You know sometimes you meet a person and you think to yourself: "Wow. If my kids turn out half as awesome as this person I'll be happy"? Well that's how I felt when I met Ella and her brother Rhys. They're incredibly lovely, warm, talented kids (kind of like their parents, really...), who are interested in the world and passionate about the things they love.
When Ella recently confronted the project of finding a year 12 formal dress, she found that the dresses in the shops were not her style, didn't make her feel good, and just didn't fit her properly.
Happily for me, Pearl mentioned to her mum that I'd be happy to make her something perfectly suited to what she was after. And what a fun and rewarding project it was for us all! I was thrilled to be making a special dress for such an awesome young lady, and she was thrilled to be having her first custom-dress made for her.
After an initial consultation at our place, involving some drawings, some looking at pictures of other fancy dresses I've made, and some looking through the fabric stash, we set upon a dress that was a little bit 50s inspired, and quite similar to a couple of the wedding dresses I've made for people in the past. My mum scored the fabric for me (not a lot of choice here in the Beegs) and then I set to work.
Part payment for the dress came in the form of Ella picking up some of our slashed grass and making a hay-stack for us, which she did while I sewed away and occasionally called her up from the paddock for fitting and trying on.
And we were both very very happy with the result. There's purple piping around the neck, and a series of tiny purple bows down the back, above the big bow from her purple sash. The net petticoat is separate, so she can wear the dress out without it, if she wants, and we made it short to show off her legs!! Part of what was great about making this dress for Ella was really listening to what she wanted, and helping her to have something that she felt (not just looked) really good in.
The photographer who took this amazing photo of Ella at the formal, Angi High, said that it was the standout dress of the event. And while it is a pretty lovely dress, Ella is pretty amazing, so she probably would have looked stunning in anything. So thanks Ella for asking me to make your dress, and thanks Angi for letting me use your gorgeous photo!