A dress for going to the ballet

green silk dress - resizeWe were lucky enough to see the Australian ballet perform Manon at Queensland Performing Arts Centre last night (spectacular!). So this dress was dragged out. I made it about 8 years ago to wear to a church wedding – see original below. Because I just can’t leave alone I decided it needed altering. I made the skirt more straight line and more fitted around the hips which was easy with all those seams being a Princess line. Then I hand stitched the sequin band to the hem and made a sequin belt. The sequins came as a stretchy band so the belt is really comfortable πŸ™‚

I wish I had taken my camera to the ballet rather than relying on a phone so that the photo was a decent size so you could see it a bit better. I tried resizing it up but lost too much clarity 😦


The fabric is a dark green silk duponi. When I was altering it I was able to see evidence of how far my dressmaking skills have come in the last 8 years. The biggest thing I noticed is that I didn’t cut it exactly on the straight grain as at that time I hadn’t worked out how vitally important it is. These days I’m there with a tape measure getting all the pattern pieces exactly on the straight grain and it totally pays dividends. Also when it came back from the dry cleaners years ago they had pressed all the seams of course and they were visible as lumpy ridges as I had overlocked them. Ugg. I thought it was ruined and didn’t wear it for ages. But my recent purchase and discovery of the wonders of pinking shears gave me the idea of trimming back all the seams. And all the lumps pressed out. Phew!


The pattern is one of my essential basics that I use over and over for an excellent fitting shift dress. Being Princess seams it is easy to get a perfect fit. In this version I omitted the pockets and made the pleats at the neckline which were in fashion at the time, but not so much now.

This version is fully lined with a really light weight cotton as I don’t like slippery lining on fitted clothes. It feels so comfy to wear. The wedding I went to in the above picture was during the hottest time of the year and we were all sweltering. I was thankful for cotton lining rather than synthetic to help me feel and look fresh.

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