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  1. 1. Jessica HieberMrs. LesterAdvanced Grammar and Composition12 March 2012 Speech As a petite teenager, it is difficult to find clothing that fits properly and is in style. Due tomy clothing not fitting me well, much of my clothing has to be altered. As a child, I watched mymother sew clothing for my sister and I. I picked up sewing when I was older so that I could altermy own clothing. However, what persuaded me to make my own prom dress for my seniorproject was the amount of money I could save. In searching for the perfect prom dress, I was struck by howimmodest and provocativeprom dress styles are. Therefore for my research paper, I asked whyyoung girls are choosingthese styles. The fashion industry is falling under the influence of the media and influencingyoung women to dress inappropriately. I chose to research the topic after I started to payattention to what other girls were wearing at my school. It made me question why youngwomenwere dressing inappropriately. During my research I discovered that young girls dress thisway because of the world they are growing up in. The media, such as magazines, movies, and themusic industry portray women in negative ways. Society has accepted the negative portrayal asnormal, not scandalous. Therefore, girls see provocative behavior as OK. After completing myresearch, I decided to create a dress that was modest, but did not cost too much. Now I’m goingto tell you about the process I followed in creating my prom dress.
  2. 2. For my project, I had two facilitators Nicole Carnes and Tina McDaniel.When I waslooking for a facilitator, I wanted someone who knew how to sew well and was experiencedenough to help me to complete a large project. Mrs. Carnes was my teacher last year for interiordesign and I remembered her working with another student who was sewing for her seniorproject, so I knew she could sew. Mrs. McDaniel is one of my mother’s friends andcolleagues.Nicole Carnes is a high school family and consumer science teacher who enjoyssewing as a hobby. Tina McDaniel started sewing when she took a home economics course inhigh school. All throughout high school she receivedhonors awards for her sewing skills. She hascontinued to sew as a hobby. Both of my facilitators used their strengths in sewing to help mecomplete my dress.After I figured out who would be my facilitators, the next step was to begin researching how tocreate a prom dress.The first step in creating my prom dress was to decide what style of dress Iwanted.I found a dress online over the summer that I loved- for $388. So I decided to replicate it.Once I was certain that I wanted the style of dress, the next step was to find a pattern.This wasthe most difficult to do. Finding a dress pattern that matched what I wanted was difficult. Istarted looking in August and I found one in November.I had to buy a pattern that was for a shortdress, and lengthen it later.After I had the pattern, Mrs. Carnes helped me take my measurementsso that I could figure out which size to use and how much fabric I would need in order to makethe dress long. After figuring out the amount of fabric needed, I started to look for fabrics.Ineeded to buy three: A liner, a solid satin, and an overlay. I was very nervous about which color Ishould use, because I was not sure how it would look once the dress was put together.Now Mrs.Carnes helped me lengthen the skirt patterns and I began to pin the pattern pieced to the fabricand cut out3 pieces from each of the three different fabrics. Mrs. Carnes taught me how to set up
  3. 3. the sewing machine and which stitches I would use. Once I was able to set the sewing machineup and thread it, I started sewing the fabrics together.I started with the main fabric, but once Ihad sewn the three pieces together, I realized the seams were facing the wrong way. Theseams inthe back of the skirt were not facing down. Instead the middle one was visible. I took out theseams by hand and re-sewed it.Once I had all three pieces put together, I pinned them togetherand basted them. A baste is a loose hand stich.The skirt was the easy part;the hard part was thebust of the dress. I wanted my dress to have a sweetheart neckline.I was very particular on whatkind too.The original pattern’s neckline was too boxy, so I had to search for another pattern touse for the bust.I had to buy a new pattern to use.Once I had the new pattern, Mrs. Tina and Icame up with a plan to make the ruching on the bust, because the new pattern did not includethis. With Mrs. Tina’s instruction, I made a prototype of the bust out of cheap fabric.This insuredthat the new pattern and rushing technique would work.Once the prototype fit properly, I cut thepieces out with the actual fabric and sewed them together. Then I attached the bodice to the skirt.Next I sewed in the zipper and hemmed the bottoms of the fabric. The finishing touches were thebeading on the bust. Making a prom dress may seem easy to some. However, I disagree; I had afew obstacles I had to overcome. The main obstacle that I had throughout the process was finding the patterns that I neededto fit my needs. The first pattern was too short, so I had to adapt a pattern to my needs with thehelp of Mrs. Carnes. The second obstacle had to do with patterns as well. I was unable to find apattern that had a ruched bust, so I had to experimentwith a prototype until the ruching matchedup to what I wanted. Finding trim for the bust was also difficult. The fabric stores that I went todid not have the type I needed or a pattern to follow, so I had to buy one online. Even though the
  4. 4. process was long and sometimes frustrating, I learned a lot about myself through my seniorproject. Explain what you have learned about yourself from the senior project experience.Through the senior project I realized that I needed to work on time management. Making myprom dress took longer than I had expected.I also learned how to quickly come up with solutionsto problems. The senior project helped my communication skills because I learned how to writebusiness e-mails to my facilitators.At the start of the senior project I was interested in a career inthe fashion industry.Now I have no interest in the career at all.My interests have moved to adifferent field altogether. I have always had a passion for baking and after much research. I havedecided that a culinary art is the career field for me. After high school I plan to study Culinary Arts with a Concentration in Baking & Pastryat Johnson and Wales University.