Yesterday (2nd July 2015) was Graduation Day at Bishop Burton College and compared with the day before it was very quiet! So let's start with run up to Graduation...
The outfit was my biggest concern. That sounds air-headed, but there was really nothing else to worry about. I was going to wear a dress-length version of the Cut21 shirt but, when I finished it, it looked like a lab coat and was a bit translucent anyway. The plan was then to make a top to go under it, and wear it with the 2:30 hour shorts. I wanted to get some brown, mid-heel ankle boots and a matching belt to go with it. Now, I do not revel in shopping, which may be one reason I spent three days searching unsuccessfully for the aforementioned items. There were some nearly suitable boots in Primark, but I couldn't bring myself to shop there when I know that the things are made in sweatshops -- how else could they be so cheap? So I went home empty-handed.
On Wednesday I cut the fabric for the under-top, and seeing that it was too see-through to wear on its own afterwards, I cut another one from some light blue percale I had left over from the Secret Garden Tea Dress. I sewed the blue one up, and was just about to set the sleeves when I realised I had not cut them. So now I have a tank top with baby-hem armscyes. :)
On Wednesday night I read the letter from the college again. It said that it was "essential that students dress for the occasion" and I assume that means a formal dress for girls. I looked up "graduation dress" on Google and came across a load of prom-dress-like things. No. Somehow they look tacky to me.
I opened Adobe Illustrator and my personal dress block file, copied the pattern into a new document and set about drafting a flared dress.
I pulled some khaki linen-look fabric out of my fabric box (whose contents I am trying to diminish before I move into student accommodation in September) and checked the length and width. I made a lay on Ai and there was plenty of fabric. So I printed out my pattern, prepared it, traced round it with white chalk onto the fabric, and cut out the dress.
Then came the sewing. I did not use a single pin on this dress -- not one! :D I used an invisible zip because they only need 1cm seam allowances and 0cm s.a. on the back neck facing at the CB. I had it sewn up by midnight. I started all this at about 8pm so I took only 4 hours to make a dress from scratch, counting pattern work and cutting! I'm so pleased with myself!
That day I also baked and decorated (after a fashion) a chocolate sandwich cake for my friend Alice, whose birthday it is this weekend. The buttercream, which I had an obligation to test, ehem, was very nice indeed. I've almost never made it before. I was going to decorate the cake with her name, but that was too difficult so I did a flower instead. She was very pleased with it. I hope she and her family enjoy it. :)
Anyway, I had a hard time getting to sleep that night, after my brain was so busy with sewing. It was after 1am when I dropped off, and after 4am I woke up every hour, partly due to these lovely sunny mornings we are having.
On Thursday, which was Graduation Day, I and my brother (who was my guest) had to be ready by 10am because Alice was coming to pick up up and give us a life. 10am came and she wasn't there. 10 past, still not sign. 20 past, I was getting worried and started messaging her and Charlie to find out where she was. Had she been in an accident? Had she simply forgotten? 25 past. She phoned me. She had been stuck in traffic. She soon arrived and turned into a girl-racer as we went to college.
We got there by 11am and went to our studio where the others where either getting ready or had left to get their gowns or something. I introduced my brother to those who were there and he went to go and see the animals (meerkats and things). I went to change into my dress in the girls' room. It fits quite well and I am pleased with it.
There was much photo-taking to say the least. Do you know how hard it is to keep those gowns on? They come in two pieces: the gown, and the sash-thing that goes round your neck and has to be secured with, I kid you not, hair grips ("bobby pins" if you're in the US). They are also quite warm, being made of polyester. Mine stayed on quite well, but I have square shoulders. If I had made my own, it would have been much smaller.
The reason the shawl-thing is separate is that the colour is different depending on your university, and it's more practical to have a lot of gowns the same and have interchangeable shawls. I still think they should be easier to secure.
In case you're wondering, I got distinction and a Best Student Award. I'm very pleased with that (don't think I'm unappreciative just because I'm not excited -- I just take things in my stride, that's all). I am a bit peeved that they spelt my name wrong in the list of Prize Winners and the announcer pronounced it "Sabeena" (it was spelt "Sabina"). It was spelt even more wrongly on my plaque -- Sabia. My tutor said that she would get this sorted out. It's not that I don't like the names "Sabina" or "Sabia", but they're not mine and it looks silly to have an award with the wrong name on it.
When we got home I nearly fell asleep on the sofa before dinner. I suppose the lack of sleep caught up on me. :)