But recently, I made something so important that I really have to share it.
A life-sized sketch of myself wearing a bird costume!
Just kidding, that was my costume design homework for this weekend.
I made my first-ever formal gown!!!
What was the special occasion?
Ring delivery is a celebration held for the sophomore class where we all, after months of anguishing over the appropriate bezel size and antiqued finish, received our class ring...the brass rat.
|It's called a brass rat because the front always has an image of our mascot, a beaver, and they were presumably once made out of brass.|
|Tony Stark aka Iron Man representing his Alma Mater. See, it's literally famous!|
And for the newest group of sophomores, who just received their rings last Tuesday, it's a a reminder that we're halfway through our time at the Institute...which is both pride-inspiring and terrifying. As ridiculous as all the hullabaloo over a ring named after a rodent may seem (I've been regularly teased by my parents for the past month), it's actually a really big deal for undergrads here. It's validation for getting through two years of a pretty intense school, a celebration of our time here so far, and a toast to everything we hope to accomplish over the next two years and into the rest of our lives.
In other words, it was exciting enough that I spent a week making a dress to go with my ring!
|Photo credit goes to Yida for putting up with me and taking photos of my outfit :)|
Can you believe I found this perfect combination of fabric and patterns? I think the ring delivery gods were smiling :)
|Simplicity 8257, misses' evening dress|
The pattern is a (relatively) new Simplicity release. I really like the shape of the band in the back, and the train and the slit give the skirt a little bit of interest.
I also like this pattern because it gave me a chance to use this beautiful lace. I bought this in the garment district in New York--wow, it must have been three years ago. I intended to make a prom dress with it, and then ended up not going to prom. I think I found a much more worthy event for it. ;)
|The fabric for the skirt|
Notice the actually construction of the dress is pretty simple--just a princess seam with a bodice and a belt. Even before I got started, my imagination was filled with visions of everything I could make with my remaining fraction of a week after I whipped up my dress. A new shirt for spring, a tasteful matching bolero, another not-so-tasteful pair of crazy pants. It took me less than two hours to whip up a muslin.
|I forgot to wear a crazy hat, so I added one in retroactively.|
|Part of the band with the seam allowance stripped.|
|An action shot of me removing some beads.|
I did a lot of prep work on the skirt too. Since silk dupioni frays like mad, I decided to fray-check the skirt pieces to keep them from unraveling while I worked. The dress isn't lined, so I underlined part of the skirt to give the torso area some more body and I'm glad I did. Just those took an entire evening, but it was worth it; the checked edges held up a lot better.
|Is THAT an UNFINISHED SEAM???|
As per the pattern, the seams around the belt are hidden with a small piece of lining, which I hand-stitched in and didn't take a picture of :/
One great thing about the pattern is the fit. I made a size-10 muslin. I took it out a smidge in the upper abdomen, and aside from that, it fit like a dream. It's pretty rare that I don't have to do some sort of adjustment. Also, thanks to the number of vertical seams, it's really easy to adjust. My final version is a tiny bit on the loose side, and taking it in would take literally 10 minutes and an iron.
I didn't have time to do a proper photo shoot before heading to the airport, so these selfies will have to suffice :)
Then as I was walking through LAX, I saw this little girl's T-shirt.
...fortunately, no one made a connection, but I almost wore my hair in a side braid before thinking better of it ;)
I was pretty concerned that the train wouldn't survive the evening, and I was fully prepared to amputate it after the event if need be. But it actually held up pretty well! There are a few shiny marks where you can see where people's heels stepped on it, but I'm super happy with the state it's in!
So there it is! My first (and maybe my last) floor-length dress.
|Don't I have some good-looking friends? :)|
In the meantime, I'll be here in Boston enjoying my brass rat ;)