Sunday, October 9, 2011

Homecoming Dress

You may be wondering what I have been up to lately; it has been SO long since my last post.  The answer is A LOT (and we'll get to that in a later post, I promise!), but one of the major things very recently was making a dress for my youngest daughter Megan to wear to Homecoming.  Now I may quilt, thread paint, and play with fiber art very comfortably... but I am not a garment sewer!  I of course sewed simple things for my girls when they were little, along with the usual home crafty stuff, muslin bunnies, etc. However, anytime I tried to sew for myself, I was totally lost and nothing fit.  This is something I have decided to learn 'for real' by signing up for an online course and buying the book.  Don't ask me why I agreed to take this challenge of formal dressmaking on, especially for a special event that my daughter would be counting on me to produce something for her to wear with pride.  Not to mention the fact that she designed her dress herself, on a sketch pad, and wanted me to produce what she had envisioned! 

With a promise from her to keep an open mind and compromise just a bit in design and fabric choices and with a budget of $60.00, we headed off to the fabric store feeling much like the designers on Project Runway.  Amazingly we found a pattern that was fairly similar to her design, and even better it was 'Easy' and on sale for 1.99!  Originally envisioning a white with blue dot underskirt, she agreed that rather than searching high and low for the perfect fabric, the sheer white with sparkles fabric would work.  We found the perfect navy blue satin, white tulle and lining, and a bright pink for a bow.  Plus, we had about 23.00 left in change!

By combining the two skirt styles on the dress, making a muslin and drawing on the over skirt where the split needed to be, I was able to get pretty darn close to what she had designed.  Then, because Megan is very tiny, we had to fit the bodice quite a bit.  This, I think, was the hardest part for me because I am still learning how all of these go together.  When you adjust the size on all these odd shaped little pieces, they do NOT line up anymore!  Eventually it all came together and Megan was thrilled with her new dress! 

We added heat set crystals to the top of the bodice, which did not really photograph well here but added just a touch of bling.  About an hour before she had to be at the restaurant to meet up with her friends, I discovered she did not have shoes after all (I had thought she was going to wear some flats she already had) and we had to run out to find a pair.  We ended up finding a cute little pair of slingbacks in white (one of those dye-able shoes they make for special occasions) that were on clearance for $15.00!  It was also BOGO (buy one get one half off) so we found a little silver purse for 10.99 and got it for 5.49!  I love a good sale!
I wish I had a good picture of Megan in her dress to show you all, but by the time we were taking them it was so dark that nothing really turned out well.  This was the best one I got.  She was hunched over because it was cold out as she paused so I could snap the pic before running inside, so it looks like it doesn't fit well.
Her friends were all amazed that her mom made this dress that she designed.  I am amazed I made this dress that she designed!!  I am also amazed that my youngest is somehow old enough to be in high school and attending Homecoming!