I didn't think I had a picture of the first dress I ever made, but I do. The only thing is, I'm not wearing it.
That's me, on the right, in full nerd ectasy, clutching the ribbons I won at the NJCL Forum in 1986. I don't know if that was the year I got a first in Phrases and Mottoes, or if that was the year I got eighth in Latin Grammar by christmas-treeing the ScanTron bubbles, or if that was the year I got eighth in girls' shotput by the simple expedient of there being only eight competitors in the girls' shotput, but it really doesn't matter: I was very happy to be there. Can't you tell?
I'm wearing the dress my mom made for me (while I watched her do it, so I could learn how to sew). It was very long, almost ankle-length, and made of baby cotton with pink rosebuds on it, and I had never loved a dress in my life the way I loved that dress. Even Keith Morgan (who made homeroom "interesting") announcing that it made me look pregnant (and asking me, repeatedly, who the father was) couldn't kill my love for that dress.
My friend N. is wearing the dress I made. She hadn't packed a dress for the dance, so I lent her mine. It was almost the same pattern as the rosebud dress, but with more scooped neckline, and shorter. Why I didn't lend her the longer one, as she was so much taller than I was, I don't know. I'm sure I had a good reason at the time.
It's weird to see the embryonic Erin-style in this photo, to see what's the same and what's different. I always wear my glasses now (I always wore contacts then). I no longer have braces, thankfully, and I haven't been that tan since I stopped living in Florida. I still wear hoop earrings (smaller ones). I'm still obsessed with Swatch watches, and I still have that paisley one. I think if I could find that fine baby rosebud-print cotton again, I'd probably make another dress out of it.
And, in case you're wondering, we had a great time at the dance.