Photo: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
Stand out from the crowd on prom night by designing your own prom gown. In a custom-designed gown, you won't have to worry about showing up in the same dress as someone else. Don't worry if you don't draw or sew. You can work with a professional dressmaker to come up with the gown of your dreams. And if you are feeling brave, go ahead -- pull out the sewing machine and stitch it up yourself.
Look through images of prom gowns to get an idea of what you want and what you definitely do not want. Teenage fashion magazines are a good place to look. You may also want to visit a local mall to see current prom styles or check a book out of the library that has images of dress designs as well as tips on how to sew them.
Choose a length for your gown. Long gowns are usually worn to prom, but you can wear a knee- or calf-length dress if you'd like. Also decide on the shape of the dress. An A-line or a gown with a wide, full skirt will work well if you have wider hips, while a mermaid gown that hugs your curves will work if you have an hourglass figure.
Decide on the top of the gown. You could design a dress with a low-cut neckline, or one with a higher neckline. The dress could also be strapless or could have a halter top.
Sketch your idea for the gown in a notebook or sketchpad. If you are not comfortable sketching it yourself, describe what you want to a friend and have her sketch it, or take your idea to a dressmaker.
Select the fabric for your dress. While silk satin is very nice, it can be pricey. You may want to select a polyester sateen if you are on a budget. You can also choose a non-traditional fabric, such as cotton, depending on the look you are going for.
Add any embellishments to the design of the gown, such as a row of sequins along the neckline or some beading on the bodice or waistline.
Take your measurements so you know how big of a dress to make. Measure around your bust, waist and hips, as well as your height from shoulder to ankle.
Consider using an interactive dress-design website. Several dress shops have design-your-own-dress options on their sites, or you can play a dress-up game that will help you design a dress. You can choose the type of bodice you want as well as the skirt design, and see how it will look together. The websites usually also let you see how embellishments and detailing will look on the dress.