Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Friday, 30 November 2012

ANOTHER Evening Dress!

Believe it or not, the BA is graduating from school in two weeks. The journey which began here

will end on December 11th with her Graduation Ball.

And of course, she must have a dress!

This time the dress must be a formal floor length dress in white or cream. This Ball is akin to the old Debutante Balls, so fashionable in years gone by. The girls are presented by their fathers and must undertake the father daughter dance, something which her Dad is very excited about. I have been fielding questions about dinner suit v lounge suit, bowtie v straight...for some time now!

Initially I thought the easiest option might be for her to wear my second wedding dress.


Which looks a whole lot better on her than it did on me!
But she wasn't having a bar of that. She used the fact that it was about 6 inches too short at the front as justification for not wearing it. OK, so I'm short! Aren't mullet dresses all the rage now anyway?
Apparently not for my girl.
Running short of time I announced that I would simply make her the one I had planned to make once before: Vintage Vogue  V2962.

I thought I'd use some heavy silk for the dress and a softer chiffon or lawn for the bodice. I checked a few online images and began to get nervous. It is entirely possible to make this beautiful garment, really badly. How is that possible, I hear you ask? Well, here are the steps:
  1. Make sure you are quite short and have REALLY big boobs.
  2. Use a soft drapy fabric all over so that the central bodice panels cannot support the weight of the hugely gathered skirt.
  3. Tie something sparkly around the waist.
  4. Alter the halter so that it looks like a bikini top.
To be fair, there were a number of images where the seamstress had done quite a good job but it had taken them hours and required massive amounts of alteration.

I called my friend Blondie who is a dab hand at all things sewing and asked her opinion. She had made a retro evening gown once and I'd thought it was the Vogue one, but in fact it was this one.

Nevertheless, in the course of our conversation, she offered to help AND donated 5 metres of ivory dupion silk left over from her own wedding dress 20 years ago!! "It's been sitting around this long," she said. We  had a long conversation after school during the week and decided we would do a combination of the two patterns. The skirt from Blondie's pattern was cut on the cross and not as full so we decided to subtitute it for the excessive Vogue one; and we decided to try wrapping the tie waist effect around the halter dress to hide the central bodice panels which we felt would probably wrinkle unless we boned it...and did we really want to go there?

Now this was all fine and dandy until the BA came home. She didn't exactly turn up her nose at our ideas so much as move right along to her own preference. And this was it.....

Undeterred I thought I might make a mock-up of the Vogue dress. Just to, you know, see what all the fuss was about! I actually thought it looked quite nice, despite the fact that the halter was made out of an old curtain! One look at the BA' s face here will tell you what she thought of my efforts!

Meanwhile I sent Blonde an email containing the BA's dress preference. She was delighted and promptly went out and bought a pattern which we could 'adapt'. I was a little concerned about the depth of the neckline of course but Blondie assured me we could create something appropriate.

So, here I am in the middle of all these 'mock-ups' and Blondie has gone. We have devised a neckline and adjusted the pattern, and now I'm going to try and cut it out of the silk.  It's not as low as the photo, and Lord knows if I'll get the skirt to resemble the photo in any way; the main thing is that it has to have pockets!

I really don't know what I'll do with myself once all these formals are over! I certainly won't be sewing too much for me because, although I am dieting, things are not moving too quickly on the weight loss front. In short, I have altogether too much front, and no one wants to sew for that :-(

I'll keep you posted on our progress!                         

1 comment:

Brendan Stanton said...

How wonderful you are making your daughters graduation dress. I am doing my debutante ball next year and wish my mum had the skills to make a dress for me. In the end I have bought this debutante dress debutante dress. I really love it. Anyways congratulations to your daughter from graduating over from over here in Melbourne and Keep us posted on how it goes :)


Merryn Stanton