Help! Another formal dress is needed!

Felicity has a Year 12 formal in early April. I know, its early. And she already had a formal last year. Sigh

We went formal dress ‘shopping’ with her friend M and M’s mum C. It was more trying on than real shopping, but the businesses totally got it. I’m sure they’ve seen lots and lots of teenagers browsing and trying on multiple times before actually settling on anything.

It was a lot of fun.

Many different styles needed to be checked out, even ones that really didn’t, like this magnificent fairy dress. Its quite a contrast to M’s elegant and totally gorgeous mint gown.

How about one with a detachable bid?

Seven layers in the skirt might be more her style? Let give that a try too.

Hmm. Perhaps a bit to princess-y.

Now the red one is more like it!

It was a size too small, and made from neoprene.. otherwise it might be already hanging in her wardrobe, and my formal dress sewing would be over before it had even started.

So, what do you think? Should I try making a custom version similar to this that fitted her better? Anyone know of any patterns that I could use as a springboard for the bodice? And good sources of plain neoprene or scuba knit?

17 thoughts on “Help! Another formal dress is needed!

  1. Felicity looks fab in that red dress – stunning!
    Pattern I know of but is not the same as this dress is Vogue 8814 which has the option of a vest like top and a full skirt that you could lengthen at the back.

  2. I saw some neoprene in The Fabric Store, but I’m not advocating it for a formal gown. With regards patterns, have a look at Vogue 1424 for the top half and draft or use a Burda gown with a fish tail hem for the bottom half.

  3. Oooh trying on glamorous dresses; always fun! But don’t you live in SA and isn’t it notorious for being extremely hot late Nov/Dec thus making the sweat-trapping neoprene not the best idea?

  4. Yes, Spotlight have a bunch of thickish solid and printed scubas (in fairly awful colours unfortunately) and I saw some lightweight scuba at Tessuti the other day (I only saw black though). Pretty sure Burdastyle young (check the catalogue on their website) has a halter dress pattern like that that you could fuse with a long skirt pattern..

    1. Thanks. Burda young 5868 looks very close to what I need, at least for the neckline. Now, how do I get hold of these patterns? Are they released yet in Australia? I really do need to get into Spotlight!

      1. Yea Spotlight and Lincraft will have ’em (might even have a $5 sale at Spotties at the mo’). If you’re ok with pdfs you can get all their envelope patterns at (but all the instructions are in German-which shouldn’t be a problem for you because you probably don’t need to read them anyway). They unfortunately no longer offer copyshop options (i.e. it’s A4 only) but if you have a large format printer nearby you can get them to scale the preview page the size square is 10 cm ;). Best of luck.

  5. I say go for it. That red dress is incredible on her. And besides that, she’ll only have one 12th year dance 🙂

    1. I did too. How did I miss you??! I wondered if Felicity would prefer the orange or the red. So my lather of indecision meant I walked away empty handed. That’ll teach her for going to the beach for a few days!

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