Today it was the shoulder seams and side seams. Nice and simple. After this, the ‘cocoon’ shape really started coming together! It’s quite an unusual shape for a dress but I quite like it.
After getting that done I felt encouraged to keep going, the day was young! Why not do the sleeves?
…but after painstakingly hand stitching then machine stitching the first sleeve in place…I was too tired to do the next one…
I’ve started relaxing now. One sleeve in, neck bias done, only one sleeve left and the extensions to the ties to make a huge statement bow at the back, with 2 days left! This looks like it could be done!
The second arm went in without any problems and I happily tried my (almost) complete dress on…only to find it didn’t fit me very well. It ‘fit’ in the sense that I could get it on. But it didn’t ‘fit’ in the way a made-for-myself dress should fit. The chest area was too baggy and the V-neck waaaay too deep. My high spirits of the morning were crushed. If I was to fix this, there would have to be a whole load of unstitching to be done first. Sigh.
So I got to it: un-stitched the entire neck fronting, pulled up the shoulder seams, took in the centre front seam by 2cm and re-did the neck bias… all whilst cursing this ‘great’ idea of making my own graduation dress… On and on it went…
A good nights rest and my feelings towards the dress had gone from full on hate to lukewarm dislike (all that pain staking un-stitching had left it’s mark…). On the upside, despite there being only one day left, I only had the integrated ties to extend with a never-before-sewn flat-felled seams. With some minor changes to the extensions (including shortening them from 5 miles long to a wearable length and adding a curved shape to the ends) I went about trying to decipher the instructions. After staring at them for what felt like hours, I decided they were gibberish. I’d followed the instructions so intensely up until this point so thought it was about time I got to wing it. So I just attached them how I saw fit, using a flat felled seam…and you know what, I think the end result was what the instructions were trying to lead me to!
How do you like it? Funnily enough, it was only the next morning that I fell in love with the dress. Working so hard and being so frustrated had worn away all my love for the dress… until it came to wearing it for graduation. That’s when I loved it. I loved the shape, the colour, the fit. I loved that it was a product of all my hard work, my sweat (it got uncannily hot here in London), blood (pins straight into my finger) and tears (almost). I loved that it couldn’t have symbolised graduating more. There had definitely been sweat, blood and tears put into getting that degree. The two were, quite literally, made for each other.