Bragging Rights

Have you heard of the “Own Your Look” Prom Dress Contest sponsored by JoAnn Fabrics?  The 2011 contest was open to teens who made their own formal attire.  Requirements included an original dress design and coordinating accessory created with fabric and products from JoAnn Fabrics.  This contest isn’t something to sneeze at: the first place winner receives a $50,000 prize–something any college-bound teen can appreciate.  You can view all the entries into the contest here.

I’m excited to announce that one of my sweet nieces, Rachelle, entered her Senior Prom dress into the competition.  I couldn’t be more impressed with the beautiful dress and matching headband that she made.

Isn’t she a gorgeous girl?  Check out the incredible details on this dress:

I have to compliment Rachelle on how well she fitted this dress.  It fits and drapes just beautifully–no small feat for any seamstress, no matter how experienced.  Congratulations, Rachelle, on a job well done!  (You can view Rachelle’s entry page in the contest here.)

I’m not going to say much about Rachelle’s competition, because I think anyone who is brave enough to sew their own prom dress deserves admiration.  I will say that my daughters and I spent an entire afternoon being shocked, awed, and stunned speechless by more than a few of the other dresses.  (Where were the mothers of those girls?)  Many of the dresses are truly lovely.  But some, sadly enough, are just downright entertaining.  I laughed so hard over some of the names of the dresses that I cried!  (I think combining the words “eggplant” and “elegance” is a real stretch of the imagination.)  Even if you aren’t a seamstress, it is pure fun to browse the contest entries.

Rachelle and her big sister, Hannah, were my very first nieces.  I was so excited when they were born!  One of my favorite things when I was a teenager was stopping at their house to play with my nieces on the way home from high school.  I remember them coming to watch me get ready for my formal dances, and being excited about my “princess” dresses.  My nieces have grown into two very lovely young women, and I am so proud of them.  Hannah is going into her second year of college as an elementary education major, and Rachelle is heading off to college in the fall.  Both of them have set such fine examples for my own girls to follow, and their inner beauty truly shines.

Hannah and Rachelle’s mother–my sister, Lynne’–has been sewing dresses for them since they were little girls.  When they went to high school, she really stepped up her game to sew gorgeous, modest formals for them (far classier than anything they could have found at a dress shop).  Clearly, Lynne’ has taught Rachelle a thing or two.  My girls love seeing the closet full of pretty dresses at their Aunt Lynne’s house.  I love that those pretty dresses don’t sacrifice modesty for style–they are elegant and completely appropriate.

Enjoy viewing the contest, and wish Rachelle well.  We hope you win big, Rachelle!  You deserve it!


  1. Sourkraut says:

    Wow! I am amazed by not only the creative design but also how well it fits. She's definitely got a lot of talent. Good luck to her! I'll have to check out the other entries for the amusement factor.

  2. Katelyn says:

    Seriously, it looks SO professional! She did that all by herself? Crazy. I wish her luck!

  3. Janel Smith says:

    I understand it may be amusing for you to laugh and make fun of other girls dresses, but to some girls they did the best with what they had. Maybe they didn’t have a back round in sewing like your niece did, but its their desire and passion to create that will take them far. Making fun of other people is not going to make your niece win nor make anyone feel good.

    • As I mentioned in my post, I think anyone who is brave enough to sew their own prom dress deserves admiration. The dresses I found to be the most entertaining were not poorly made, just made in poor taste. Anyone who chooses to wear something that looks like lingerie out of the bedroom will get a reaction of shock and nervous laughter from me–well made or not. And that is strictly an expression of my own particular tastes and opinions, not a criticism of theirs. To clarify, I enjoyed viewing all of the entries because of the fact that the large majority of dresses made showed a great deal of skill, creativity, and effort. It was fun to see a wide variety of styles and techniques. My intention was not to belittle anyone’s efforts, but to publicize the efforts of young seamstresses. Thanks for stopping by!

Speak Your Mind