sparkling with joy & relief: my handmade glittery turquoise prom dress
Last summer, during my trip to NYC’s garment district, I found some gorgeous turquoise lace. Sheer, with embroidered swirly-leaf sort of designs plus some sparkle. I knew it would be perfect for my prom dress!
Of course, when I bought it, I was very proud of myself. I was buying my fabric almost a year in advance! Traditionally, if I have to sew a specific outfit for an event, I end up procrastinating to the point that I’m finishing stitches on my way out the door. But I had half of my fabric way early, so I figured I was set. But I got overloaded with responsibilites as costumer for Beauty & the Beast, and during tech week I began to worry. Every night I was at school past ten sewing my fingers off in preparation for the weekend’s shows, and suddenly someone decided to ask me whether or not I was making my prom dress.
“Yep,” I replied, “I already have half of my fabric.”
That had been my excuse for ten months; the thought of my preparedness kept me believing I that was even more than adequately prepared, that I was ahead of the game. But then I went over the dates in my head. Opening night: April 12. Strike: April 14. Prom: May 9.
We had less than a month until prom, and I hadn’t even started my dress. All I had was a pile of sheer fabric sitting in the corner of my craft room… the fabric wasn’t even opaque! The worries began to flood into the space they had tried to claim for months, the space that I had blocked out with my feelings of over-preparation.
The show was beautiful. It was very stressful, and although I am capable, I would not put myself through that again. I’ll put up all of my B & B photos in the next post. We did strike, we cleaned up, and I went home and expected some nice time to work on my dress, since rehearsals were over. But next came the Pope’s Mass, which I was fortunate enough to get to participate in when he came to DC. That evening, all of the music and band groups from school were packed into buses, and we sang in a competition in New York. We won first place in our category, and saw two Broadway shows: Spamalot and A Chorus Line. It was fun and exciting, but when we got home it was April 21st. And my prom dress was still translucent, shapeless, and sitting in a corner. Finally, on April 24, I got some real fabric, some real lining, and an invisible zipper. No more excuses; it was work time!
To make a long story slightly less ramble-y, I finished the dress. I used a princess-seam pattern that I love, Simplicity 6379, for the basics, but I edited it quite a bit as usual. I decided to use my pretty sparkle stuff on the center front and center back panels: just enough sparkle and pizazz. I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out. I love the color, it fit me perfectly, and it was completely unique. It all paid off in the end.
Plus, my mom jumped in to help me out. I had planned on making Adam (the adorable boyfriend) a matching bow tie, but as the days started slipping away I realized that the chances of that happening weren’t likely. My amazing mother made him a matching bow tie and vest out of the exact same fabric, so we were perfect. And cute, of course. Could you possibly disagree?
While we finalized plans on the phone two days before the big dance, I managed to make myself a little wristlet to match as well. Multitasking! yeah!
And of course my mom and I realized we didn’t own hooks and eyes on the day before the dance. You’d think, in this room filled to the brim with sewing craziness, we’d have a hook and eye somewhere. Nope. We hemmed my dress on the morning of the dance, and the hook and eye was sewn on about an hour before Adam came to the door.
The dance was ridiculously fun. It was on the Odyssey dinner cruise on the Potomac River. Dancing, eating, and looking cute: I’m good at two of the three, and even as a horrible dancer I have fun. I was fully rewarded for my sewing hours when countless people were simply awed at my dress. It was great.
Next up: Baccalaureate Mass dress! It’s about halfway done.. the Mass is on Sunday. Plenty of time!
Your dress is beautiful, Sam! You look great in it. :)