January 21, 2015

SEWING: My Red Satin Column Ball Gown With Pockets...

My DIY Red Satin Mardi Gras Ball Gown with Pockets

Hey y'all! It's January of the new year and this red column ball gown is my 1st completed sewing project of 2015! Yay! My friend Anita invited me to the Krewe of Athena's Inaugural Mardi Gras Ball and let me tell you, I had every intention on wearing a sequin ball gown that I had worn once before. THIS GOWN RIGHT HERE to be exact. I wore it to the Endymion Ball back in 2013. But then I had an insane lightbulb moment, which was, why don't I make myself a dress? The idea was insane because I can be a notorious procrastinator when it comes to sewing and I only had a little over a week to complete something. Would I finish it in time? But I decided to go for it anyway because I could always fall back on my purple sequin gown if I had to right? Anyhoo, everything worked out and I was pleased with my result, but first, let me walk you through my process...
Chanel and Anita snap a photo at the Krewe of Athena Mardi Gras Ball
Me and Anita who is one of the "Ladies of Athena." Teal was the Krewe's beautiful signature color!
 I've had about 4-5 yards of shiny red satin in my fabric stash for I don't know how long, I just never knew what I wanted to do with it. Since it's shiny and red, I always figured I'd do something formal with it but I didn't know what until we got the Mardi Gras Ball invitation. Like I said, I had a little more than a week to figure it out and with my sewing track record of wasting time, I didn't have time to do a lot of bells and whistles, ruffles and pleats, so my best bet for finishing a gown in time was simplicity. So I did a google search of simple ball gowns and the straight, sheath column silhouette seemed to be the easiest route. I used New Look pattern 6483 (view C) for the top of the dress and Butterick 6533 for the bottom of the dress, it's a Franken-Pattern! But I mix and match patterns most of the time. It's the best way to get exactly what you want when you're sewing. I put the two patterns together lining them up at the waistline, traced the patterns onto brown pattern paper with a tracing wheel, then I made sure the front matched the back at the side seams (true the pattern) finally I did a muslin mock-up (to be sure of the 'new' design and the fit). I measured the dress for length with the shoes I planned to wear and I added my own in-seam pockets. Because if you've been following me on this blog or anywhere else, you know that I LOVE POCKETS. I try to put them on EVERYTHING. The things I changed: I dropped the neckline in the front just a tad and I did more of a racerback shape in back. I lined it in purple satin to make it feel a little more like "Mardi Gras" I also changed the back neckline completely turning it into a "V" because (and don't laugh) I wanted to make sure I had a wide enough opening to put the dress on over my head. Now I could fib and tell you that I didn't really have the time to put a zipper in, which is the normal way to get yourself into and out of a formal gown, but in all truthfulness, I never had any intention on sewing in a zipper. I have a real love/hate with sewing hardware (i.e., mainly zippers) so I completely sewed the dress all the way up and just wore it to the ball completely sewn in. With no zipper. And what's the difference anyway if I could get in and out of it, right? All that said, I was quite pleased with the result! Even though I was still sewing the hem an hour before the ball started.. smh. But I'll tell you what, my sewing confidence was through the roof after this one! You feel more and more capable after every sewing project you complete, trust me on that. A couple more pics below :)

Chanel and Ron at the 2015 Inaugural Krewe of Athena Mardi Gras Ball
Me and the Mr.
Chanel and Ron at the 2015 Inaugural Krewe of Athena Mardi Gras Ball

Chanel in her DIY Red Satin Ball Gown at the Krewe of Athena Mardi Gras Ball


  1. Your gown looks great! Fabulous job!

    1. Thanks Erica! Means a lot coming from someone who sews so well :) I'm getting better!

  2. When I saw the pockets, I chuckled because I know you love em! I like them on blazers so that I have somewhere to put my phone. Pants that have pockets, I sew them up! Love the post, dress and photos!