Graduation Dress

This combined work and hobbies – I wanted to make a dress that was suitable for the odd colours of my robes (Leeds Beckett in suffragette green, purple, and white). I was going to wear this for graduation to celebrate students who had been utterly amazing, learning throughout a pandemic, and still made it! I wanted to stand on the stage and applaud wildly. But events intervened in two ways.

First I became sick with work stress. I could barely function at home and found myself sobbing at my desk two days in a row. I’ve been off sick for about two months now and am poking at the idea of returning to work now that I can think of it without sick dread and can talk to work people and still sleep. Then our union, the UCU, went on strike and it was on graduation day. It was a difficult decision for my colleagues – cross the picket line or miss that celebration and I am very proud of those who stood on the picket line instead. I took doughnuts as my own contribution because sick people cannot go on the picket line.

But I still finished the dress. It has, obviously, pockets! Especially since carrying things like car keys and phones is hard during graduation. It is truly the hardest thing I have ever sewn and if you ever see me think about linings again, please shout at me until I stop. It is the Vogue 8577 and has a million stages, some of which were very poorly described.

The sheer amount of fabric was massive – 7 meters of both. I foolishly (possibly because thinking is hard when you are so stressed and exhausted) forgot to measure myself and adapt the pattern. So I ended up adapting it halfway through, adding panels and so on.

But I’m happy with it and might use the pattern again, although my next planned project takes me back to the Anna pattern.

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