Gala Gown | 1956 Vogue Paris Original Jacques Heim

Hi everyone! I’m back today talking all about my most ambitious project yet- My Gala Gown! I’ve been sharing the process from planning, making my toiles, sewing & construction, to the final reveal of my ball gown over on YouTube and now it’s time for a proper sewing pattern review and reveal!

Vogue Paris Original Jacques Heim 1956

My sister invited me to attend her 10K Gala (she’s a business coach for professional photographers and the author of She Sells) while I was attending her event- BOPCon (Business of Photography Conference in Orlando.) I work for one of their companies, LiftOff Leads, doing SEO and was so excited to attend! Bonus- I got to meet one of my mentors- Denise DT! Megan & Aric hooked me up with a VIP Luncheon with Denise. I’ve read all her books ( Lucky B- Chillpreneur- & Chill & Prosper ), listen to her Chill & prosper podcast and hope to work with her in the future- Money Mindset Goals!

Vogue Paris Original Jacques Heim Gala Gown

I’ve been planning out this gown since we got back from our Girl’s Trip in the summer! I wanted something classic and beautiful in my favorite color- periwinkle blue. This is the fabulous wedding gown I never had! I was so excited to have a reason to make something so extraordinary and unique. If you follow me on YouTube you know I brought most of my new winter makes for this trip and had such fun designing a professional wardrobe for this event. 

Vogue Paris Original Jacques Heim Gala Gown Swishing Skirt Ballgown

I decided I’d look for a pattern first- and found this lovely vintage reproduction pattern. I was thrilled to find something already in my size and so perfectly my style. Square neckline- fitted waist- and full hip. My ideal silhouette!

I ordered a bunch of silk samples before realizing they were way out of my price range. Someday! Instead I decided to focus on the color I wanted and lucked out with this gorgeous periwinkle blue poly satin from Blackbird fabrics. Periwinkle is my very favorite colore and I love the slight sheen and drape of this fabric. I did have to be very careful with my pins as the fabric was prone to snagging but it worked perfectly. I used my new favorite pre-treatment I learned from Pamela Leggett- I used Perfect Sew Wash away stabilizer and it saved the day. Sewing with this stuff is a game changer. It gives any fabric just enough stability to make sewing a breeze. It’s my go to for silks. Which reminds me I need to buy some more.

Vogue Paris Original Jacques Heim Sewing Pattern Vintage 1956

1956 Vogue Paris Original by Jacques Heim

Vogue 1409 Sewing Pattern Size 16 B36 Evening Gown
Vintage Pattern Shop Professional Digital Reproduction

✦ Size/Measurements: 16 Bust: 36″ Waist: 27″ Hips: 37″ (Inches)

periwinkle dew poly satin fabric Gala Gown Blackbird Fabrics

Buttery Poly Satin in Periwinkle Dew from Blackbird Fabrics.

6.5 Meters

  • Content: 100% Polyester
  • Width: 127cm / 50”
  • Weight: 170gsm / 5oz
  • Opacity: Opaque
  • Drape: Fluid
  • Country of Origin: South Korea
  • Underskirt- Bellamy Periwinkle Plain Dyed Polyester Taffeta (Mood Fabrics)
  • Thread- Gütermann Thread Match: Copenhagen #933 (Blackbird fabrics).
  • 5 yards of Unbleached 44″ Cotton Muslin (Mood)
  • Dusty Blue Recycled Polyester Petersham Grosgrain Ribbon – 15mm (Mood)
  • 541 Icy Gray 24″ Invisible Zipper (Mood)
  • 3″ Black Soft Horsehair (Mood)

This gown was a work of love and patience! I’m so amazed with how truly stunning it is- I felt like a princess! With the dramatic full skirt and nipped in waist I felt so gorgeous in this dress. I love the fitted shape, pleated bodice and added structure at the hip that really makes this dress so dramatic. 

The underdress is really what makes this design so special. It has three layers of gathered ruffles in the back for fullness and the pleats are draped at the hip to create a panel skirt- much like a pannier. If I made this again I’d be tempted to add pockets at the hip- this could be easily modified with the hip shaping. The bodice itself has a beautiful pleat detail at center front with slight boning to add structure to the split top opening. The back is quite low but with those wide straps very comfortable to wear. It has horsehair added for structure to the underskirt layers as well as added into the hem. It took forever to hand sew that hem in place with the inserted braid but it made the dress fall beautifully. The skirt pieces are quite wide but you could possibly omit the center front seam with a wide enough fabric yardage.

Here’s some images my Mom took before the Gala started in my hotel room at the Renaissance Orlando.

If you have any questions about construction please let me know. I found the instructions and illustrations very easy to follow. It really helped having those diagrams. I did skip adding the elastic to the bodice lining but other than that I followed the order of construction to a T. I’m glad I made a muslin as I had to take in the bust a bit at center front. I show the alterations I planned in my video series. If I made this again I would take in the side seams slightly more- I had to adjust as I went. 


I chose to wear this with a simple corset underneath for bra support. Luckily I found a perfect fit with an extra low back. I wore this with some great Anthropologie Finds- a simple braided silk clutch and a jeweled necklace that matched perfectly after the Holidays. Because of my foot injury I opted for comfy flats. I found a pair of Square-Toe V-Cut Flats (Margot 2.0) in Denim to complete my look. I adore these shoes! So pretty and comfortable. 

Here’s my Inspiration Board on Pinterest:

I used this vision board to plan my hair, makeup, sewing plans and accessories. I’ve started using Velcro Kitsch rollers and just love how it makes my hair look. If you’re interested here’s the tutorial I used.

I even got a gala pic with Denise DT- how cool is that! I’m hoping someday this is my “Oprah pic”

Missy and I hung out quite a bit at the Gala and so I had to include some of our amazing Sister’s pics! Missy made her emerald gown too! Isn’t it amazing that we both made our gowns! It’s so cool having someone to chat about sewing and fashion. My sister Megan looked amazing as always in her silver beaded gown!

I’ll be sharing this on my YouTube channel this weekend along with my Barbie Party Outfit which I will blog about next week (sneak peek below). I was originally planning some fun sewing for my birthday this past Friday. But as luck would have it I caught the flu the day after filming the corresponding video. So I ended up in bed resting. Hopefully this will be my last bout of sickness for some time. I turned 48 yesterday and seeing these beautiful images (courtesy of Hughes Fioretti at the 10K Gala) made me feel so amazing! 

Watch all the videos in my Gala Gown Playlist

Hope you’re having an amazing week! Happy Sewing!

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