Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Graduation Dress

Last year, I took a sewing class called "Costume Construction" during my final quarter of college. The majority of the class had never threaded a needle before, let alone use a sewing machine, so there was a wide range of skill. For our final projects, we were let loose and given the freedom to select any pattern to make for ourselves with fabric of our choice. Since graduation was approaching, I wanted to sew myself a graduation dress.

I took to the internet to find a pattern I wanted to use; something I hadn't done before. I stumbled upon Grainline and browsed through her pattern shop. The moment I saw the Kat Strapless Dress, I knew that was the dress I wanted to make.

I ended up purchasing three patterns: the dress, the Scout Woven Tee, and the Tiny Pocket Tank.

Lauren and I spent an entire day fabric shopping in San Francisco. I had the idea embedded in my mind that I wanted needed a floral rayon for the main fabric of the dress. I finally found what I had been searching for at our last stop. I spent forever trying to pick the perfect colors of solids that would go well with the floral print. Luckily our classroom had a large supply of boning, so all I needed to get after I selected my fabric was interfacing, which wasn't so hard to pick out.

The class met for one hour, three times a week, but I also spent a lot of time out of class working on my dress. All in all, my dress took me about 40 hours to complete, including the printing/taping/cutting of the pattern. I know that seems like a lot of time, but it was the first garment I sewed for myself from a pattern.

The pattern was pretty easy to follow, although I am thankful I had lots of help from my professor with the boning in the bodice and inserting the zipper. It turns out using boning isn't hard at all, but it does look pretty scary if you've never attempted it before.

I love my finished dress, but I wish I made a smaller size. Throughout the graduation ceremony, I was constantly readjusting because my dress kept falling down...yikes! Needless to say, I haven't worn the dress again, but once I work up enough courage to take out the zipper and reinsert it, I'm going to take in my dress so that I'll be able to wear it much more.