What I Made: Formal Party Dresses

party dresses

Finally! I am able to share with you all the culmination of a nearly a weeks work! Last week I hinted at the dresses I was preparing for myself and my sisters for a wedding that we were going to attend. They turned out better than I had hoped, and though, I had my share of problems and frustrations along the way, I am really pleased with them.

We went shopping, us girls and my mama with several ideas in mind of things that might work. But there was a this or a that that didn’t quite work together and we wanted to look good together and originally the idea was to have coordinating dresses. We literally had 3 options for dresses times three a piece in the cart. That makes like 12 bolts of fabric. I had a hard time keeping my brain straight for this shopping trip! Add into the confusion the fact that we were on a time crunch because we needed to go and pick up the fella’s from their grocery run at Costco. . . yeah. I was so stressed, but pleased when we finally picked out what we were going to do. We had the cottons in the colors each girl liked, as well as the sparkle tulle for the skirt overlay. To make matters even worse, they didn’t have enough of the color of fabric that I wanted for my dress, so we got a sample of that, in hopes to match it at a different store. I was so distracted that I didn’t get enough of the cotton fabric. Facepalm. Not fun.


The whole time while making the girls dresses, I was reconsidering making myself a matching one. For some reason, I was unsettled about the style for me. It didn’t really feel like ME. Does tat make any sense? Well, after a few fabric store runs, we finally decided to go for it. We got a similar green to the one I had originally picked out. During the same trip, I got more fabric of the girls dresses so I would be able to do the sleeves and the sash. I finished up the girls dresses and still wasn’t liking the idea of that dress for me. The fabric we got was too bright for me and I was just not loving the idea of wearing it. There had been another fabric in the red-tag section of Joann’s when we were shopping that my mom found and it was gorgeous. It was an iridescent green with blue tints to it and I had loved it, even though it wasn’t an apparel fabric and even though it was almost silky in texture, I loved the way it looked. But the other downside of that fabric option for a party dress was that it was far more expensive, nearly double the price of the other one we had picked out, and I couldn’t use a coupon because it was already discounted. But my sweet Nana offered to buy it for me for my Christmas present. I was so thrilled! This fabric was perfect! I was able to return the green cotton I had gotten and purchase the silky fabric. It had embroidered polka dots all over it as well, giving it a more elegant and sophisticated look that I loved.

On to the sewing: I used the Patsy Jean Dress pattern for these with some tweaking.  I won’t lie, the tulle fabric was a bit of a pain to work with. It was thin and slippery. And when I gathered it for the skirts, It was pretty bulky, so when I sewed it to the bodice, the fabric would roll over itself and in the case of the pink dress, because it had a thinner base fabric, I had to take it out and re-sew parts of it several times. The dresses also took longer because of the added layer of the tulle, and the fact that I was making sashes and adding cap sleeves. When sewing the sashes, I accidentally sewed them inside out. That was one of those moments I wanted to be done for the day, but I had to finish them. Thanks to some little gremlins (siblings) who helped me by seam ripping and turning those sashes right side out, we were able to finish without too much trouble.

Working with my dress was a little bit easier, because I didn’t have any extra layers and I made mine sleeveless so that it had a little bit more of an elegant look to it. I also didn’t need the sleeves because I have a really pretty angora sweater that a friend found at a thrift store and handed down to me. I was especially happy that I could have pockets! I love having pockets in my party dresses so that I can slip some mints, Kleenex for those teary moments at a wedding and lip-gloss in there and no one would ever be the wiser. Also convenient so I don’t have to worry about losing a clutch or purse.


Finished seams make me so happy!


Pinning the Skirt to the bodice.


Sewing the now gathered skirt to the bodice.


Getting close to being done!!!!


I brought my sewing machine inside because it was getting pretty cold in my little workshop that is in the garage.


Sewing in the zipper. . . Thank God for my new zipper foot! I have no idea how I was doing zippers without this thing! It makes all the difference!


Now. . .Drumroll please!!! The Finished dresses!


My sister Isabella has a hard time finding clothes that she likes, so it made me uber happy that she loved her dress! YEE HAW! Score! She looks like a princess!




I got to curl her gorgeous hair!



Sarah Grace loved her pretty pink and feminine dress. It suits her perfectly. I found it so cool how each dress totally fit with each person.


They also opted to tie their sashes in different ways to be slightly more unique.




I was so thrilled with my dress! I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! And the whole time at the wedding, I felt so confident and myself that I was so happy that I had made the choice that I did to go with this fabric! Thanks Nana! I also love my little glitter heels!


Can you tell that I feel like a princess too?






sisters forever

My sweet sisters! I love you girls! So happy that I have you for my best friends! You are each such charming and special individuals. I feel so blessed to be your big sister! I love you so much!

I also wanted to mention to you all that there is a sale on my Etsy shop right now. 20% off your purchase of any size when you use the coupon code HOLIDAYS. You could snag a Patsy Jean dress for yourself if you wanted!

What did you think of the dresses? Which was your favorite?

By God’s Grace,


10 thoughts on “What I Made: Formal Party Dresses

  1. Wow! What gorgeous dresses!!!! What an amazing seamstress! I love how you made each dress unique to each sister…I love the pictures! Reminds me so much of me and my two sisters! Great post, Victoria!!


  2. Oh, Victoria you are so talented. These dresses are gorgeous. They are nicer than department store ones. I would love to be so talented as you are. Thanks for sharing . I have been looking forward to seeing the dresses. Wear them in good health.


  3. I can’t believe you made a formal dress! You are so talented! I keep looking at these snow pictures and knowing that y’all HAD to be freezing getting these pics! lol So we readers should appreciate the sacrifice you made to do this post lol


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