Thursday, May 19, 2016

Olivia's New Dress

My oldest daughter, Olivia, is 18 now. She is finished with high school and graduates next week as the Valedictorian of her class of some 450ish students. She has really earned it. She has never received less than an A on any report card in her whole life. She already has 50something college credits. Of course we are super proud of her for that major achievement, but I'm even more pleased that she knows herself so well and never compromises her ideals for the sake of fitting in. She is full of wisdom, creativity, kindness, and determination. She is one of a kind for sure. So I let her order some fabric and design a dress. Sometimes these things don't end up getting worn with her, but this time was a success. She has worn this lots of times, in lots of different ways.

The fabric is rayon spandex from the Imagine Gnats shop. (The shop is temporarily closed while Rachel recovers from surgery but will reopen soon. The price shown in that link - which isn't what I paid by the way - may not be accurate anymore because she had a blowout sale before closing.) Anyhoo, it is great fabric for a simple swingy dress. Soft, lots of drape, heavy enough to not be see-through - perfect. We didn't really use a pattern. We laid out the top of a basic T pattern and then laid down her favorite maxi skirt at the length she wanted it. We cut the back in 2 pieces in order to be able to add a little shaping through the back. 

Our weather is in the 60F range so she has mostly been layering it for now. She is always cold so today she had on a long sleeved black tee underneath and another over the top. (The one on top happens to be a Lane Raglan I made her last winter.) I sewed bindings at the armholes, but just turned and topstitched the neckline. It is high on the neck because Olivia likes things really modest. She also loves nature so taking pictures outside with her distracted is the best way to get pictures of this camera shy woman.

I'd make her a dozen more of these and some more Lane Raglans too but she won't need them where she is going. As Valedictorian with a lot of college credit already, it would be natural to assume that she would be heading off to college in the fall, maybe even an Ivy League school. Instead, Olivia has chosen a convent (technically a monastery because it is cloistered) and wishes to become a Nun. The first step is an "Aspirancy" for 3 months and the uniform will be white buttondowns and black midi skirts. We will be making those together over the summer when all the graduation hubbub dies down.

A religious vocation may seem like a strange choice to some people. I'm never sure what to say when people ask what she is doing after graduation. We didn't push it on her. We didn't even suggest it. She came to it on her own and has spent the last 4 years discerning, visiting different convents and orders, and meeting with a spiritual advisor. She already attends daily Mass and prays the Divine Office. (If you are Catholic that will mean more to you.) I actually think she will be supremely happy with the one she chose spending her days praying, working and continuing to create art (but mostly praying). I'd like to end with a few pictures of some of her more recent makes to show you where her heart lies.

1 comment:

  1. You must be so proud! How great to see a young woman forging her own path and knowing exactly what she wants.


Please leave a comment. I'll respond via e-mail if I can or here if that's not possible.