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prom dress draping photo

MDNB | Posted in General Discussion on

this is the prom dress I’m having trouble draping the skirt.  It’s a combination of three dresses my daughter liked parts of each.  crumb catcher, tie, skirt swagged.



  1. KharminJ | | #1

    Wow! Can't wait to see the suggestions for this! I think I'd start with 96" wide muslin, maybe even 108" (from the quilting fabrics place) ... after that, I'd be writing in here, too! Have fun ~ Kharmin(here's the original thread - http://forums.taunton.com/tp-gatherings/messages?msg=9703.1"draping a dress", #9703.1)

  2. sewslow67 | | #2

    This may sound like a pretty silly recommendation, but ...have you thought about checking out drapery books that show in detail how to get all of those exquisite folds that flow down the side of a window?  I've actually used some of those techniques for clothing in the past, and the "basis" of the design as worked out quite elegantly.

    Yeah ...I know it sounds nuts, but just checking out their techniques might be helpful.

  3. Teaf5 | | #3

    A lot of draping starts with surprisingly simple shapes like rectangles or squares that are bunched at a corner or along one side, and the key point is how the fabric hangs from points on the body.

    In your case, it looks as if everything hangs from the front left hip, with somewhat parallel small swags around the hips, gradually releasing the ride side while keeping the left drawn up. Do you have any other photos that show the back and sides?

    The drapery book is a good suggestion; you can also find a lot of this kind of draping in older pattern-making and sewing books as well as in costume-making books. And have you checked the major pattern companies' costume, evening, and vintage patterns to see if one has a skirt close to the one you need?

    For draping costumes, I used to use lengths of sheer fabric or old sheets and a lot of rubber bands and safety pins on a live, leotard-clad (and unfortunately, ticklish) person. Once we had the fabric draped and bundled to achieve the look, she took off everything, and I basted and marked the pieces before disassembling it to make a pattern.

    Please let us know how your dress progresses!

    1. MDNB | | #4

      Thank you so much.  I used to make window treatments as a buusiness so the  swags were familiar.  The trouble was getting the horizontal lines changing into the vertical pleats, in window treatments the swag is separate from the side panels, also my drapes don't dance or sit, in other words I want my daughter covered even while dancing. 

      I think I've got the drape now I have to figuure out how to keep it.  I'm thinking that my dress form and I are going to be snuggling together.  I hope she isn't ticklish. 

      Any one know of special tricks to keep strapless dresses up?  I'm planning to have a tight fit above the waist and a lining with an internal zipper for tight fit.  Any other ideas, I just hate seeing girls that have to pull up there dresses all night. 


      1. starzoe | | #5

        Boning is the usual way to keep a strapless dress in place.

        1. KharminJ | | #6

          Boning was my first thought, too. And adding a non-stretchy "stay tape" with a strong hook-and-eye inside, at the waist. The h&e would fasten behind the zipper, on extensions of the stay tape.Kharmin

          1. MDNB | | #8

            The boning is of course the first line of defense, but I think the stay tape is a great idea.  I sewed the skirt to the muslin last night and am going to put it on the "live" model today. 

            Say your prayers.

            Did I tell you I have 30 swim suits to make for the other daughters Synchronized swim team.  Both prom and the synchro are at the same time. 

            Good thing I love my daughters.

      2. woodruff | | #7

        Susan Khalje's beautiful book, "Bridal Couture," provides the rationale, instructions, and illustrations for constructing an inner, boned corselet to provide flattering support and keep strapless gowns in place.

        1. MDNB | | #11

          WHy didn't I think of a bridal book?  thanks it's a great idea.

      3. Palady | | #9

        >> ... special tricks to keep strapless dresses up?  ... <<

        In addition to boning et al, you might consider what celebrities use.   A body glue.  

        If interested, open the google page and browse.




        1. rbjohn | | #10

          Interesting to see this tonight. My son's ex-girlfriend just left, brought her prom dress over for altering. they side seams  (undrarm) have a very fine lace up detail and it was very simple to take in under the lacing and then just tighten up the laces. Then I thought, what a great detail to add to a gown if I were makeing one. You could maybe do a under bodice with the laceing. Soryy, not explaining this very well, I will try to take pictures.

          Brenda in MI

          1. MDNB | | #12

            I would love to see the photos of the details.  I have almost finished the dress.  The hem and a few hooks and eyes is all I have left.  I guess I better take a photo or two to show it off.  I'm really proud of it I don't get many kudos at home, my husband says "Oh that's nice, does CLara like it?" 


          2. Ralphetta | | #13


          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #14

            Stunning! You are doing a fine job on this dress! Bravo. Very professional. Cathy

          4. Teaf5 | | #15

            Wow--impressive! Now you'll have to be the expert for all the draping questions!

          5. rbjohn | | #16

            Wow, You've done a wonderful job. I will post a picture of the lace up prom dress after this weekend is over. Have a wedding. Have a great weekend all.

            Brenda in MI

            Edited 4/17/2009 8:19 pm ET by rbjohn

          6. Teaf5 | | #19

            I'm sure that you meant to congratulate MDND, not me. I can't imagine being so successful so quickly!

          7. woodruff | | #17

            Oh, very, very pretty! I hope your DD treasures the gown. She should.

          8. moira | | #18

            This looks gorgeous, and I love your hidden security device. How often we see girls having to pull up their strapless dresses.I also love the wallhanging! Beautiful!

          9. Ceeayche | | #20

            Much prettier than the picture. It's gorgeous!

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