Tips on Sewing Evening Dresses

Written by rebekah martin
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Tips on Sewing Evening Dresses
(Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Because evening gowns are expensive in the store, it can be tempting to make your own, but you must be up for the challenge. Making a gown can be a daunting experience. The fabric must be right, the pattern must be perfect, and the skill of the person doing the sewing must be up to the challenge. Purchase the correct materials, use a flattering pattern, and allow enough time for careful sewing and your evening gown will look stunning when you wear it to your event.


Pick a gown that flatters your body shape. Just because a drawing on the pattern envelope looks good doesn't mean it will fit your body or look good. Know beforehand what style looks good for you, then buy a pattern in the correct size. Do not buy a size that may fit if you lose 4.54 Kilogram, because chances are you will not lose the weight before wearing the gown.

Read the pattern carefully to see what type of fabric it recommends. Different gowns need different types of fabric to successfully achieve the look and draping it requires. Chiffon, silk, satin or lace are popular fabrics, but all have a different feel and look.

Make sure you purchase enough fabric to complete the dress. You might even want to buy a little extra, in case you make a mistake. Buy all the notions you need, also. Some dresses require little more than a zipper, while others need embellishments, buttons or lace trim.

Preparing the Fabric

Wash your fabric according to manufacturer recommendations before cutting the pattern out. This will allow shrinking to occur naturally before the dress is sewn together.

Lay the pattern pieces out following the pattern directions. It is important to follow the grain of the fabric as the directions state so that the dress will lay correctly.

Allow Plenty of Time for Sewing

The night before and event is not the time to begin sewing your dress. Leave plenty of time for constructing, fitting and stitching the garment for the best fit and finished look. If the pattern calls for a lining to be made, do not skip it. It can be tempting, since no one sees a lining, but it helps the dress to fall smoothly. Without a lining, evening gowns can look lumpy and clingy.

If you are unsure about how the final dress will fit or look, make a mock-up of the dress out of muslin. You can even make a mock-up of just the bodice if that is the part that is worrying you. Muslin is a cheap fabric that will sew up quickly and allow you to make any adjustments to the pattern before sewing your actual evening gown fabric.

Finishing Touches

Consider putting an invisible zipper into the dress. They are easy to do and typically unnoticeable to the untrained eye. If you like the look of buttons down the back of the dress but the pattern calls for a zipper, add some decorative buttons along the zipper seam.

Add a few embellishments to the dress if you like. A large silk flower on the shoulder strap or bust line of a strapless gown will nicely complement many gown designs. Sequins or beads sewn in an intricate pattern can also significantly enhance the "wow" factor of your evening gown.

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