At the beginning of the Academic Year, we celebrate something we call ‘Convocation’. Convocation is a ceremony in which we welcome the new students into our academic community. I have been trying to make something for all the big ceremonies that we do. That’s why I have three graduation dresses and the queen’s shirt. This Convocation dress does mimic the first graduation dress a little as I’m using the same fabric for the skirt. That blue linen has been reduced to scraps and two dresses. It shouldn’t feature in projects again..
Anyway, I was browsing through my pattern stash and found a couple of patterns that I like. Then I looked through my fabric stash and found bit of fabric (the blue from this project and also using in another larp dress that pre-dates the blog). It was small, full width but only 40-50 cm long. I liked the idea of blue and blue and I’d found a pattern that could just fit on the fabric. With just fit I mean that I had to modify the sleeve to fit and that I literally didn’t have a piece left that was bigger than 4×4 cm.
The original pattern appeared in Dutch Burda 9/2009, dress 111 and features a slim-ish skirt. Me, I don’t really do slim skirts because during these ceremonies I’m running around. Therefore, I don’t like to get stuck in my clothes. The blue linen however was just about large enough to be able to make a skirt with a couple of pleats that would mimic the seamlines from the top. Brilliant idea, if I say so myself. The linen is also stiff enough to keep its shape, which is wonderful because I didn’t need a lining for the bottom that way.
The top features some interesting pleats and folds that are kept in place by the lining. Below a close up of the front fold/pleat thing. The back also has these.
However, those pleats meant hand sewing both the top and the bottom of the lining to corresponding pieces. This dress was a whole lot of work and quite a lot of head scratching before I figured it out.
I figured out early in the process that blue and blue is a good idea in my head, but it was a little boring, so I made a red strap to go around my waist. However, not long before the event itself, I remembered I’d made a bow-tie-belt in something orange. I grabbed it from the rack, googled bow-tie-tying instructions and put it on. It was the perfect colour match with the orange threads in the top, and it looked much more festive than the red simple tie. Bow tie it was.
I did change the zipper to be a side zipper, it’s nearly invisible as can be seen in the picture below. The reason was that I didn’t want to cut up the linen to three pieces for a back zip. So I just closed the back zip seam and called it a day. I also put pockets in the skirt. I like pockets and they are really handy for keeping keys, phone and the event schedule.
I’m also knitting, have plans for pants, coats, shirts and scarves and I don’t know if I’ll ever get any of them finished. Wish me luck!