Design Your Own Prom Dress
Using Sewing Patterns

Design Your Own Prom Dress?

Design your own prom dress? Have you been looking for a prom dress and you just can't find "the right one", then consider creating your own dress. This could be a wonderful solution to a potentially frustrating situation.  

If you are having problems finding a prom dress that you like, for one reason or another, you may want to consider sewing your own dress.

Even if you are not an expert sewer, you can choose a style of prom dress that is easy. A dress that will leave you standing out in the crowd. Better yet you can say you have sewn it yourself, or don't tell any one at all and they will never know.

Butterick patterns, Simplicity Patterns, McCalls Patterns, these are just a few pattern companies that offer patterns to help you create a dress that you will love and be proud of.

The other option you have, if you are lucky enough to have a family member or friend that is a sewer and have them sew the dress, with the idea that you can pick the style and fabric and of course the fit, that best suits your figure and your taste.

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Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs Teaches Fashion Design

The First Step
Find your inspiration

  • If you don't already have a style color and fabric in mind, then go online and search for images of prom dresses that give you inspiration.
  • Copy and paste your choices in a word document and use this to refer to when looking for patterns.
  • The dresses you look at should be suitable for your figure.
  • I found this dress and thought it was beautiful. Although I am an advanced sewer, I chose this style, because it is easy and still gives the "wow" factor when you where it.
floral prom dress

The Second Step
Search for a sewing pattern

  • The second step is to go online again and search the big pattern companies for prom dress sewing patterns that are available.
  • You will find appropriate dresses, under the labels of evening wear, bridal, special occasion, prom etc.
  • Below are the links for the various pattern companies, so click the links and search for a pattern.
  • Below are some examples of sewing patterns available from the different pattern companies. is where you will find this dress. It's an elegant choice you may want to consider. Simplicity patterns recently has linked with Burda Patterns. You can now purchase Burda patterns through the simplicity website.

McCalls sewing patterns has a good selection of prom dress patterns.

The pattern to the left is a great example of how a pattern offers multiple styles in one pattern.

New Look Patterns is where you can find the pattern to the right. New Look offers a smaller variety of dress patterns. However, it is worth taking a look. 

Butterick patterns is where you can find a dress like the one to the left. Click the link to go to Butterick Patterns.

Vogue Sewing Patterns.

Vogue patterns carry some of the most beautiful designer fashions. This dress is a current pattern available. I like the Spanish flare. 

Design Your Own Prom Dress:
With Vintage Patterns

This vintage remake is a beautiful way to have a taste of the past. The dress featured here is from Vintage However, Butterick, as well as McCalls carry a line of vintage patterns.

Vogue Vintage Pattern V8729
Vogue patterns
  • Note: I have added Kwik Sew to the list because they do carry some dress patterns that may appeal to some, however, Kwik Sew doesn’t seem to have the same variety of special occasion dresses that the other companies have.
  • This is the easiest way to take a look at all the styles available in the comfort of your home,
  • Even if you choose to go to the fabric store to buy your pattern and fabric, looking online first is a more convenient way to look at what is available. However, you can purchase sewing patterns and fabric right on line as well.
  • Another tip to help you decide if you would choose a style, I like to go to . Here you can search for garments that people have already made. Keep in mind there are sewers of all levels of sewing capability that add to this site, therefore, their skill level may not be as professional as some sewers, but it is still a very good reference. It will give you ideas and show you can design your own prom dress. On the home page of pattern, click on review gallery. Here you can filter your search by pattern #, pattern company and garment category. From the drop down list choose formal wear.
  • Occasionally you will not find any reviews for a particular pattern search, however, it is not very often, as there are thousands of reviews added regularly.
  • When choosing a style of prom dress, don't forget to think about trims and embellishments.

If you need some guidelines on how to choose a sewing pattern or how to read a sewing pattern see my sewing patterns page .

The third step:
Design Your own Prom Dress

After choosing a pattern you like, now you look for your fabric and notions (zippers, buttons, thread etc.)

Make sure you take a look on the back cover of the pattern for what type of fabric to buy, to buy and what notions will be needed.

The pattern will tell you how much fabric you will need to design your own prom dress.

Your inspiration images that you saved in a word document, should also give you the idea of what type of fabric that appeals to you. Indicating what color you like and if the dress flows because it is made from chiffon, or is the fabric stiff like organza or a stiff satin.

You are going to design your own prom dress, so bring these images with you to the fabric store, or if you shop for fabric online have it with you at hand, and pay close attention to the details.

Online Fabric Stores

  • I have found my inspiration image you see above.
  • I have found my sewing pattern.
  • I have found a fabric that I know will be suitable for the style of dress I chose. The fabric is close enough to the inspiration image to make me happy.
  • Considering my inspiration image above, here are my choices.
  • You can see you have options for what style of dress you would like, this is when designing your own prom dress becomes easy.
  • The pattern gives you different options and then tells you how to sew each view or option.
Design your own prom dress.
  • For this pattern I chose the option you see below. However, I will change the length to 3/4, so the dress will hang to the mid calf. The pattern doesn't give this option, but it doesn't matter, because you are going to design your own prom dress, remember.
  • Something else to consider when you design your dress, is trims and embellishments.
  • Take a minute to leave Design your own prom dress and go to my sewing trims and notions page. You will find tips on how trims and embellishments can really add to an already special occasions dress.