While most girls have been scouring department store racks as they attempt to find the perfect dress for the Homecoming dance, senior Michelle Li can skip all the hassle. This year, Li made her own outfit from scratch.
“It fits perfectly to you instead. If it’s a store-bought dress, you don’t know if it’ll fit you perfectly,” Li said. “You can just get it right where you like it.”
According to Judy Fisher, fashion and textile foundations teacher, Li is not the only one who takes on the task of assembling her own garment for the Sept. 17 dance. Fisher said each year the number of girls who make their own dress varies, but it is usually between five and 10 students. Li said she attributes this growing phenomenon to the rising popularity of the fashion classes at CHS.
The process is relatively simple for Li, who completed Fashion and Textile Foundations 5-6 her junior year. She purchases the pattern and fabric she likes, cuts out the pattern pieces and follows the detailed instructions that come with the pattern. From there, Li sews the dress together and fits it.
According to Li, the one-shouldered white dress she made this year costs about $30, which is significantly less expensive than the average manufactured dress. Fisher added that other benefits of making your own dress are students can make the garment look exactly like they envisioned, and it will fit perfectly since it is custom made, in addition to the fact that it provides a sense of accomplishment.The students can create the dress they want to wear.
“It will be unique; they won’t run into five other girls at the Homecoming dance wearing the same dress that everybody bought at Von Maur,” Fisher said.
However, there are drawbacks when students take on such a large project. Both Li and Fisher said the primary disadvantage of making your own dress is the process can be time-consuming, although Li estimated it took her only a week to finish her piece.
“I guess it kind of stresses you out sometimes because you’re like, ‘Okay, I need to get this done before Homecoming.’ But for a store-bought dress you just buy it and you’re done with it,” Li said. “Like for this dress I’m making, you always have to be thinking about it; it’s always in the back of your head.”
Despite the planning involved, Fisher said the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
“It allows students to use all their creativeness and their creativity,” Fisher said. “Fashion is a form of art. It’s a wonderful outlet for the creative side of a personality.”