Saturday, May 19, 2007


It's definitely been a whirlwind couple of weeks and it's not quite over yet, but it's calming down and I don't have anymore pressing deadlines so I can start relaxing.

My mom arrived Wednesday evening, after a 2-hour delayed flight. I had planned to cut out my dress before leaving for the airport but cleaning and straightening the house took more time than I was planning and with the delayed arrival, a late dinner and some visiting with our guests, I put the cutting off until Thursday morning. I did manage to get both patterns cut before we had to leave the house around noon to do the Team Mom meal duty thing for DS#2's football game that night. He's #78 in the pic below.

DS' team won (yay!) and then we had to get back to and wait in our school's parking lot for nearly an hour before DS was released. No sewing that night, which meant I'd have to do it all Friday (the day of DS' graduation). Nothing like a little pressure, eh?

But it was easy sewing so I figured I could get it all done by the afternoon. And I did, but not without a couple bumps in the road.

The first "bump" was that after trying on the nearly complete but unhemmed dress, it was about 6 inches too long. Not because the pattern was too long, but because the fabric hangs heavy and it grew. It's a wonderful rayon knit, but it has slinky-like qualities in drape and stretch. The dress flares at the hem so I couldn't just hem out the extra length. I decided to toss it in the washer/dryer and work on the cardigan and to reevaluate after the laundry cycle. The worst case solution going through my mind would be chopping the dress in half, taking out the length from the middle and then sewing top and bottom back together with a seam that would be hidden by the cardi.

Luckily, the dress shrank enough in length in the wash that it was going to be wearable without any surgery. Long, but still wearable. (I'm thinking now that I never did prewash this length of fabric, so I can't ever dry the cardi in the dryer since I hemmed it to the length I want it to always be.) The extra length meant I couldn't wear the lower-heeled shoes I had been planning on but I did buy a Plan B pair last week with a higher heel (about 3") in case my Zappos-ordered Plan A didn't work out. Boy was I ever thankful for having that choice at the 11th hour.

As the night wore on, I could almost feel the dress getting longer. It was growing again after hanging on me. So it's now on the dressform for a few days so it can finish any more growing and then I'll hem it again shorter, sacrificing a bit of the flare. It's a great dress to wear though. Very swishy and comfortable. The rayon knit was perfect for the style, for the warm, humid weather last night and for sitting in the stands for hours watching the ceremony and waiting for the 593 names of the graduating class to be called. I know I'll be wearing this again and again over the summer.

The other "bump" in the road was that by the time I washed/dried the dress, sewed the top, and then fiddled with length and shoes, I was out of time to finish the dress armholes. No one was going to see them, so I just wore it with the raw edges. I'll turn those under when I do the new hem.

The cardi went together without a hitch and turned out great. I had some hand-dyed-by-me foldover elastic left from another project that matched this fabric perfectly. I used it on the neckline edge so that the cardi would have some contrast from the dress underneath and to add some flattering vertical lines. I pressed the elastic in half and then used my coverstitch machine to attach it all in one pass.

And now for a few more graduation night photos. The first is of DS and his brothers.

Next, DS and his girlfriend.

And last, DS and two of his close friends. The young man in the middle also graduated last night but ditched his cap and gown right away.

DS looks happy, doesn't he? ;-) I know DH and I are thrilled, and very proud. It's hard to believe this day has come and gone already. It's zipped by fast but the years have all been so fun and enjoyable. I'm a little sad that my first "baby" is nearly all grown up, but he won't be leaving the nest quite yet. DS will continue working full-time at The Cheesecake Factory (restaurant) over the summer and will then drop to part-time when he starts community college in the fall to train to be a fireman/paramedic. A new chapter begins.


  1. Debbie - congratulations! One for the graduating son and two on getting a wearable dress completed in such a short period of time. Thanks for including a pic of you in the dress - you look lovely by the way. So do you get to rest now?

  2. Dang, girl! With a deadline that close, I'd have just given up and gone to the closet, grumbling all the while! It's just awesome that you finished the dress in time, road bumps and all...and it looks great on you.

    Congrats to the DS. I think it's wonderful that he has chosen the fireman/paramedic route. Those are two of the programs in my dept at the comm. college where I work. I love working with the students and instructors in both of those programs....they all are so very dedicated and compassionate people. He picked a great field!

  3. Debbie, what wonderful pictures from you ds's graduation. A very special occasion. You look beautiful in your dress, great job on completing it.

  4. I love the dress! I was looking but can't seem to find what pattern you used. Great job!!

  5. You look stunning and what a wonderful fabric choice for hot humid Florida. I loved CC better that university, your DS is going to enjoy himself a lot. Best of luck staying away from the Cheesecake Factory :)

  6. You must be so proud! Son graduating, dress completed (and looking good!) and dining room finished! Well sit and have a drink!

  7. Yay for DS! (I didn't know you had 3 kids. Did I read that right?) I love your dress and cardigan- and your FOE trim is a great detail!

  8. Congratulations.
    Don't know if you've seen my blog lately, but my youngest son just graduated from LSSU with a degree in Fire Science and finished his paramedic this past year. We had two graduations here this past month - ds from college and youngest dsd from high school. it is a crazy busy time of year. Your son looks grand and you should be proud. It's a noble field he's entering.
    Just don't be surprised when you get photos like this from him.
    Don't know how you managed the dress under those conditions.


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