Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Prom dress

I can't believe it took me so long to post about this. I made this for my senion prom in 2001. That is me and my date, who was my best friend and went to grad school in Chicago, so now we get to hang out again. If I get ambitious, maybe I'll go scan in some other pictures from prom too. As you'll see when you scroll down, there are three tiers and a hoop skirt.

This is a Butterick "making history" pattern, and I think it is supposed to be an antebellum-style southern belle dress. Of course, it is not at all what a dress from that time would actually look like because women no longer wear corsets, and I didn't use any boning or anything. I would probably not have chosen this now because of issues with romanticizing that time period, but at the time I was kind of into "Gone with the Wind," and of course I thought the big billows of fabric were beautiful and elegant. It was a big challenge, which appealed to me. I think I made it during winter break that year, and it was a lot of fun. It is a heavy red satin. I still have the pattern envelope, and I don't remember whether this was 45" or 60" fabric, but it took somewhere between 7 1/2 and 10 yards of fabric and 15 3/4 yards of ivory lace. The bodice is fully self-lined, which is nice because the low neckline doesn't allow much in the way of undergarments.

The dress is so heavy that it does have a problem with kind of slipping down a little. I think if I were to make it again, I might investigate a waist stay, and I might make it tighter around the waist so it wouldn't have any room to start inching its way down. There was never any danger of a wardrobe malfunction, but I did have to adjust the bodice occasionally, and I don't enjoy fussing with my clothes.
This is me modeling it in 2009, when I was going through a closet at my parents' house and decided to see if it still fit. I thought for sure it would be far too small, but I think it looks even better now. I know it's silly, but I am a bit proud that I am still able to fit in my prom dress and that it looks so good on me, if I do say so myself. Maybe I'm just more confident in my body than I was in high school. That's a good thing, for sure!

I was invited to a costume party for German Carnivale (Fasching?), and I decided to haul it out again. For some reason it had never occurred to me as a Halloween costume. I still had the gloves I wore at prom, so I added those and did my hair in a complicated braid, which might not be historically accurate but seemed old-fashioned and easier than doing a bunch of curls. If I ever get pictures from the hostess, I will add them to this post. The ones on my camera don't really capture the look. It was fun, but wearing a hoop skirt is a bit cumbersome, especially if you want to move around and talk to different people or go get yourself a beer or anything. I was definitely glad to get home and put on normal clothes again.

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