Graduation Dress: Part 1



My friend Nicole and I have been planning graduation dresses for a few months. She’s ahead of me in the process, and is defending her dissertation tomorrow!  I have officially written my dissertation now, and I’m finally pretty confident that I’m really going to graduate this spring. That means that I can finally talk about the dresses that we’re making for the occasion.

We decided to go reverse bridesmaids style here. Instead of making dresses in the same color but different silhouettes, we’re making the same dress in different fabrics. The pattern is McCall’s 7503. It is a pretty classic fit-n-flare style with with Dior darts. I just learned what Dior darts are the other day from Instagram. They’re basically short bust darts from a side panel rather than the side seam.

So far I have gathered all of the materials for my dress and muslined the bodice. Based on the finished measurements, I cut out a size 6 bodice, graded out to size 10 at the waist. The resulting bodice was still a little large at the bust, so I ended up taking about 3/8″ off of the side panel from the underarm to where the bust dart is. The back may still be a little large, but that will be easy to take in if necessary on the final dress.


I was very excited to find all of the materials for my final dress locally, at Mulberry Silks. The outer fabric is an incredibly soft and drapey rayon with blue and white stripes and cherry blossoms. I was a little concerned that the fabric was a little twee for the occasion, but the lady helping me at the shop convinced me by saying, “you’re going to be a doctor, you’ve earned the right to wear whatever you like!” I also picked up some matching Bemberg lining, an invisible zipper, and thread to match.

The fabric is now in the laundry pile to be prewashed, and then I can start constructing the final dress!

Pattern: McCall’s 7503
Fabric: 3 yards stripped floral rayon @ $14.95/yd, 3 yards Bemberg lining @ $9.50/yd from Mulberry Silks
Notions: Invisible zipper, thread
Cost: $73.35 fabric + $1.90 zipper + $1.80 thread = $82.83 w/tax ($83.83 if you count the pattern)
Time: TBD

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