If only it was this easy.
I’m not sure why I panicked so about making a dress to wear to Katie’s wedding! Whether it was having too much to do, searching for the right pattern and fabric or doubting my competence, I was on edge about the project.
By now I should know that one’s hard work is ultimately rewarded. All of the planning and efforts invested over the last several months resulted in a divine evening and I dare say, a perfect wedding :) We can’t get much happier than this!
What can I say? Sometimes it takes a village to make a dress.
My head was spinning from one pattern to another along with dozens of fabric samples until Alice Goldberg (from Mendel Goldberg) drove to Baltimore from New York while I was taking a class with Susan Khalje. (post here)
I recently rejected a sample of this fabric believing it was too bridal, but upon seeing the bolt of shimmering fabric, I recognized it as compatible. OK, let’s just say I adored it.
A special thank you goes to Leisa Stanton from A Challenging Sew for not only discovering the fabric in New York, but for persisting that I look once more at this stunning textile :) Goodness, some people just know, don’t they?
Notice how the fabric glistens in evening lighting!
In June, I met the talented Cheryl Lemmons, a Goodbye Valentino reader from Texas, and an accomplished seamstress (post here). She dropped by my home for a nice visit, but upon discovering I had yet to select a pattern, Cheryl perused my entire pattern collection and suggested I try an old favorite:
I selected the strapless version, View A and lengthened the skirt to the floor.
My first muslin resulted in a bodice that was too low along with a straight skirt featuring a narrow sweep. Adding an inch to the height of the bodice front and re-cutting the skirt as an A-line provided the coverage and comfort I sought.
My friend, Margaret, then tweaked the fit giving me confidence to cut the fabric.
From the fitted muslin I created a thread-traced muslin.
The muslin pieces were placed and cut on white cotton batiste (which I prewashed). Next the batiste was placed and cut on silk organza. Seam lines on both the batiste and organza were traced using WHITE carbon paper.
Finally, I cut the matelasse and basted the three layers together.
Basting the layers together on the seam line was h*!#|%#!.
Susan Khalje made a comment in the April class which I hope to never forget. “Remember, when sewing with delicate fabric the fashion fabric is the dressing. All of the important work takes place underneath to support the fabric on top.
Following the pattern instructions I cut the lining and added the boning to the front princess seams. For the lining I ordered this Nude Silk Crepe de Chine from Mood Fabrics.
However I opted for additional support and added boning to the side seams as well.
I experienced enormous relief once the bodice lining was attached and turned! The skirt is not underlined. The crepe de chine proved ample – even enhancing the matelasse’s phenomenal drape.
In June I purchased coordinating trim for the fabric from Mendel Goldberg. I saw this stunning trim in April and eventually succumbed.
Next a piece of satin ribbon was attached to cover the stitching. Unable to find ribbon the exact width I settled on a slightly smaller width.
To fasten the belt I added three large hook and eyes.
The belt was secure throughout the evening but I may re-do the closure before wearing it again.
Despite raising the front of the bodice I was uncomfortable wearing the dress strapless. Hubby liked it strapless, but six days before the wedding I added ½ inch straps which increased my comfort and satisfaction to an entirely new level.
I now loved the MOB dress I had fretted over all summer!
The raised bodice front, lower bodice back, a-line skirt, slightly raised and belted waistline suddenly worked beautifully together.
Billy bought both Katie and me gorgeous pearl earrings to wear on the special day. I then decided to keep my accessories to a minimum.
One friend just couldn’t honor the ‘no photos during the ceremony’ request and aren’t I glad…….
I never dreamed the delicate movement and drape of the skirt could be captured on an iPhone. Moreover, I certainly never dreamed I’d be wearing a dress I made at my daughter’s formal wedding!
Mission(s) accomplished :)