My daughter is getting older every year, and while we've accomplished a LOT in her short lifetime (15yrs this year) we still have to do some sewing projects together. We normally shop at ROSS for these kind of things, spending less than $20 on average for the prettiest dresses, but this isn't about the money, it's about the experience. Incidentally, if we fail miserably, we'll be headed to ROSS to find a replacement! I thought it might be fun to post our process/progress for others who might want to undertake something like this, AND so that we can gain some guidance from you self-made sewing experts out there. This dress is for her Military Ball held this December. Here is the basic concept for the dress, although we have not yet decided where to place the waistline quite yet I intend to also make a "capelet" a short cape with single button which is the Navy's Fouled Anchor (she is a Chief) to fasten around the neck, of hopefully the same material as the dress top. Now... we're almost total novices, I have little experience on a home sewing machine, only making toddler clothes, doll clothes etc. My machine is going off for a tune-up before we start this. I have lots of experience with heavy duty fabrics & industrial machines. I've made many swimsuits & dance wear but only by sewing by hand. I'm a quick learner and have a talent for "making things work" so in addition I've also been "consuming" every episode of Project Runway on TV that I can find on rerun. I've downloaded a lot of youtube videos and will continue to do so as needed. Earlier this week, we purchased the fabrics Top: Black satin with velvet like swirls, I think it is called Jacquard. I can't find an actual swatch but it's similar to this with thicker swirls Skirt Overlay : Sheer Fuchsia with Sparkles UnderSkirt : Wine colored silk type We also have a small piece of trim, about 1/2 wide which is white with so many silver & shiny stones that it looks silver and has an alternating black stones around it as well. We may or may not use this at the seam between the top & skirt. This weekend, we will be making a Duck Tape Dress Form to begin. We have purchased 9 rolls of white duck tape & 3 bags of stuffing (we will make one for me too at some point) and will probably use half of those materials on just her form. I haven't settled on the base for it as of yet, but we will be making wire framework to add to the bottom to be sure that it is the correct shape at the bottom, and that the plywood base is also the correct shape (not round!). (this is also the same women who I am following on general sewing & dress making) Ok.. so that's where we are on that project! I will take a few photos along the way to liven up this thread. Looking forward to moral support, advice & tips from ALL of you THANKS FOR READING!!!