I thought I said I wouldn’t do this again.  Oh, that’s right, I did say that, here.  But I did.  Except, in this case, the recipient of my sewing skills is a friend of a friend, someone that I at least know, and I did feel kind of bad for her.  She had to push up the date of her “real” wedding from June to February for personal/financial reasons, so she and her fiance decided to have a quick informal ceremony on February 14th and plan the main event in a year or so.  About two and a half weeks before the wedding, she let us all know about the change, and somehow my best friend and I ended up doing all of the work of planning the ceremony, making her a dress, and planning the reception.  I think the only thing she did on her own was get the marriage license, and only because someone else couldn’t do that for her.  But I’m grouching over something that’s over and done with.

 

The young lady in question is barely a size 3 in ready to wear clothes, so I was faced with a garment much smaller than I’m accustomed to sewing.  It took a little while to get her settled on a style she liked for the dress, but by some miracle she fell in love with a pattern I had picked up for a project that never got off the ground.  Yay, no cost for the pattern.  She initially told me that she wanted something fun for this informal ceremony, since she has a big white wedding gown already for the main event later on.  She said she wanted pink, or red.  I had visions of pastel pink running through my head.  Er… no, not so much.  When we went fabric shopping, she picked out fuchsia.  That’s right, bright almost-neon-but-not-quite fuchsia satin taffeta.  oooohhhkaaaay.  Moving right along.  Thankfully, there was a pre-made embellishment available that matched the color of the dress perfectly, so that made taking this dress from plain to special super easy.

A lot of love and good wishes went into the making of this dress.  And, to be honest, since no alterations were needed, I was also thinking ahead a bit.  Last summer I was very disappointed in the items displayed at the county and state fairs in the garment construction categories, but I didn’t have anything done on time to enter.  So why not make this one right, tuck it into my closet after the wedding, and enter it this summer?  She agreed, and since I paid for the materials and put in so much time, I don’t think I would have taken no for an answer.

There were a few things about this that made me want to pull my hair out.  I really dislike gathering, and you have to gather this skirt twice, once at the hem for the bubble skirt and once at the waist.  I wasn’t fond of the fact that if you follow the pattern, the side seams for the skirt end up on the front of the dress, so I shifted them to match the side seams of the bodice.  That also pushed more of the fullness of the skirt to the back, which seemed appropriate for a wedding dress.  And a lot of hand stitching.  Not a big fan of that, but it completely encloses the interior of the dress for a polished, professionally made look, so I suffered through.  And on someone as small as she is, it didn’t take quite as long as I’m used to.

Because of the weight of the skirt and the need for a good structure, rather than using a flimsy lining fabric, I used the fashion fabric for the lining as well.  It gives the skirt just the right about of “poof” without needing a petticoat to help it stand out.  It also lends structure to the bodice, which is always a good thing when it’s strapless.  The only other thing I wasn’t crazy about was the placement of the tucks in the skirt, especially on the front.  The middle front tuck hits in a place that almost makes it look like the dress is tucked between her legs, unless I’m there to poof it back out again.  If I made it again, I’d probably do two tucks in the front of the skirt, rather than one at center front.

Well, there you have it, the wedding dress I swore I wouldn’t do.

Coming up:

– Crafty pants and monster jammies… back to basics with some fun and cozy lounge-around-the-house wear.

– Designer inspiration for an upcoming long term project

– Blackout curtains… because I am very much not a morning person.

– Work out clothes… they don’t have to look dumpy or frumpy just because you’re a plus size.

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