Cassidy Ratzan: The Seamstress Queen


Sidney Moyers, Associate Editor-in-Chief

Prom is a night to remember. You’re able to dance with your significant other, take photos with your friends, and admire all of the fancy suits and gowns of your classmates. But after adding up all of the costs of tickets, dinner, and attire, it can get pretty expensive.

This, along with the desire to have a glamorous and unique dress, inspired senior Cassidy Ratzan to make her very own prom dress rather than buying one at the store.

Her journey started at the beginning of the year when she received the task of creating a senior project as an end-of-the-year final in her AP English class. She quickly decided that creating a prom dress for herself was exactly what she wanted to do.

It was a bit of a grueling task though, and she knew that she had to start gathering materials early. She began this project in the middle of November and said that, “The most challenging parts have been figuring the bra support and how it will fit my body… contouring the bodice was also pretty hard; it’s the most complex part of developing the body of the dress. We [she and her sewing mentor] very roughly followed a pattern, which provides you with measurements to follow, but we designed our own body so it added more work to making it fit perfectly to my body. Lastly, putting in the zipper was a problem on my rear, the fabric bubbled and wrinkled, but all it needed was tapering by an eighth of an inch at the base of the waist.”

However, the experience certainly wasn’t a bad one. Cassidy learned a lot from this project and decided that her “favorite part was finally sewing the slip and dress together and being able to zip it on my body and see it in its full beauty. It was truly rewarding seeing my design and work all into one after months of work.”

As her project came to a close, she used the following materials: satin fabric, muslin fabric, fabric lining, thread, lace, pearl beads, zipper, hook and eye boning, bodice padding, bra padding, coat hanger, a sewing machine, a surging machine, measuring tape, pins, scissors, a cutting mat, fabric marker, and lastly, a mannequin. While she did have some of the items at hand, she needed to go out and buy a few things. Luckily, she was still able to save a ton of cash in comparison to other prom dresses, and at the price of around $50, she had a beautiful one-of-a-kind gown.

Cassidy says that she learned to take her time and to use a rough draft as reference. She encourages other who are struggling artistically to “be patient with yourself when creating something.” This will always give you the best results.