Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Making of Autumn's Deb Dress

Well tonight is the night for our beautiful daughter Autumn to make her Debut and so i thought I would tell the story of her Deb dress.

Thankfully I was able to start this process early.

After looking on line for a dress pre-made or pre-loved we could not find anything we found appropriate so I headed down the path of making this dress.

Now I have always tried to do what I could to create and sew for our family BUT I am the first to admit that sewing clothes is not my forte or my love. I find it stressful as I nearly always have too much to achieve in a short period of time and almost always technical difficulties.
So I was please I went with Autumn shopping for her fabric and pattern (in this post) in plenty of time.
Our dear friend Bernadette came over to help in any way she could with the laying out of the fabric and holding our precious Trahaearn.
Together we laid out the fabric and cut some together. Then I pretty much did the rest with much moral support and advice from this sewing fairy Godmother.

I worked in small pieces of time during the day with much help from the children in attending other tasks and doing lots of sewing while burning the midnight oil.

Although the sewing was not difficult I am not a great sewer and reading a pattern is almost like reading alien writing. I have to take my time to visualise the steps and then implement them.
I was however so pleased with my progress and even put a zipper in for the first time EVER.
The lace work on the bodice was a little tricky and I was so worried about making a mistake and wasting the fabric. I had to cut the lower scallops out  to use along the bodice neck line.
This was such a tricky and nerve racking part for me and I was so thankful that it went smoothly even though I could not work out how it was going to attach following the instructions
When I was finished it looked so small and flimsy and I couldn't visualise this being the finish of the bodice.
It was really hard to photograph but it was pinned , basted and then sewn onto the already laced bodice along the neckline. A very difficult part to see and sew clearly.
This was the  part of the house I lived in for so many days with children and husband coming up to the loft to find, talk and be with me.
Sewing on the buttons to the front of the dress I think there were 23 buttons to be sewn on and through this 'buttoning' on the front of the bodice, which incidentally is ornamental only as the dress is opened by  a very long zipper down the back.
The bottom of the dress is sewn up with something called 'horse hair braid' you have no idea how hard this was to get. I  looked every where for it and finally was able to order it on line and have sent to me from Sydney after lots of phone calls and Autumn's Grandmother making the successful call to find the supplier.
After basting the braid on I then had to turn up the hem and hand sew the hem to complete the bottom of the dress. This took 5 hours of hand sewing and I had both Kynan and Autumn (for some of it) stay up with me till 3.30am in the morning keeping me company as we watched the Darling buds of May together. Well really I listened and sewed while they watched!
Finally a finished Deb dress and a very happy girl.
This is it without the sash, which incidentally covers about half of those buttons!!!
Finished dress complete with sash.
Now all we had to do was get some shoes.......another interesting day.

As tonight is the night for the long looked for event....THE Debutante Ball I am sure I will sharing some photos very soon of not only Autumn but the other Debs and their partners as well.

Wish us all luck and prayers for these special young people as they embark on a new adventure please.

Blessings to you and your homes,


Anonymous said...

Wow! It sure sounds and looks like that dress too much effort, time, and patience to make. I'm just embarking upon learning to sew myself, and I can say that it takes much patience, and you have to enjoy paying attention to all the little details.

At any rate, despite your fears and "stress,"you did a WONDERFUL job on your daughter's dress! It looks so beautiful!

I pray that she has a good time with her friends, and I'm looking forward to hearing about her event. :)

Patricia said...

My friend, you are amazing.
You did an absolutuely beautiful job on Autumn's deb dress!!
A true labour of love.
How wonderful for her to wear something so lovingly made by your sweet hands!
What a blessing.
It's a very pretty style and looks fabulous on her!
Hope the night goes really well and everyone has a terrific time .
Looking forward to the photos :-)
love and blessings..Trish

ccc said...

Your daughter's dress turned out beautiful! All your hard work paid off, and she will always remember her mother doing this for her.

Anonymous said...

Oh Gae...what a beautifully made dress! You have done a marvelous job. The patience, the detail, the love it took to create such a garment shows in every stitch and every seam.

May she enjoy herself immensely dear friend :)


Gardenia said...

this is a beautiful dress, and Autumn is a beautiful girl. Best wishes to her at the Ball, and a big yay!!! to the momma who created this lovely dress.

Kim said...

Oh Gae, you did an amazing job!

Your sweet daughter, and the dress are simply beautiful!

It will be a wonderful, memorable evening for all of you!


Sandra Ann said...

Absolutely beautiful you must be justifiably pleased with all your hard work.

That dress is a keeper and family heirloom for sure.

God Bless

San xx

RAnn said...

Beautiful young woman in a beautiful dress.

Hi, and welcome to the Catholic Blog Directory. I'd like to invite you to participate in Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival, a weekly gathering in which Catholic bloggers share their best posts with each other. This week's host post is at

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah!! You did a beautiful job!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an undertaking! And what a special gift! I hope she has a lovely time... well done, grace

Vellvin said...

And what a nightmare it was!!! :)

Kendra said...

It's beautiful and so's the young lady in it. :) Someday I'll have to share the funny story of making my wedding dress. :D

Jane Ellen said...

I am amazed! Beautiful dress, loving mother and lovely daughter.


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