2011 Curvy Girl Prom Dress Challenge

Now that the holidays are behind us and the wind chill is a number that makes your teeth chatter, it’s prime sewing season in Chicago. Not that we need an excuse to sew, but it’s a lot easier to spend our free time at our sewing machines when going outside means layering on half the clothes in our closets than it is when outdoor cafes and other warm weather diversions are vying for our attention. So, can you think of a better antidote to midwinter gray than sewing a beautiful prom dress in a cheery spring color? Of course you can’t.

This year, the entire ASG Chicago Chapter is participating in the Curvy Girl Prom Dress Challenge that Sew Chicago started last year.

Our challenge is to make stylish, youthful prom dresses in large and plus sizes for the Glass Slipper Project, an organization that has been providing prom wear for Chicago-area high school girls for over ten years. We are also helping our friends and neighbors find extra room in their closets by collecting donations of gently-used prom dresses in all sizes, as well as shoes and evening bags. Sew Chicago took great pride in playing Fairy Godmother last spring, and many of us are busy conjuring up new creations for this year.

If this project gets your creative juices flowing, we would love to have you join in. And, you don’t have to do it alone. Collaboration with one or two other sewers can be fun.

In general, the girls prefer floor-length and tea-length dresses over street length. Dresses work better than two-piece ensembles, because the pieces can get lost.

Plus sizes are preferable, the larger the better. However, if you are drawn to a pattern that only comes in Misses’ sizes, sew the largest size available. We can use them all. One of the advantages of this project is that we don’t have to fit a particular girl. You can sew the pattern straight out of the envelope, with or without embellishments, or, if you choose, you can give the dresses a little extra room. We ask that you insert a snippet of ribbon inside the dress and mark the size with a Sharpie. Here is a link to a chart showing the measurements and sizes of larger ready-to-wear dresses you can use as a guide (since we all know that pattern sizes are very different from ready-to-wear).

Here is a sampling of patterns you might consider (note that some of the patterns are for stretch knits only):

We will be presenting all donations to the Glass Slipper Project on Saturday, March 12th. Our deadline for completing the Curvy Girl Prom Dresses is Saturday, March 5th. I will be organizing the round-up of dresses that weekend and will take pictures of them to post on this blog. If you would like to participate and you are not a member of an ASG Chicago Neighborhood Group, please leave a comment on this post and I will contact you to make arrangements to pick up your dress. If you have gently used dresses or accessories that you would like to have counted in the ASG Chicago donation to the Glass Slipper Project, please indicate that in a comment as well and Tina will contact you. We look forward to seeing what what you create.

8 thoughts on “2011 Curvy Girl Prom Dress Challenge

  1. I have several evening purses that have been used only once or twice. I would like to donate them if you think they can be used.
    Renee Schwartz

    • Thank you so much, Renee! The Glass Slipper Project has a shortage of evening purses this year, so this will definitely help make a young woman’s dream night come true. I’ll contact you via email.

  2. Hi everyone, I am cutting and marking my dress now. I decided to go with an “old gold” color. My plan is to find a larger size bra to sew into the bodice to help give shape and support. I’ve done this before with swimsuits and it does wonders for the appearance.

    Good luck everyone. Hope to see some of your fashions posted!

    • I know it’s going to be fabulous Evelyn. I can’t wait to see how the “secret support” touch works. It sounds intriguing.

  3. Pingback: Show Us What You’ve Got, ASG Chicago! « ASG Chicago

  4. Pingback: When Your Stick Doesn’t Stick « ASG Chicago

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