Friday, March 7, 2014


Yesterday my daughter needed photos for a resume of a dress she made her junior year in high school. I drove to her dad's to pick up Marie, an ancient dress form, and dug the dress out of a closet upstairs in our guest room. As I clothed Marie in ten pounds of beautiful printed cotton fabric, I was reminded of the hours Rebecca spent hand sewing each perfect seam. How many seventeen-year-olds decide they want to create an eighteenth century gown and craft it entirely by hand?

This all began many years ago with Rebecca's desire to visit her French pen-pal. She worked during her sophomore year serving meals at a retirement home to earn funds for a trip to Paris. While she was there she and her pal Gloria saw the movie "Marie Antoinette" and toured Versailles. Smitten by eighteenth century costume, Rebecca returned home passionate about making a dress of her own. She pitched the idea to her independent study advisor then spent a semester researching, cutting, fitting, and hand sewing fourteen yards of fabric into this confection.

The photos taken for the resume aren't nearly as much fun as this one of the teenage dressmaker wearing the dress. Note the toes of pink Converse tennis shoes peeking out.

Rebecca's project started a love affair with fabric and the art of sewing. In May, she will graduate with a degree in costume design from Santa Fe University of Art & Design. She has learned design, rendering, pattern making, draping, and lots of new sewing tricks of the trade. I know she could teach me a thing or two.

Tonight a dress Rebecca labored on for weeks will premiere in the play "Dangerous Liaisons." 

Hard to say where our passions will lead us if we listen, learn, and labor. 

1 comment:

  1. This is such a lovely story. I remember the hearing about Rebecca labouring with the hand stitching and remember her college search and decision making so I feel as if I have been a (distant) part of the family. Lovely to see the pictures of the finished hand sewn garment (hmmm isnʻt it her mother who is hand stitching her way through two wedding quilts? Role model?) and the modelling of the same too. I absolutely adore the Dangerous Liaisons pink confection too.