need a lie down after just reading about the construction of this amazing dress! Wow! You look fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Goodness! You did that in 2 days? I’m SO impressed! It’s gorgeous and gorgeous on you! I’m a closet Regency Romance novel reader with settings in England in the 1800’s. They always talk about the gowns and ladies trips to the modist. I’m certain you were channeling those fabulous craftsmen from those days. You did an incredible job. Good on you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, how I’d love to sashay around in those period costumes for a few days! So elegant and dreamy looking, and I might actually have a waist if I had the corset pulled tightly enough! Thanks so much for your kind comments:)

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Wow, some task for two days but you did an amazing job and look gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Amazing! What a gorgeous dress…I think you’re very brave making something with such a short deadline & using taffeta! It really does look lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the word you’re looking for is ‘mad’! Seriously though, I often leave things to the last minute and seem to work well under pressure. Not sure my husband would agree with that statement….

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Wow that is stunning! The fabric is so beautiful! And your dress was more special because you made it!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. You look absolutely gorgeous! That dress is such a stunner. I would love to have a go at sinking my teeth into a project like this but I can’t think of any occasion to wear it. The school run perhaps? ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha, that would certainly turn heads – or get you locked up, one or the other! It’s the highlight of our year which is why I like to make a ‘proper’ dress. I have all these ball gowns and cocktail dresses that have only been worn once!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Absolutely beautiful dress! Amazing that you made it in just 2 days. I need a lie down in a dark room after just reading about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Gorgeous, glamorous dress!
    More photos, please!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Beautiful,love the colour

    Liked by 1 person

  23. In awe! You look stunning, and so does the dress πŸ™‚ Lovely colour and blown away by what you achieved in so little time, gulp!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, but don’t forget, you started sewing at forty whereas I’ve been sewing for forty years – it would be shameful if I couldn’t sew quicker! Nonetheless, it was still a manic couple of days, even for me:)

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Oh WOW!! The dress is stunning!! I am shocked and you look gorgeous! The color is perfect. I love everything about it, The bow and fish tail especially. You rock girl friend. Happy New Year my friend. You deserve all the happiness and more. Please check you email about the box.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Robin, I don’t get the chance to wear this type of dress very often, once a year in fact, and it’s always lovely to dress up, isn’t it? I love the fact that nobody else will have a dress like it – that’s the beauty of dressmaking:)


  25. Glorious! The color is exquisite and it fits like a glove you are just glowing. SEVENTY EIGHT pattern pieces? Good heavens, I’m impressed. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Jen, it was a crazy two days, especially in the week before Christmas! Most of this type of dress have a similarly vast number of pattern pieces – some I’ve made have had over 100!!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. The dress is stunning and you’re stunning in it. It’s quite the party dress and clearly you were the belle of the ball. I’m glad you shared the details of how it came together. I agree that cutting pieces is the most tedious part of sewing. When I worked in a costume shop in my early twenties we had cutting tables topped with cork. They were glorious. I’ve always dreamed of having my own sewing room with one of those tables. The last time I cut out a pattern, I did it in pieces on the kitchen counter. It’s a good height, but slippery. Still, at 5’10” it sure beats using the floor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Did you make costumes then? What a dream job! Why the cork though? I’m only 5’2″ but still find cutting out on the floor back breaking. The worktop in my sewing room is made to suit my height (or lack thereof!) but for full length dresses I use the dining table which is bigger as it seats up to fourteen.


      • I did, many moons ago. I have a degree in theatre arts with an emphasis in costuming. I worked in a handful of costume shops, but moved on to other things as it is very challenging to make a living. You were hired for a season, not a full year. Pay was low (non-profits) and no paid time off or healthcare.

        I did love the work and the creative people I worked with.

        The cutting table had cork so you could pin your pattern and fabric directly to the table like a cork board. It also prevented slippage, an added bonus. The tables were huge, enough for two people to work together if necessary, or to cut out what might be a large costume piece.

        It’s nice that you have a large table to accommodate your dress.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Beautiful! All that work was well worth it for such a lovely creation.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. You look so beautiful it bought tears to my eyes – – seriously. Stunning dress on a stunning lady. I also really loved your sentence ‘Time seemed to stand still as I immersed myself totally in the heaven that is sewing a dress like this.’ So good to hear you were able to enjoy the process when you had a such a short space of time. I’d have been panicking like crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Wow, wow and wow! What an absolutely stunning dress on so many levels – the fabric, style and techniques leave me in absolute awe. Amazing πŸ‘πŸΌ

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Finally got round to reading all of this! Wow you made it look so quick and easy! You did so well getting it done in time. I think I would have gone to the shop haha. Actually having said that and thinking about it – that’s possibly an even more stressful experience! I’d struggle to get a gorgeous dress to fit so well RTW! Hope you had an amazing time in it!

    Liked by 1 person

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