Friday, March 14, 2014

Ballroom blitz

In high school, my mother made some of my dresses for our various formal dances. She always did a great job and they never looked homespun or somehow less than good enough. But she also had four kids, a husband who worked very long hours and so it wasn’t always possible for her to sew my formal dresses.

I think we got this dress pattern intending to make it for the senior prom in my sophomore year. Normally, I wouldn’t have gone to the senior prom – you had to be a senior. But I’d been invited by a boy in his senior year, so I needed a dress. Looking at it now, it’s clearly a child of the 70s, but gosh I thought it was just so gorgeous. My mom and I had picked out some coral-pink satin stuff for the bottom and a sheer, lighter shade of the same color for the top, plus the required trim.

Life intervened, though, and the dress never got made (I don't remember what I wore, I didn't really know the boy very well and honestly never went out with him except for his prom). The fabric and pattern languished in my mother’s sewing closet for years and even got lugged from Missouri to Idaho. She finally gave it to me but I got rid of it in a purging frenzy sometime before we moved to Boston. It’s just as well, otherwise it would almost certainly have been ruined by water in our first flood.

I always loved that pattern and last week, God knows why but I went looking online to see if it were as wonderful as I remembered. And wouldn’t you know it – one copy and one copy only was for sale, and it was even in my size, in someone’s Etsy shop. I dithered for a day or so because (a) it’s not a dress that suits my lifestyle and (b) seriously? When am I going to wear a skirt that takes seven yards of fabric to make? But I wanted it, oh how I wanted it.

In the past, I would never have gotten this pattern. I would have thought it was silly to buy something I probably would never use. I don't keep things around that aren't useful to me now and I generally never have keepsakes, either mentally or physically. I don’t really want keepsakes now but I did buy the pattern. I may never ever make it, but I could if I wanted to.

4 comments:

readersguide said...

It's lovely, and I'm glad you bought it.

Diane Russell said...

You should find some light, cotton print that you like and make it! I still have a number of patterns like this. We used to wear them when we had friends over for dinner and cards, in the 1970s.

Lesa said...

If you love it, you need it. Also, it looks like it could be done as a night gown in the right material. Very romantic and pretty.

Magpie said...

Good on you for buying it, even if you don't make it.