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Graduation Dress – Ditching the Design

Thing 2 was busy with gymnastics and school and since she was apprehensive about the first dress design, I went ahead and finished the sun dress version in the Hawaiian print – coaxing her to try it on at various intervals so I could really customize the fit.

Without being able to see the final version and having absolutely no trust in my skills and taste, Thing 2 picked out another pattern.   Experience has taught me not to fight the process.  After all, when you’re teaching someone to sew, you have to ensure that the project will be successful and that the end result be something she could be proud about.  This time, I didn’t have Thing 2 around to help me (child of divorce and all) so I whipped up the muslin and sewed it up so she could try it on.   It was a unanimous YES!  The simple muslin fabric looked GORGEOUS on her!  Excited with our new beginning I cut out two sets of fabrics from the pattern to got ready to sew.  Graduation is just around the corner so Thing 2 might not get a chance to sew her own graduation dress, but at least the lesson of what you can do will be learned.

Meanwhile, the original dress in the Hawaiian print was turning out darn pretty cute.  The dress begged for a little more pizzazz so I edged the neck and armholes with a thin bias tape that I made from scraps of white fabric and one of my Clover Bias Tape makers.  Mr. Malibu was concerned when he first saw the dress – got to give him props for noticing that the front panels don’t match.  I didn’t put a lot of effort into this dress as I suspect Thing 2 won’t ever wear it.  I was limited with a short amount of fabric and it was more an exercise than completing for garment that would be actually worn.  She doesn’t wear dresses very often.
Hopefully I’ve alleviated Mr. Malibu’s fears, because he wants a shirt made, with monogrammed cuffs, no less.

Graduation Dress

I have made Thing 2’s Halloween costumes every year since she was 4 years old.  (Well, every year except for the one when only a store bought costume would do – this was squashed pretty quickly when someone else came to Kindergarten in the same outfit)  We’ve done mermaids (there was a LONG running mermaid phase) pirate princess and the year she wanted to be a dead cheerleader.  (where did she get this idea?)  I originally opted for buying a pre-made cheerleader costume and customizing it for that “been dead a long time look”.  But no – store bought costumes are too sexy –  she didn’t want her stomach showing and she didn’t want short sleeves.  Gotta love the modest and chaste sensibility in my daughter!  The costume was a work of art and it KILLED me to “destroy” it.

The subject of her 5th grade graduation recently came up.  She was told that she was required to wear a dress.  Something she wasn’t very excited about.

She recently confessed she doesn’t like to wear dresses because “she doesn’t have curves yet”.  SUCH a window of insight!  I was so glad that she let me in on this inner most feeling about her self image.  It gave me a chance to talk to her about how women are beautiful in all shapes and sizes – that you work with what you have – what looks good on one woman may not look good on another.  It’s also troubling too – because she doesn’t have an ounce of body fat, is in tremendous shape and is just a cutie patootie.  But I understand.  I get it.

Thing 2 and I attended the FIDM 2011 Debut show in March.  At the entrance FIDM featured one ensemble from each decade from famous designers.  Can you guess the years below?Photobucket
I had showed her how the A-line dress from the 60’s  was such a great look.
You never know how your word will affect someone!  It always amazes me.  Some words stick.

When Thing 2 and I were discussing the Graduation dress code, I presented the idea to make her a dress.  (YEAH!  PROJECT!!!)   Thing 2 agreed and I reminded her of the style of dress we had seen at the FIDM show.  I explained how someone with her figure (no boobs and all) could really “rock” the A-Line style dress where more curvy figures could not.  She was won over and I quickly scoured the internet for a girls dress in A-line form.  There aren’t as many patterns for girls as there are children or women.  Understandable.  But I found three patterns that would work and I showed her the patterns and the options within those patterns.  She doesn’t want the sleeves too long – she doesn’t want to look like a “hippy”.  (the dress had bell shaped sleeves – good call)  We also discussed a gorgeous top we saw at the FIDM Debut show by designer Kristine Flanigan – an off the shoulder white top with the neck edge faced in a shiny black leather like material.   Inspiration?

White Top

So todayI’m going to track down the pattern at my local Jo-Ann’s store.  If they don’t have it in stock, I’ll grab it online.  SO EXCITED!
Simplicity 2436

I wonder if Nick will like it!