Tag Archives: sewing

Spring Musings: My Makeshift Gown

The main social event of the year at UD was this past Friday night, Spring Formal, and although it did not go quite as I had planned, I did manage to look quite  pretty, if I do say so myself.

For weeks before the dance, I had been searching for a dress to wear.  There was no way I was going to pay for anything (the dance or the dress).  And a date and a dress were nowhere to be found.  Luckily, one day, as I was rifling through my lovely friend Emma’s closet, I came upon something of a solution for the dress problem.  I am a firm believer in the power of transformation, especially of ugly dresses.  Kate is the best example of that, meaning that she can pull on a paper bag and look beautiful.  With a touch of Kate-like boldness, I tried on what could have been a horrid dress.  Complete with runningback-esque shoulder pads, long sleeves, and a collar up to the chin, the off-white gown did not look promising hanging like an old handkerchief from a metal hanger.

But somehow, with Emma’s expert advice and sewing skills, I managed to be decked out in THIS gorgeous gown all night.

The dress-maker and wearer alike were very pleased.

So, as you can see, the dress problem was easily and cheaply solved.  But the date, you ask?  Well, luckily one of Raph’s friends got by the brother sensors and asked me.  It was a nice and casual date and saved me $25, so what did I care?  I was so busy posing with friends all night that I forgot to get a picture in with him, but neither of us particularly minded.  What can I say?  My face was in high demand!

In all seriousness, though, I really managed to have a good night for the most part.  The music was loud, the brownies were amazing, and my friends all looked stunning.  It’s amazing what a night out, under big ballroom lights, and a formal dress can do to a girl.  Everyone glowed.  And as I watched from the sidelines in my makeshift dress, I realized that my school year has almost come to a close.  The people dancing around me, people I’d never known just 8 months ago, had become a part of my life in a major way.  I’ve laughed with them, cried with them, prayed with them, and studied into the wee hours of the morning with them (well, okay, maybe not just studied!).  And that’s far more beautiful than any dress or dance could ever be.

My Cinderella Sundress

By: Mary

Due to picking up a book called “One Yard Wonders” at the library,the inspiration hit to throw myself into another sewing kick. I will truthfully confess that this makes pretty much no sense for a variety of reasons. Reason number one is that the communal Slattery girls’ closet doesn’t even have room for new clothes. This is the result of sister and friend swapping, and thrift store and TJ Maxx shopping. The other big reason I have for not trying out new projects right now is that I have no time.

But I was inspired, so I started buying fabric and designing. Feeling a bit defeated because of my lack of sewing machine abilities, I decided to get extra determined to make the project happen. So I set a deadline. I gave myself one week to make it happen. Often when faced with a challenge, I think up stories of people conquering difficult obstacles. This thought process is rather helpful. There are so many great role models in history. Racking my brain for some domestic goddess mentor was useless. All I could think of was Cinderella…So I searched for parallels between us. I mean she ended up with a great dress, and it was created with compromised resources and time. I am not quite sure we have that much in common. I can’t say that I really have evil, ugly and horrid step sisters. But I do have a fairy godmother (er, mom, I mean)!

The actual piecing together of this dress was completely credited to Mom. If previously, any of you readers were thinking, “Wow, Mary sews, what talent!” Please keep thinking that. However, I will share with you how this dress actually got stitched together. It goes something like this. Moms sits at my sewing machine, and I “sew” by talking to her for a solid 3 fun hours while she actually does the work. I pull up funny or introspective articles online. We laugh, we talk about serious things, Mom tsk tsks about modesty, or  lack of . Basically, I have the best of both worlds- a new sundress and  mom time.  Finally, the project got completed 4 whole days earlier than my deadline. Vwalah! No wand involved.

This dress has proved to be super comfortable. Yesterday, I wore it to two weddings. This morning I changed things up and turned it into a skirt for mass.

All credit for this dress goes to my MOM, and “One- Yard Wonders”. The book had 101 sewing project ideas and is authored by Rebecca Yanker and Patricia Hoskins. It is complete with patterns and tips. The only things excluded from it is a fairy godmother and extra time and closet space.