Monday, May 20, 2013

A Good Excuse to Make a Dress

Our friends, Jessica and Johnny, were married May 11. I met both of them through church choir but was friends with Jessica first. When they finally started dating we had them over for dinner and games and got to know Johnny better. We are so happy for them, they are a great couple. The wedding was full of love and excitement, everyone was glad to see them married. There were a few very touching moments: when the parents of the couple came forward at the beginning of the ceremony to pray over them and the best man's speech just blew me away. They have wonderful friends and family who will support them in their marriage, it is so wonderful to see that. It seems much rarer these days.

For such a special wedding, I had to make a new dress. I made one in plenty of time and actually had it completely done a few weeks early, but it was too small. I wasn't sure if it would fit, but I went by the measurements on the pattern (ignoring the size number) with my fingers crossed. I can't even zip the thing up. I'm really not surprised and I wouldn't be so disappointed if I hadn't cared so much about the fabric. I bought it in Hawai'i when I was there the last time with my grandparents.

So, I threw in the towel on the Big 4 pattern companies and went back to my tried and true Colette. I had purchased their sewing book in the fall but not got around to making any of the patterns. Babies getting in the way of sewing seems to be quite common, I hear. Anyway, I decided on the Licorice dress pattern and found the fabric at


This is a satin/rayon blend lined with a light polyester. It's hard to see the pink roses in this light over the cream background.

I ordered the fabric in plenty of time but it didn't arrive until Wednesday afternoon. The wedding was on Saturday...

I was miffed about having to hurry through the process. This dress is lined for Heaven's sake! I prepped the pattern pieces ahead of time since I had been tracking the package and knew that the timing was going to be close. I made a size 10 on the top and a 12 on the bottom. I've started tracing my patterns to preserve them better. This also allows me to lose (or gain) weight and still be able to make the pattern without having to buy it all over again. This is fine for the Big 4 companies whose patterns go on sale for 99 cents, but I'm not OK with it when I've spent $16 or, as in this case, it comes in a book.

So, yeah, I went to bed at 1:45 am on Friday night/Saturday morning. I kept telling myself it wasn't my fault, I didn't procrastinate after all. I forced myself to go slowly on this dress because I didn't have time to mess up. The fabric was very difficult to cut out as it is very slippery. I'm amazed the pieces came together so well considering how wonky they were. I think I'll try the tissue paper thing next time I decide to use a slippery fabric. Anyway, I felt like my mother on Easter morning. We had to be at the church at noon because I sang with the choir. It was a great thing that J&J wanted us to sing. They met in choir and wanted to include us all in the ceremony. The groom's mother is the choir director and managed to not cry until the last verse of the song. Most of us started tearing up then and barely made it to the end.

I should have had John take pictures before the wedding and the wrinkles set in. I realized as I was getting dressed that these colors are exactly my Grandmother Eunice's colors and I can imagine her wearing a dress like this in her younger days. I must be getting older because that doesn't bother me as much as it used to. It feels more like a tribute.

We took the photos at Green Lake while waiting for the reception to start. John made me take off the sunglasses, he said they ruin the look.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cecelia's Dress

Our good friends Travis & Anna had a little girl, Cecelia, a few months ago. Since Anna is an avid quilter, I thought I would make something different for the baby. About the time I was thinking about what to do, Made By Rae announced a free version of her Geranium Dress. Yay! Problem solved. 

I raided my stash and had just enough of this lovely green eyelet to make the dress. Little clothes use a surprisingly small amount of fabric.


 This fabric is so fun. I think I bought it to make a top quite a few years ago and as I recall it was an utter failure. That was before I knew anything at all about sizing. I think it probably went in the trash in a fit of frustration. I liked the fabric so much that I kept the scraps, hoping to use them for something later.

The pattern calls for snaps, but I used hooks and eyes instead. I sometimes find that snaps don't hold up well with something that is worn a lot.

Here is the lovely model, Miss Cece! Isn't she cute?!?! 
She is over four months now, I hope it still fits. 
I wonder if I have enough for a matching bonnet? I think she needs one.