Friday, July 26, 2013

Here's A Dress I Never Blogged About

I made my own wedding dress during my pretty short three-and-half month engagement.  I was hoping to blog about the process, but I was trying to throw together a wedding and make my dress at the same time.  Because my ability to put pressure on myself knows no bounds, I decided to make a dress for my bridal shower as well.   I never had time to blog about that dress either, but here it is:

In the top photo, I'm wearing a sweater because it was late January 2012, but in the bottom photo, you can see it is a sleeveless dress, made of shantung silk.  As you can imagine, I didn't have a lot of time to make this dress, so I planned a simple dress from tried-and-true patterns and techniques.  The bodice is the v-neck bodice from Simplicity 9559, now out of print:

I have a soft spot for this pattern because it is the very first dress pattern I ever made, back in 2002.  The bodice is made from the very small amount of white silk I had left after finishing my wedding dress; I liked the fact that I could incorporate a part of my wedding dress into this one.  The skirt is self-drafted half circle skirt in a dusty pink shantung I got on sale for $ 10/yard at Fabric Mart up in Massachusetts back in 2003 or 2004, before it went out of business.  Which is complete proof that not only should you have a stash, but you should have completely "useless" fabrics in it because you just never know.  : )

Influenced heavily by Mary Adams', The Party Dress, I added a liberal amount of ruffles.  I think I even bought a ruffler foot for my Bernina for this exact purpose.  (Which was the most expensive part of making this dress.)  Mary Adams makes her ruffles with bias strips, not bothering to hem them, so I gave it go and it was a lot of fun.  I made the white ruffles around the neckline and waist with Kaufman's silk/cotton blend fabric that I had auditioned for my wedding dress but ultimately decided not to use.  For the skirt, I used the rose shantung; my original plan envisioned at least two or three rows of ruffles but I ran out of fabric and had to make do with only one.  

I hemmed the dress with a bias strip folded in half a la Kay Whitt of Sew Serendipity, a technique I have used on a lot of my formal dresses - it's easy and creates a smooth, pucker-free hem.

This was an over-the-top frilly, girly dress. And just to gild the lily, I wore it with a full crinoline underneath!  But if you can't wear a ruffled silk dress at your bridal shower, where can you wear it???  I ended up wearing it for the rehearsal dinner as well.  Like my wedding dress, I felt comfortable, I felt the dress was "me", and I felt "cute".  Which is the trifecta of dress making!

Looking at these photos reminds me of what a great shower I had - the classic southern women's bridal shower, complete with pimento cheese sandwiches, deviled eggs, and petite fours.  So many of my wonderful friends made it a memorable day and I will be forever grateful . . .

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