1950s Inspired Pleated Party Dress
by Esther Boller Follow

I made this dress for the Fort Wayne Museum of Art's Funky Formal Night that was about a month ago.  I wanted to create something very retro and 1950s inspired   I hand drafted this dress pattern and used over 5 yards of fabric.  There were so many pleats that had to be measured and hand pressed, that by the end I was ready to be done with the iron for awhile.  There are 1/2'' pleats around the top of the bodice, 1'' pleats around the waist, and 1.5'' pleats around the middle of the skirt.  There is also a pleated placket with buttons in the back covering the zipper.  

The dress itself is a simple strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline and an invisible zipper in the back.  The dress is fully lined with boning in the bodice for support.  There's also a colorful tulle crinoline that I designed to pop out on purpose 2.5'' below the hemline.

There are hidden pockets in the side.  Like I've said so many times before I like to have pockets in dresses.  Most of the time I don't want to carry around a clutch or a bag while I'm all dressed up.  I like having a place where I can stash my keys and cell phone without having to worry about carrying them all night.  

More details and photos over on my blog (all photos are taken by myself):  Esther from the Sticks

Also for anyone who is interested this dress is for sale in my Etsy shop 

Discussion 9

  • Kristin commented 8 years ago

    Gorgeous dress! I love all the pleating, but I'm sure that must have taken hours upon hours to get just right!

  • Joanne commented 8 years ago

    I really like your dress, and I like the photography even more I think!

    Esther Boller replied 8 years ago

    Thank you!  I got rained on while taking the photos and had to stop too early, but I'm glad you liked the ones that I was able to get!  (: 

  • Nicole commented 8 years ago


  • vvonder commented 8 years ago

    Another beautiful piece, and it's great to see your sketch and swatch this time!

    Esther Boller replied 8 years ago

    Thank you so much!  I will definitely be posting more sketches and swatches soon (: 

  • Nora commented 8 years ago

    Esther, this is truly gorgeous, as is your photography (always). Would it be possible be in any way to share the pattern? :)

    Esther Boller replied 8 years ago

    Aw thank you Nora!  I would love to share the pattern, but I do not know how to scan it into the computer so that the measurements would be correct.  I'm graduating high school this year and going off to college and I'm hoping to learn more about that once I'm at school.  I would definitely love to share some of my patterns once I know how to correctly do it!  (: 

    Nora replied 8 years ago

    Makes sense. I will ask around a bit. And I can't believe you're just graduating high school, your work is so professional!

See Full Discussion

Welcome to Kollabora

Get the best DIY projects, patterns, and inspiration straight to your inbox!