The parent group really embraced the theme. They rented a limo for the entire group 8. One limo for seventy pre-teens. The teacher's parking lot is separated from the school by a rather large hedge, blocking it from view. All the students gathered in the parking lot before the dance. 8 at a time climbed into the stretch limo which drove them the 50 yards (50 meters) from the parking lot right up onto school grounds stopping at the main entrance to the school.
8 excited students climbed out to the cheering of friends and family, and posed for the hired photographers who snapped their grand entrance before they headed down a red carpet to the gala entrance.
This way, every child got to have a ride in a limo and make a spectacular entrance to the dance. An hour's rental on a limo split 70 ways is incredibly cheap. I am so glad our parent group is incredibly clever!
Now, to go with a limo-paparazzi-red-carpet-grand-entrance, you obviously need a limo-paparazzi-red-carpet-grand-entrance dress. The Eldest, being the apple that fell oh so close to this tree, fell in love with a huge, flouncy, organza strewn pageant creation. I admit, it was stunning, and my inner 12 year old was jumping up and down squealing when I saw it. Of course, I played cool as a cucumber mom and just took her measurements.
Now, I admit: I lied. I told the dress-makers that the event was Saturday the 21st, not Wednesday the 25th. I figure this way I would have it with a few days to spare to make sure it was pressed and aired out. That little lie proved to be a saving grace because a mere 36 hours before the supposed date, I noticed a surprise bonus in my bank account. The amount looked rather familiar and it slowly, slowly sank in: this was exactly what I paid for the dress. No explanation, no notice, nothing. I looked at my husband and said, "I guess this means we aren't getting the dress after all?"
There it was, 10 pm on Thursday night and the beautiful gala gown the Eldest has been talking about for over one month solid wasn't going to happen. There was only one thing to do- make her one myself and make her one fast.
Which is exactly what I did. I got to work. Well, I got to work once I finally convinced the Eldest that everything would be fine and that she would have a suitable dress, and no, it wouldn't look like a dress homemade by her mom in only two days.
Remember my last post where I mentioned my super-awesome husband making my 3 projects in 30 days possible? This is where he was his most super-awesome. He went shopping with me and did his utmost to translate everything into Dutch since my vocabulary is limited to inviting you in and offering you coffee. Considering he neither sews nor knows the inter-workings of hoops skirts, patterns, or fabric types, he did a darn good job and we got everything we needed in only one afternoon. He then spent the next two days with the Youngest, who is now going through her separation anxiety phase and if isn't within 2 inches of mommy has a screaming fit. Somehow he managed to distract her, entertain her, and (which I found rather charming) nap with her to keep her out of my sewing room so I could focus on what needed to be done.
After completing a hoop skirt, I moved onto the dress. I used Burda Pattern 9761 as a base. I made some simple changes to the pattern:
- I tweaked the neckline to make it squared-off-sweetheart instead of scooped
- I added to the skirt to increase the distance round the hem to create enough fullness to cover the 128 inch hoop
- I used a swag and poof over-skirt instead of the three layer over-skirt in the pattern.
- I added a sewn-in sash at the bottom of the bodice made out of organza.
I trimmed the sash with a brooch.
I was pretty happy with the result. I wish I had more time to make a crinoline to hide the line of the bones on the hoop. She changed shoes at the last minute and went from a flat to a 2 inch high heel, which was just enough to make a crinoline really necessary.
She was thrilled with the result. She felt beautiful, very gala-y (is that even a word?), and was happy with the fact it was in her two favorite colors and had plenty of bling. She was so pleased it didn't look like something her mom threw together over the weekend. She loved it. And that was the most important thing!