Prelude to the ball

It’s nearly the most stressful time of the year for me – the scourge that is ball season! Fortunately my daughter is in year 13 now so this is the third and final year I’m going to have to go through this torment.

The first year she was too young to go to her own school ball so she went to the Scots College ball with a friend of hers in a short dress made from a beautiful silk cotton print we got from Global Fabrics.  The design conversation which went a bit like this:

Monica:   “I want a corset top”

Me:   “Ok, we’ll have to go shopping for a strapless bra”

Monica:   “I want it to be plunging in the back and have back lacing so I won’t be able to wear a strapless bra”

Me:  “Oh”

Monica:   “…and I want it to push my boobs up and make them look bigger…. and it’s hockey season and they’re small so I want extra padding”

Me:   “You know that’s going to be impossible to make”

Monica:   “Meh”

We compromised on the plunging back because I decided it would be too hard to make a push up bra top with no actual back in it,  I wasn’t willing to go head to head with the laws of physics, and after a lost weekend or two, some late nights, a lot of boning, bra underwires, quilt batting, and some cleverly constructed pockets for chicken fillets, the top was looking fabulous but come dawn on ball day there was NO SKIRT.

Corset top

I knocked off work early and came home to start making the skirt.  While a team of teenage girls worked on her hair/makeup/fake tan I threw together a bubble skirt from the remaining fabric backed with tulle and with tucks stitched into it to make it poof out.  By the time I’d hand stitched her into the skirt it was time to leave so there wasn’t time for photos which is a terrible tragedy because she looked gobsmackingly gorgeous.  Her date was actually speechless when he answered the door and I can’t say I blamed him.

A few days later she told me a friend of hers had asked her to the Wellington College ball and she couldn’t possibly wear the same thing twice….

Mon and Max


8 thoughts on “Prelude to the ball

    1. Thanks so much. Making the top was quite a long painstaking process which is probably why I ran out of time and had to throw the top together in such a hurry. My time management often leaves a lot to be desired and I’m such a perfectionist things always take so much longer than I think they will. I was really late for my own school ball and only just got there before the time that they shut the doors and wouldn’t let anyone else in because when my date arrived to pick me up I was still in the sewing room finishing my dress with my mum and the tailor who lived up the road who we called in at the last minute to help.

      Last year when I was making a dress to wear to my partner’s daughter’s wedding I had to do an all-nighter and managed to finish my dress by 10am on the wedding day. Luckily it was an afternoon wedding.

  1. I can totally understand this post, having been through the same nightmare every year of high school.
    I do, however, have some rather bad news for you – Uni has a ball for each faculty! (and they have to go to as many as posible with no outfit repeats)

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