When my daughter, Christina, was a junior in high school, she told me she wanted a rainbow prom dress. She loves colors, is an artist, and wanted to wear a dress full of colors. The problem was that, at that time, there were no “rainbow” prom dresses in any store.
However, I know how to sew and have been sewing for quite a few years. The problem was finding fabric that might represent a rainbow.
After careful searching, I found fabric at Vogue Fabrics. The fabric was a taffeta that had rainbow colors in it and was MACHINE WASHABLE. Machine washable taffeta? For those of us who went to our proms years ago in taffeta, we recall the fear of spillage and ruining a dress. But, now, there’s machine washable taffeta.
I ordered all the fabric I needed to make the dress from Vogue Fabrics and picked out a pattern according to what Christina was verbally telling me she wanted. We decided on pattern number 2400 by Simplicity. This pattern ended up becoming a favorite of mine because it was relatively easy to put together.
If you are new to sewing, don’t start off with a prom dress. Try something simple like an elastic waistband pair of shorts or a simple skirt with an elastic waistband.
Fitting prom dresses can be tricky, so one of the first things I did was purchase inexpensive muslin fabric to make a “mock” dress top. Sometimes, patterns are off in measurements. After I measured Christina, I cut her size out (just down to the waist), and sewed together the muslin pieces to see how well it would fit. If it was too big, I would aim for a smaller size. If it was too small, I’d go for a larger size. We went through two different mock top sizes before I had the right fit.
Amazingly, within a couple of years we saw a few dresses hit the stores with the rainbow-like look, but nothing like the dress we came up with together. This year, I’m putting the dress on ebay to sell it and will be saying goodbye to the dress that was a combination of efforts between my daughter and me. I hate to see it go, but know that it will have another happy owner and make room for new memories.