Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
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How-to question: Emma Watson's uhhhmazing dress

I got an email from a reader the other day that I just had to share with you--not quite a Sewing Circle post, but a fun question and my attempt at answering it!

Here's Quinn's question:
My name is Quinn Emery.  I'm 16, I love to sew, I'm a junior in high school, and I'm also homeschooled.  Thrifting is my passion!  The reason I'm emailing you is because I am wondering if you could help me.  I have seen this dress, as I'm sure you have, the dress Emma Watson wore to the London premiere of Harry Potter.  The Oscar de la Renta one.  It's beautiful!  (here's some pictures from Pinterest!)

Pinned ImagePinned Image

I am utterly in love with this dress, but have no idea how to even go about making something like this.  I can see myself wearing something like this to prom.  Do you possibly think you have any ideas on how to do the tulle skirt?  Any suggestions?  I'd love to hear from you!

It's SUCH a great dress, Quinn!  How wonderful it would be to replicate something like it for a prom dress!

As for making it.  The skirt—I honestly have no idea what it’s like on the inside/under all those layers, but it looks to me like you could get the look by making a flared skirt ( a 6-panel one would be simple) of a pale grey fabric and then attaching lots of squares of tulle. It looks like they took 2-3 layers of tulle in handkerchief-sized squares and attached them from the middles—does that make sense? You could play around with lots of tulle squares of different shades of grey (JoAnn has lots) and starting at the hem of the skirt, work your way up adding them in random sort-of rows! Overlapping etc.

 As for the bodice, I’d recommend a simple strapless dress pattern, and then the sheer piece under it. You could use this pattern but only cut out the sheer layer to about 2” below where it overlaps with the bodice, and attach it by hand underneath. You could even use the skirt from that pattern and make it floor-length, although that would make it super full!

 Do those ideas get you started?

Readers--rise to the occasion, if you like!  Any other tips or ideas for making this?  Or maybe you've seen the perfect pattern somewhere.  Please, chip in!


  1. Anonymous11/23/2011

    I think McCalls 6466 would be a closer match for the bodice and it has a full tulle skirt.

  2. I agree with the reader above. McCalls 6466 would be easier since the basic structure of the dress is there, she would just have to adjust for the tulle squares as opposed to an underskirt.

  3. The sheer part of McCalls 6466 would be easier (http://sewing.patternreview.com/Patterns/50140), but it has a midriff panel rather than the straight bodice. So the Simplicity one is closer in basic construction.

  4. The skirt is lots of layers of tulle that is cut in a irregular way. I agree with the handkerchief shape of the tulle.

  5. looks like the handkerchief shaped tulle is rolled into almost a cone in some spots and attached by just one corner

  6. Haha i immediately thought of McCall M6466 as well. I've been studying patterns enough,that's for sure ;). Technically I'm not qualified enough which pattern would be better. Good luck Quinn!

  7. I think also Mccall M6466 as well. So nice and beautiful dresss.

    Give you Good jobs.

  8. Totally, a handkerchief/cone shape for the tulle. Good descriptions!

    Either pattern would be absolutely beautiful, but the original is constructed with a one-part bodice, probably with princess seams or deep darts--more like the Simplicity.

  9. Basma Sima11/27/2011

    A w0nderfu| web t0 d0wan|0ad free sewing patterns!

  10. Anonymous11/28/2011

    i beleive mc calls pattern 6466is not appropriate to recreate this dress, the bodice is totally different and the skirt is way to full, if she was to make the underskirt as the pattern states and then attach the hankiechiefs the skirt would be 3 times as full as the original picture, the simplicity pattern 4070 is perfect in all ways bodice and skirt, use view f for bodice and skirt, just make skirt floor length then add tulle hankechiefs on top to reach desired effect, she made need to add a layer of gathered tulle to the botton half of the lining to full out the botton but maybe not. definited shapewell and bone bodice for added support regardless of netting top, may end up being quite heavy. good luck and post pic kathy

  11. I have a question. How did you sew on the tulle pieces?



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