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Topic: Debutante Ball?  (Read 2108 times)
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« on: March 23, 2008 09:42:23 AM »

Yes, it is what it sounds like. I, devoted craftster and unashamed freak, am debuting. It's all for my mom, I guess it will make her happy, but really, what the hell?
The worst part is the dress. It has to be white, can't be formal-length or mini, and has to be appropriate for a cocktail party, which just doesnt make any sense. Naturally, I want to make it, and i want to stand out, but I'm strapped for ideas.
Do you have any on what kind of dress would be appropriate for me, but also suitable for a fancy-schmancy society function?
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2008 10:25:34 AM »

What is your current style? While it doesn't sound like you are a typical debutante, it would be helpful to get an idea of what style you usually wear. Do you want something more simple? Strapless or with straps/sleeves? What is your body type? How are you going to wear your hair?

Can't be formal length? When I looked up debutante dresses they were all formal length.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2008 10:29:30 AM by Thesingingllamas » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2008 12:38:59 PM »

I had a friend who debuted in Alabama, and that poor girl had to wear a full wedding gown for it- I'm glad you don't have to go through all that!
I don't know your style exactly, but I found a couple of cute inspirations you might be able to make (in white, of course):

Ugly link, but I'm lazy. Pretty dress though. Below the knee and chaste and all, but still with a nice corsety tie top.

I love the origami-like waist on this one. However, I certainly don't have the skill needed for that much gathering, etc.

Or this. I'm a big fan of 20's dresses. Bias-cut is really flattering.

Another 20's style, more ornate.

Or you could go the Gothic Lolita route (though your family may kill you if you go TOO far- maybe stick to the stuff labeled aristocratic lolita. I love that skirt, though again, I'd lack the skills to make it.

Sorry for the lack of pictures- I'm lazy and don't want to thief photos.
Good luck, and I'd like to see what you end up doing!

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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2008 02:00:35 PM »

Something like this is very sweet and appropriate, but leaves a LOT of room for making it unique with accessories, fabric, and the crinoline.

If you like the '20's look, this one is a little younger looking, while maintaining the overall feel.

This is close to the first one, but again, offers a lot of openings for creativity.

You get the idea.  A few hints:  don't deviate too much from the guidelines, or they may not let you participate.  Traditions stay traditional by being fairly conformist.  I would find out if the dress has to be solid white (as in no contrast strips, buttons, etc.), sometimes they'll allow small touches of other colors.  I would definitely use texture more than style to make a statement.  While you want to be unique, you don't want to be a sore thumb, and looking too old, or too underdressed will not make you a happy camper the day, nor will your mother be.  I would stick with jewelry and hair accessories and shoes to make you shine in your own special way.  If you're wearing a dress with a crinoline, perhaps attach some bows or buttons (in a style that suits you) to it so that they aren't visible all the time, but perhaps peek out now and again when you walk.  Finally, ask about requirements regarding shoes, and also, see if you can wear a small wrap or jacket before and after the ceremony.  If you wear a simple dress, you can go wild with your wrap.  And above all, have fun!  If you go into the experience with dread, you'll have a miserable time, and unhappy memories.  But if you go into it with a positive attitude, expecting to have fun, or at the very least meet new people, and experience something different, you'll have a good time, even if it's ironic.   Wink

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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2008 04:07:02 PM »

For some reason I'm thinking taking inspiration from this: http://tinyurl.com/24ntnu and since anthropoligie things can disappear off the website I'll include a pic: http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=28i9leh&s=3

Doing a white satin strip at the bottom and a white cotton on top for the rest of the dress. After the ball you can dye the white cotton with rit or dylon and the white polyester satin will stay white. Maybe a white satin tie.

There are lots of vogue patterns that would probably work for you dependng on your skill level. Vogue is the first place I turn if I am looking for "fancy" and "elegant" but not too frou frou.

Also check out burdastyle.com I think Minna 6007 would be cute and you could easily add a little length to it. Shari 7951 would be cute, too, Satin + cotton combo. Azalea 6004 Satin and Gauze? Satin and chiffon seems too obvious. You get the idea.

Check out the very easy vogue dresses and don't be afraid to click on some of those full length dresses, some of them have shorter versions in the pattern or could be adapted to be shorter.

Also look at regular dress patterns that you might be able to dress up using different fabrics. I often forget to look at simplicity new look because I skip right past it.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2008 04:23:36 PM by Thesingingllamas » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2008 03:13:06 PM »

I don't know what your sewing skills are, so here are some patterns that may be "average" difficulty.  I

Here are a few I like that are not too bridal:

This dress is classic in the front and a little interesting in the back.  Not too revealing, and perhaps one you'd wear in the summer.   

This 2-piece outfit is a top and skirt.  You could make these out of dressy material, then wear the top later with nice trousers.  It is shown with a long skirt, but you could easily sew it in a cocktail, below-knee length skirt.  http://www.butterick.com/item/B3843.htm?tab=evening_prom_bridal&page=4

This one has one of those poufy hems that creates fullness without flounces.  Probably looks good on tall thin women.

We'd all love to hear more about what kind of dresses you like!

« Last Edit: March 25, 2008 03:14:45 PM by mandodeb » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2008 07:17:24 PM »

What a fantastic reason to make a fancy dress!!  I actually wasn't even aware that debutante balls still happened.  How fun Smiley

Here are a few dress I like that seem to fit your parameters.  A picture of yourself (for body shape) and what kind of dresses you like would probably give people out there some more ideas!

B4915 :: You could do something cute with trims on this one.
Here is a new one from McCall's M5320.  I think it is cute Smiley
Some vintage patterns might be neat for something a bit different

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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2008 08:21:43 PM »

Oo, lots of fun pattern suggestions in this thread.  I will refrain from posting more until we get a better idea of your style, but just one suggestion.  If you don't think you would ever wear a white dress again, you might think about sewing your dress in a fabric that would be dyeable - natural fibers like cotton or silk, or "semi" natural like rayon or nylon.  That way you could dye the dress a different color and wear it again for whatever you like.

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