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What I Learned from Making My Prom Dress

By Beverly Leino

For as long as I can remember I have had a strong love for fashion. I always knew that I wanted to create; in kindergarten I would staple together fabric scraps and put them on my Barbie Dolls. In high school, I finally learned how to sew, and I was absolutely obsessed! I knew that I wanted to test my skills and what better way to do that then create my own prom dress!

The day after my realization, I ran up to my fashion teacher at school and shyly told her that sewing my prom dress was something I was thinking about. I wasn’t sure if it was something that I could do. 

Excitedly, she told me that it was a great idea, and this is the moment I knew that I was actually doing this!

Along the way, I ran into SEVERAL struggles: I picked one of the hardest fabrics I could work with, my pattern was too big, and nothing was fitting right! At this point I was crying every time I tried on the dress, thinking that people would say it looked dumb. I just doubted myself completely. 

I erased the thought of scrapping the whole thing altogether and taking a trip to David’s Bridal. This was the easy way out. I didn't want easy. I didn’t want to let myself down. I worked for hours making adjustments to make my dress look perfect.

I tried it on one last time and looked in the mirror. I loved it! I was so excited to show it off and I was so proud. Proud of myself for persevering. This red dress was my own secret symbol, it made me realize that I could do so much more than I thought I could. I know it's cheesy but: all I needed to do was believe in myself. 

It was finally prom time! Finally!!! It was time for prom awards. I was curious to see which classmates won awards. I sat down by the ice cream bar devouring my sundae and I heard our class president announce my name. I jumped up. I just won an award for most original prom dress! 

And just like that, my night was made.

It was more than that. It was a wakeup call. I should never doubt how much I can achieve. Because there won't always be a time where you will win an award. Challenging myself, putting my all into it for weeks and still staying strong when all I wanted was to give up made me a stronger person. And that's the real award. 

In the following year I did it all over again. I made my second dress and I am still so happy I did. 

Me in my home made Junior prom dress


Me in my home made Senior prom dress

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