Designing And Making Her Own Prom Dress Didn’t Prepare This High Schooler For Her Classmates’ Double-Takes

Prom was coming up, but Ciara Gan didn’t have the money to purchase a lavish dress like some of her other classmates. So, she decided to get crafty, designing, sewing, and detailing her own.

No one could have anticipated the end result or the comments that followed after she posted her creation online.

High School Student, Ciara Gan

As a junior, Ciara Gan waited all year to finally experience her first prom. The thing was, her family did not have the money to afford to purchase her a lavish gown like some of her other classmates.

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ciaragan/Instagram
ciaragan/Instagram

So, Ciara decided to get creative. She was going to make her own!

It Wasn’t Going To Be Easy

Making a dress from scratch is no easy task. And Ciara’s only hope was that it turned out okay, and she didn’t look ridiculous in it.

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ciaragan/Instagram
ciaragan/Instagram

She got started, first deciding on what style she wanted her dress to be—the style: an A-line gown with a very full and vibrant skirt.

First, She Asked A Family Friend

At first, Ciara didn’t actually think she’d be able to sew the dress herself. So she and her mother asked a family friend to do it for them. Getting the dress back, they weren’t happy with the end result.

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ciaragan/Instagram
ciaragan/Instagram

So, it was up to Ciara to do the job herself.

Maybe It Wasn’t Going To Be Overly Complicated?

Ciara saved up money to purchase fabric, paint, and embellishments for her dress. She had a bit of experience using a sewing machine, so she didn’t think the project would be overly complicated.

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Gabriel Santos/Unsplash
Gabriel Santos/Unsplash

With the help of her mom, Ciara was able to finish her dress in a month, right in time for the dance.

Some Issues Came Up

Of course, a massive project like sewing a prom dress is bound to have its complications. During an interview with Today, Ciara said, “I had to redo my dress’s whole skirt in two days and stick over 200 crystals on it!”

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ciaragan/Instagram
ciaragan/Instagram

It was very time-consuming and took a lot of teamwork!

The Color: Emerald Green

During her interview with Today, Ciara discussed how long it took her and her mom to sew the dress. She said, “For the whole of March, my mom and I made and sewed each panel of the skirt one by one.”

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Volha Flaxeco/Unsplash
Volha Flaxeco/Unsplash

The color she chose for the dress was emerald green.

It Took 13 Yards Of Fabric

In fact, between the bodice and the skirt, Ciara and her mom used 13 yards of emerald green satin fabric. They also used other materials, such as ridgeline and crinoline.

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Engin Akyurt/Pexels
Engin Akyurt/Pexels

Once the panels of the skirt were put together, Ciara decided to get even more creative, taking out paint to add some details.

Next: Hand-Painted Flowers

Not having actual fabric paint, Ciara used acrylic paint to add flowers along the waist of the dress, flowing down the skirt. It took the high schooler a solid five days to complete the painting portion of her dress.

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ciaragan/Twitter
ciaragan/Twitter

Ciara didn’t want typical roses, though; she wanted something more original.

Everything Reflected Her Personality

Using Lynn Anderson’s book Tiger Lily as inspiration, Ciara opted to paint orange and yellow lilies on her dress. The outcome was an absolute dream and showcased her artistic talent.

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ciaragan/Instagram
ciaragan/Instagram

Speaking with Buzzfeed News, Ciara said, “I strayed away from basic roses and dainty florals because although they’re pretty, they don’t reflect my personality.”

“I Love The Vibrancy Of Loud Colors…”

She also spoke about why she chose the orange colors, saying, “I love the vibrancy of loud colors like orange and green—they speak more about who I am.”

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ciaragan/Instagram
ciaragan/Instagram

Ciara really wanted her personality to shine through her one-of-a-kind creation! And the floral painting wasn’t the only thing she added to create some detail.

Tiny Swarovski Crystals

It was her prom night, and Ciara wanted to sparkle. So, she added a bit more detailing to her one-of-a-kind design. Wanting to make a statement, Ciara went out and purchased tiny Swarovski Crystals, adding them to the skirt of the gown amongst the hand-painted flowers.

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ciaragan/Twitter
ciaragan/Twitter

The end result was gorgeous.

The Dress Took A Month To Make

Speaking with Today Style, Ciara discussed how long it took her and her mom to complete the gown. She said, “It took me about a whole month to make the whole thing.”

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ciaragan/Instagram
ciaragan/Instagram

That’s a whole lot of time for a high schooler who most likely had other activities going on in her life!

Ciara Couldn’t Wait To Show It Off

When she finished the dress, Ciara was beyond proud. It took some time, but she thought the end result was magnificent, elegant, and beyond stunning.

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ciaragan/Twitter
ciaragan/Twitter

She couldn’t wait to show it off to her friends and teachers during their prom. She just hoped they liked it as much as she did.

It Told A Personal Story

Discussing the dress with Today Style, Ciara explained why she chose that specific color scheme. She said, “My dress tells a very personal story about the things I hold close to my heart — lilies, the color green, painting, and creating new things.”

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ciaragan/Twitter
ciaragan/Twitter

On top of that, the emerald color was picked for a specific reason.

It’s All About Slytherin

As it turned out, Ciara is a huge Harry Potter fan, and the emerald green was a salute to her house — Slytherin.

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ciaragan/Twitter
ciaragan/Twitter

During an interview with Today Style, she said, “As nerdy as it may sound, I chose emerald green because I’m an avid Potterhead and a proud Slytherin.”

YouTube Was Her Saviour

It amazed people that a high school student was able to create such a gorgeous gown, especially with such minimal experience in sewing.

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ciaragan/Twitter
ciaragan/Twitter

When asked how she was able to create such an elaborate and stunning DIY dress, Ciara said, “YouTube tutorials. I would watch videos on dress-making and sewing!”

There Were Over 80 Flowers

It was April 8, 2019, when Ciara thought it was time for the world to see her amazing gown. She posted it on Twitter, explaining everything that went into the design.

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ciaragan/Twitter
ciaragan/Twitter

Her caption read, “I painted over 80 flowers, sewed, and stoned my dress with my mama and designed the whole thing myself.”

Ciara Couldn’t Have Done It Without Her Mom

According to Ciara, she wouldn’t have been able to finish the dress without the help of her mom. During her interview with Today, she said, “My mom and I are best friends. We work on DIY projects together all the time.”

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ciaragan/Twitter
ciaragan/Twitter

“Just seeing how supportive my mom is, fills me with gratitude.”

Cue The Double-Takes!

When it was finally prom night, Ciara couldn’t wait to show off her dress. When she walked into the event, her classmates were speechless and doing double takes!

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ciaragan/Twitter
ciaragan/Twitter

According to Ciara, “When I first showed up at the event place, my one classmate took a double-take to make sure what he was seeing was right!”

Ciara Was Getting Requests Left And Right

Apparently, the classmate who did the double-take was stunned by Ciara’s artistry. He thought the flowers were printed and not hand-painted by the girl wearing the gown.

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ciaragan/Twitter
ciaragan/Twitter

Since posting her dress on Twitter, Ciara has received many requests to purchase her artwork and for her to design and paint gowns, including one woman’s wedding dress!