Saturday, January 4, 2014

A graduation dress for Carly

Last session at Uni, I had the absolute pleasure of having my friend Carly in my class. Not only is she an awesomely funny, dynamic and lovely person, but she's also the smartest person I've ever taught. This was good - smart people are always great to have in class - but also intimidating and challenging, though ultimately rewarding.

When Carly came to me with a request to make her a dress for graduation, I was thrilled and honoured. She brought a dress for me to copy, which she'd found at the op-shop, and we picked out some fabric from the stash (the last of the Temora Hospital nurses' quarters curtains, also seen here and here), then Carly went home and left me to it.

When I pulled out the dress and actually looked closely at it, I completely freaked out. It felt way too hard, way beyond my capabilities, and way more tricky than anything I'd ever made before. There were too many different kinds of panels, in-built pockets with pleats and a split up the back. I had the phone in my hand to text Carly to tell her I couldn't do it, when I thought, "What the hey! I'll give it a go! The worst that'll happen is that it's a major disaster and I've wasted a bit of fabric, but I can always chop it up and make something for the kids."

So I put on some music and sat down to (carefully!) cut out the dress. I took my time and concentrated, I used mathematical trajectory calculations (kind of..) to work out all the pieces, because I wasn't allowed to take the original dress apart to make a pattern. And then I sewed it all up and tried it on... 

And  it was lovely!!!!

Carly was stoked, and looked frikkin gorgeous in it, so was (appropriately) the star of the Uni of Gong's 2013 graduating cohort. I felt proud of Carly, and proud of myself for rising to the challenge of not piking out on the dress before I'd even started. Thanks Carly for giving me the opportunity to challenge myself both in the classroom and at the sewing machine: You're a rock-star, lady!!!


  1. Wow and this dress was once curtains... the prettiest curtains I've ever seen.
    You've done a wonderful job Annie, it turned out perfect.

  2. Great way to upcycle an old Temoran Nurses quarters curtain! xx