Happy Friday + K’s Grad Dress

Happy Friday! I tell you, these days I can’t tell what’s up and what’s down with all that’s going on. There are daily events at K’s school, work deadlines are looming and it’s dawning on me that my dream of sewing up a whole new wardrobe for my Japan trip is of the pipe variety. We leave next week and the total number of things I’ve sewn for the upcoming Asian adventure: nada.

Luckily, I started early on K’s graduation dress and after many, many iterations it’s done a week ahead of schedule!

One word: silk. Yes, my friends, this little number is made out of floaty, slippery, hair-pullingly challenging silk. My mom gave me this fabric years ago, and I had visions of sewing up a summer tunic for myself at some point, but when I asked K to choose material for her graduation dress, she beelined for this one.

I can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I am that she loves it. She found every muslin I attempted somehow lacking (I don’t blame her — I was trying to hack this pattern and this pattern together and it took me a few tries. You can see the progression on instagram here and here). In the end I drafted the entire dress pattern from scratch, which was a major learning curve for me given the asymmetry of the design.

The dress is fully lined with some rayon lining fabric, and I made my first ever thread belt loops using this video tutorial. It’s basically crocheting thread, and I had fun.

I thought I had all the kinks worked out and sewed up the bodice with the lining, only to find out that the sleeve was digging into her arm pit. It was a hairy moment since I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to enlarge the armhole without messing the whole thing up, but whew, it all worked out. The dress fits her perfectly and she’s happy as a clam.

The design was based off of this sketch that K so helpfully provided:

What do you think? The end result is pretty close to her sketch, right?

I was so immersed in the making of the dress that it didn’t fully hit me that I was, in fact, making a graduation dress. What a milestone! No more elementary school! Ack!! I’m not sure if I’m prepared to be the mom of a middle schooler…I am having HUMONGO feelings.

Back to preparing,
watch my baby grow,
begin packing for Japan

P.S. Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads out there!!

20 thoughts on “Happy Friday + K’s Grad Dress

  1. I know how you feel about watching your baby grow. Mine turn 13 in a little over a month and when I think back 13 years ago, to when I wasn’t even sure if they would make it, I am just so amazed at them.
    The dress is lovely

    1. Thank you, Buffy! K keeps reminding me that she’s turning 13 in just a couple more years (she’s almost 11). Yikes!!

    1. Doesn’t she look like she’s 11 going on 22? It’s crazy!! Yes, I’m super excited about our upcoming trip. All the different parts I was trying to coordinate are starting to come together and it’s so fun! 🙂

  2. It is exactly what she drew! You should be so proud of yourself for showing up for her and doing something important for her, and that you have the skills to do so. Way to go mom! She is the same age as my oldest and we are measureing almost every day to see who is taller – they grow up oh so fast!

    1. Thank you, Beccy! It was tricky sewing with silk (especially the cutting portion), but I learned a lot and that’s always the best part for me. Wow, your oldest must be quite tall. Despite how she looks in these photos, K is the shortest in her class, so she has a while yet to go before she’s taller than me :-).

  3. What a beautiful dress! I tried to make a graduation dress for my daughter 2 years ago… the dress still isn’t finished and I’m quite sure she has grown out of it.
    Have a nice trip!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Christine! I just recently finished up a project that took me over two years to complete out of sheer procrastination, so I’m no stranger to taking my time to get things done ;-). It’s possible that it can still fit, though. K’s still wearing clothes I made three years ago!

  4. It is just wonderful to see K again. Just like old times on the blog! She looks amazing, as usual. Have a wonderful time in Japan. You don’t need new clothes to have fun.

    1. Ha, it IS like old times, isn’t it? Things have been more focused on books lately, but I’m really really looking forward to diving into more sewing. I can feel it in my bones. 🙂 But you’re right, I don’t need to sew for the trip specifically. All in good time…

  5. What a lovely dress! I’m in the habit on setting insane deadlines for myself before trips and when I finally face reality and drop them I usually feel so much better. Enjoy your trip!

    1. Thank you, Delphine! What a compliment coming from an expert in silk-sewing! Ah…the insane deadlines. Why do we do this to ourselves? I had a long hard think today and decided to let go of a lot of items on my to-do list. I just want to fully enjoy my Japan trip and all I’m doing is stressing myself out!

    1. Thanks, Max! I can’t believe this is the last week of elementary school for my little girl and then it’s a jam-packed trip. I’m full of wonder!

  6. It’s beautiful, congratulations to such a talented musician, and I loved her sketch the best of all the photos you posted: Made my day!

    1. Isn’t her sketch just the best? She was very specific about what she wanted, so it made it easier to draft the dress :).

  7. Nice one! I can never make the leap from manipulating an existing pattern to starting from scratch. So, I take my hat off to you, you done good.
    She looks very beautiful and ever so grown up.

    1. I know!! I can’t keep up with how fast she’s growing up. I’m betting we’re going to have to deal with the “B” word in no time (that would be “Boyfriend” and hopefully not “Bong” given that this is Seattle where cannabis is legal). I’m becoming more and more comfortable with drafting my own patterns, I think – it’s exciting :-).

  8. A nice sketch for a gorgeous dress. You can smile knowing that your efforts were worth it,. I’m certain that no one else has such a thoughtfully handcrafted dress. She’s lucky to have a mom like you!

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