Ball Gown Featured Image

The $7 Ball Gown

It’s December, so cue all the holiday parties! I’ve been on a sewing binge lately, so when my dear husband informed me of his company’s holiday party, I KNEW I had to make my own ball gown. There’s something so satisfying about making things yourself. There’s no better feeling than receiving a compliment on something you made and you blush, look down, and say “Thanks! I made it!”

Ball Gown Couple

The Pattern

So then started the hunt on finding THE dress to make. I’ve sewn before, but nothing terribly complicated. I consider myself an “advanced” beginner as I’ve made myself and Remy some clothes before, but I’ve never made a ball gown. After scouring the countless Etsy stores and sewing Facebook groups that I’m in, I found the perfect pattern! It is The Wiggle from Patterns for Pirates. I love this pattern because of all the options available to make the dress your own. You can customize the length, the type of sleeves, zipper or no zipper, necklines, and the list goes on!  There is even a tutorial of hacks that you can add for even more options for the Wiggle, such as making it sleeveless (which I did), making it into separates, etc.

I decided to make the floor length version of the Wiggle, which has a mermaid silhouette and is just gorgeous and sure to flatter any shape!

After purchasing the PDF format of the pattern from Patterns for Pirates, you can download it and print it out. And this is where your mind gets blown! There is absolutely no need to trim any of the pages. Simply overlap the edges and either tape or glue with a gluestick! Easy peasy! The Patterns for Pirates blog also has instructions on how to add or take away length for your height as the patterns were made for a standard 5’5” height. I had to take away height as I am only *ahem* 5’.

Ball Gown Pattern

Technically, with the cost of the pattern, the ball gown actually costs $16. But I figured I would get the bang for my buck when I make more casual Wiggles for the office and other events.

The Fabric

Originally, I wanted to make the Wiggle in stretch velvet because I thought it would be perfect for a holiday party. So before purchasing any expensive velvet (and possibly ruining it), I wanted to do a trial run with cheaper fabric. I bought some black ponte fabric from Wal-Mart that was $3.17 a yard to practice with. Well, #momlife happens and I ran out of time after my initial fitting, but this black ponte was still formal and looked elegant with the right accessories, so I went with it.

Ball Gown Fabric

The Sewing

After cutting the fabric with my awesome fabric cutter, the actual sewing of this dress is rather simple and the tutorial is easy to follow! Just three panels sewn together in straight lines. That’s it!

Because this fabric had some stretch to it, I used my serger, but a sewing machine would do just fine, but a stretch stitch would have to be used so the stitches won’t pop as you’re tearing up the dance floor. 🙂

I then made adjustments to the neckline as I wanted the back to be a “V” and a lot lower and the neckline to be somewhat lower as well.

Ball Gown Mannequin

Then, I hemmed the armholes, neckline, and bottom with my new coverstitch machine. And my gorgeous ball gown is complete!

Ball Gown Hem

I love how this dress turned out and can’t believe it costs less than $7! I received so many compliments at the holiday party and I love their reaction when I tell them that I made this ball gown. If you have a special event coming up and you have an inkling to sew, I highly recommend the Wiggle pattern to make your dress. With customizable options and a huge variety of fabric to choose from, you will look and feel amazing!

Ball Gown Front

Have you sewn anything for yourself before? I would love to hear about your projects, so comment below!

The $7 Ball Gown Pin

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