Monday, December 12, 2016

The Turquoise Sequin "Sweet 16" Mermaid Gown

Howdy!!!!! The last couple of months have been all about client work. Nonstop client work. 75+ hour/week client work. But I survived YAYYYYY! God kept me sane LOLLLL!  I still have wedding garments to post in addition to Nutcracker ballet costumes---just waiting on photos. But I do have something to finally post. I recently had the honor of creating Ms. K's Sweet 16 gown. She had her celebration this past weekend and her gown received rave reviews. I had so much fun making this one and her and her Mom were the sweetest clients.  Here are some pics I was given and gown details. Apologies I'm guessing the venue was a bit dark. The dress is a vivid turquoise. Pics of fabric below too. She looked so lovely! The dress was very classy and turned out great.  I look forward to making my daughter a special gown for her Sweet 16. Thankfully she's only 9 and I've got plenty of time. Don't want to rush LOLLLLL. Deets below.....

This turquoise sequin spandex was ordered from I believe. It was so lovely. Just the right weight and stretch. Very beautiful! A beautiful gown always starts with beautiful fabric!

I used McCalls pattern 7047. I've used it before to create a similar gown. I taped the bodice and skirt together so there would be no waist seam and it would be all one piece.  I did end up whacking this up a little bit to create the mermaid look. Alot of sewers will cut the gown a the knees and make the mermaid piece separately and attach. I flared the pattern to create the effect. She didn't want the dramatic mermaid which technically given the weight of the fabric would be difficult to pull off without some structural support. But here's a pic of my adjustments. You can see the back cutout on far right piece. Ms. K a little athletic so I had to extend her shoulder a bit. I added to bottom with flare as you can see. Only 3 pieces.

I did quick sample to make sure back was ok. My sample was using similar stretch knit I had around the house and didn't include bottom flare but ended at the knees. I always usually do a sample. The actual turquoise sequin fabric was $22/yard so if I'd went ahead and cut the back out too deep and they didn't like it there would be no way to fix. Hence why I always do a sample. Plus it helps me figure out logistical stuff like length and any other changes before making the real thing. We decided she didn't want too dramatic of a train so that initial idea was nixed.  From the sample I made the full gown including flare. Easy to sew together. The back was perfect. I still ended up taking it in a great deal. But that was just a minor tweak. I'm always cautious when making "back out" dresses. The worst thing is a saggy back hole. To prevent I usually end up pulling back shoulder (nearest to neck) up a little bit and sewing it slightly higher than front neck. It helps remove any slack. Even after the fitting there was just a tad bit so I sewed the neck shoulder seams deeper for both front and back.

Aside from that it was easy peasy. I would note that I didn't finish any of the seams. I just folded up and stitched down. I never use my serger to sew anything with sequins. Just doesn't seem like a good idea and I want to avoid any issues with impairing my machine.  Had I wanted to be super fancy I guess I could have used a seam binding but it truly wasn't necessary. The seams were spandex so they won't ravel or fray. Plus the sequins weren't too itchy (I know cuz I tried the gown on myself LOLLLLL) so it was good to go. I have to admit it was fairly heavy. Sequins have a bit of weight to them.

I also contemplated adding 2" horsehair braiding to the hem. I was nervous the gown didn't have enough wow factor with a flat hem but it really did so I'm happy we nixed that idea. I'm always interacting with my client to make sure we add the perfect elements to make their gowns special!

I was EXTREMELY happy with this dress and so was my client. When my clients are happy of course I am. It was a much easier project then my last too which was nice. I LOVE making fancy dresses! Always fun!!!! Let me know what you think about the dress ......and have you been working on any fancy dresses too?


  1. What a beautiful gown! And, you are right, it's very classy!

  2. This gown is beautiful! I learned something today from your blog thank you! You did a wonderful job and it is very classy!

  3. Absolutely gorgeous, thanks for sharing your journey! BLESSINGS

  4. Nice! Excellent work as always!

  5. Wow! The gown and the young lady are both just lovely!

  6. Beautiful work as always Ms. Victoria! I'm sure your client was extremely happy and pleased!

  7. I like it! Modest/classy and sexy at the same time. Good job to all involved in making the decision for dress design.

  8. Glad to see your new post! You did a beautiful job on the dress--the young lady looks amazing. Thanks for sharing all that you do!

  9. Wow, this looks amazing, perfect outfit for formal functions. Going to share this with my circle of friends, hope they will like it as well. Thank you for posting it here


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