Saturday, 29 June 2013


As our wedding was just a little one, I decided I didn't really need a lot of bridesmaids, and asked my sister, Liz, to just be there for the little tasks (like holding my flowers when i said 'i do') and she was happy to do this job! thanks liz.

Of course, she needed a dress though!

My mum was wonderful to offer to make this for me so I could keep concentration on my own dress, and other tasks. I drew up the pattern, and echoed some of the design features of my own dress - mostly just the dart positions. This meant that we had lots of freedom to have the design features that Liz wanted like some little sleeves and a full skirt.

I did have final say on the fabric though. And this was another difficult task! Fabric shopping can be quite hard work.

I had thought about a Liberty print because they are all so pretty, but also considered a real sixties pop flowers fabric, as i know this is more something Liz would like. We found this fabric by Liberty called Susanna and were quite close to going for it...

But i had a bit of a feeling it wouldn't be quite right on the day, picturing the flowers we were having and thinknig of my dress - all much more 'pretty'.  And i would sit and look at Liz and think that a smaller, closer pattern would suit her better. So i went back to the drawing board. There are so so many beautiful designs, but it seemed like there was something not quite right with a lot of them - either the colour palette was too autumnal or monotone, or the pattern was too small, or it was all too pink (Liz prefers to wear blue to pink so i was trying to accomodate this so she would be pleased)

After a lot of deliberating though I narrowed it down to these two:

Poppy and Honesty:

During my research period I stumbled upon this grand blog and this helped bolster my faith in my vision. And as they had gone for the claire-aude, i decided to opt for the Poppy and Honesty - this one did seem the prettiest to me. Now I look back at all these options I know that we did the right thing!

It really worked out beautifully - Liz looked so lovely, and she found her dream shoes to wear with it. And somehow the flowers we had collected seemed to be the same colours too - so it really felt that it was all meant to be. I am pleased i trusted my instinct on this one!

 photo SAM_0244_zps411a85c6.jpg

 photo IMG_9644_zps334caadd.jpg

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Ultimate Dressmaking Project!

What a busy few weeks I have had - but we did it - it's done - the wedding was wonderful!

It has been very difficult for me to keep up with my blog, mostly because all the things I have been doing i wanted to keep secret so as not to ruin any surprises one the day.

There was of course one project which was strictly top secret which I am now very very excited to share - My wedding dress!

My starting point was finding a pattern i liked. I know that i can make my own patterns, but i decided i wanted a vintage style and find that using an old pattern gives a much more authentic shape and fit - there's something about the way they are cut which i just can't seem to replicate.

I also had in my mind that i wanted a little over layer on the top. I had seen a dress in a flea market which had this and i thought was just really nice. But apart from this I didn't really have any other criteria. I thought it would be hard to settle on a design as there are so  many lovely ones on offer, but as soon as I saw this one i knew it ticked all the boxes (also I knew as hard as it was, i had to be bold and go for it!) Simplicity 6227 from 1965.

simplicity pattern 6227

I thought this would give me quite a lot of options too as wasn't sure if i wanted a full length or knee length, but I had my eye on view 3, you can see top right.

It's a very simple design, with a straghtforward dress (as you can see in view 2 bottom middle) with a pretty little blouse and over skirt layer to finish it off (in lace for me) Perfect for our simple little town hall wedding.

I had a bit of a panic to begin with as the original pattern i bought had the pieces for the blouse missing! The seller was wonderful about it, but it was a bit of a mission to find another in the same size - luckily I managed to find a size 11 and a half - strange but close enough!!

The next big task was finding the fabric. I found a wonderful website - Platinum Bridal Fabrics. They have such a huge range of the most wonderful lace. I learnt a lot about the difference between a corded lace and a chantilly lace, and all the other varieties too. I ordered many samples but it really was hard to know what to do as they all seemed to be so different, and it was hard without seeing a large piece to know how the pattern would repeat and how the fabric would drape. I loved the corded laces as they were just so beautiful, but after not really finding one that was quite right for my dress, I cast my search a little wider and came across one sample called Melissa, a laser lace, which means it is made up of little fabric shapes sewn onto a tulle background. This one was sewn on with silver thread and was such a pretty design  -although much different in style to the corded laces, I really had a good feeling about it.

I put together my toile and was SO pleased - it was the most perfect fit (except for a little alteration at the neckline) and this was such a useful task to help me work out how i was going to arrange my overlayers, and which fabrics to use with the lace. I tried a bit of chiffon and organza but decided to go for a layer of silk tulle over and under the lace on the skirt to give it a bit more presence, and a lovely soft romantic look.

Wedding Dress Toile
The toile and mock up of over skirt - complete with lace - i was very excited for this glimpse of what would be!

For the under dress I decided on ivory dupion, and lined with silk habotai. and even the tulle i used was silk. All silk! It was very lovely to be so indulgent. I remember showing you the package when it arrived, and was dying to share the contents and now i can! I loved draping this about - although was a little bit shy with it to begin with - so beautiful and so white (ivory!)

So beautiful - the perfect uncut fabric - it arrived on the roll!! - so special.

the pattern pieces ready to cut out - a nice simple one.

There was a little 'bump' in the road though, as just after i had made up my underdress and the over skirt I found out that we are going to have a BABY (so much joy!) I did shed a few tears over my dress i will admit (but also i was feeling sick and sorry for myself probably), and was unable to look at it for a few weeks, not just because I was sulking, but also for practical reasons - I didn't really know what needed to be done! I safely reached 12 weeks though and had got over the shock and although was nearly 18 weeks pregnant on the big day, I only needed very minor alterations - just enough to let out the seam allowances a the waist, and I did alter my overskirt so it was a little more streamlined than the original, and not so ballooning (I felt like a bit of a marshmallow originally!) I was lucky that the dress did have plenty of space around the tummy - it was just the waist that I needed to hope wouldn't expand too much - everyone was helpfully suggesting i elasticate it but it was too late for that! I think the wedding came at the perfect time though - not just because it was the most wonderful blue sky day, but also just because the dress was still so comfortable - i think a week later and it might have been a squeeze.

And so here are some pictures for you of the finished dress. It is so lovely to have it revealed now. I know it doesn't look exactly the way it would have without the tummy (no cinched in waist here!) but this is the way it was meant to be an I am so pleased with how it looked on the day - it did seem to have bump reducing properties and although i think if i had known i would be pregnant before i had started the dress, i would have chosen a different design completely, it was actually wonderful that i didn't as this was perfect and very flattering - and had i known i probably wouldn't have been brave enough to go for it

 photo b1c8189c-2350-4b87-95ea-b225fff03d9d_zpsd2593775.jpg

final nervous moments before the ceremony
 photo IMG_1408_zpsfdb97791.jpg

(Just married!!)

Merrily Marriedly yours,
Emilia. xx

 photo SAM_0270_zps91c2f38f.jpg