Vivid blue ballgown

The distinctive style of Diane Spillane’s vivid blue ball gown from 1965 showcases the freedom and creativity home sewing allowed. It also demonstrates Diane’s awareness
 of world fashion trends which she kept up-to-date with through her monthly subscription to Seventeen magazine. While the dressmaking was the work of Diane’s mother and her Singer sewing machine, the flower detailing on the bodice was a mother and daughter joint enterprise. Consider the hours spent deconstructing two bridesmaid headdresses and individually arranging and hand stitching the flowers onto the dress. Hand sewing was a particular speciality of Diane’s mother; she typically sewed in all her zips, hems and bindings this way. Read more about the history of home sewing in the New Zealand Fashion Museum publication Home Sewn.


Credit: Diane Spillane, Auckland
Copyright: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 Licence
Maker: Doreen Deacon
Garment type: Ball gown
Material: Crepe, silk taffeta lining, artificial flowers
Colour: Blue
Exhibition: Home Sewn: Original New Zealand Fashion (Auckland 2012)
Date: 1965