the making of a bridesmaid dress & a wedding!!

my dear friend sara got married on 25 march, and i was lucky enough to be one of her bridesmaids. i was supposed to wear a pink dress, and as usual, i dreamed up a dress but then couldn't find anything that quite worked. cobi and i tried going to new york to find the perfect pink silk shantung, but didn't have any luck. finally, my sister and i headed down to chinatown and stumbled on a watermelon fabric. there wasn't enough, so i had to modify the pattern slightly. it still came out well.
i am always fascinated by processes. so, here's some pictures of the process!

i started off by laying out the pattern on the lining and silk. all the pieces were then cut out, and i pinned little labels on each piece (1 right = piece 1, right side) so things didn't get confusing, and so that i was sure to use the 'right side' of the silk and that everything matched. nothing is worse than finishing the dress and finding out you've sewed a right-side to a wrong-side. reading the directions was key: normally i like to blunder my way through projects, but i only had one shot at doing this right and was gonna be damned if i screwed up beacuse of my hubris. i read each direction carefully and, as dad always said, measured twice and cut once. i did my best to balance confidence with hubris, and it worked pretty well.

penelope was kind enough to supervise the sewing and cutting, chewing on the fabric edges and chasing thread when needed. every night, she re-arranged the sewing table by batting anything she could onto the floor, just to watch it fall. i wore the special kathryn-shirt that rd and ben made for my birthday - it has special powers, and i needed 'em.

carefully sewing the silk - the hardest was yet to come, and i struggled royally with the boning at first. the zipper went in alright, but i was dumb enough to try putting the boning in the front seams (curved for the bust) first, instead of doing the (non-curved) side seams. this was the first project for which i'd used boning, and i have to say it was a lot easier than i thought. next time i plan to have some masking tape on hand to hold the boning in place - it will make it easy, i can sew through the masking tape, and then just tear it off without having to struggle with pins or (as i did) simply winging it by going slowly and holding the boning as i needed.

the lining and dress itself, waiting to be united in some nice even seams. as you can see, i barely made it in terms of thread. i started using different colored thread on the boning and non-visible seams in order to conserve the matching thread for the hems and sewing the lace together for the ruffled petticoat that was attached to the bottom of the lining.
my outfitlast minute preparations
and, the result with my cute little green shoes. i got a pedicure with pink to match the dress, and also covered a headband with the pink fabric. i couldn't find any reasonably priced green jewelry to match, so i made a necklace and some earrings to match. maybe i'll post some close-up pictures of those as well. some observations:
  • the boning of the dress was well worth it, especially for the shape and bit of support it provided.
  • i was worried the shoes didn't match, but tying the color in with accessories was key
  • patience, patience: the only time i started making mistakes while making the dress was when i was tired and had been working on it for hours. from now on, as soon as i make a mistake or get frustrated, i need to put everything down and return to it after a good night's sleep
  • the pattern, fabric, and notions were $75. i spent about 14 hours on the dress - so if you have more money than time, i would recommend just buying a dress. that being said, the sense of satisfaction i get everytime i look at it is worth a whole lot. it was just the fabric i wanted, and i was able to tailor the fit to my figure - it's hard to find things that fit just right
and, the wedding:

the bridal party!
me, sara, christine, and joey (the man of honor)

completely lovely. sara looked fantastic, and the ceremony and reception were very sara & chris; not too formal and just right. it's always nice to see someone who is in love with your friend - it's like it gives you an automatic connection: "hey, i think she's awesome too!!". in different ways, but you know what i mean. anyhow, i'm not gonna get all emo right now, but it was really wonderful to be there and spend more time with chris.

when i got there i had some nice time to spend with sara, and we got to just relax and chat at the swanky corporate apartment we stayed in. i also got to hang out with joey and run errands and he understands about alone time, and chitty-chat with christine, which was really nice. i love visiting NC and wish i could do it more, though i am excited because i'll be back in august for my ex-boyfriend potatoes' wedding. fortunately sara and chris are going as well, so i know the trip will be super-fun. you can visit sara & chris' wedding photo page for more pictures. oh, weddings - so much fun! i could really go on - the bachelorette was awesome, and sara's friends are so nice and were hospitable and helpful, the reception was great fun and we danced and drank and...you know...one of those fantastic weekends that i desperately freakin' needed.


scoutie said...

beautiful! the dress is nice, too ;)

MDG said...

Good work on the dress. It shows off yer assets. yeeeeeaaaahhhhh.

Pandora_auf_Deutschland said...

You = teh beautiful! Did you really make that dress? Do you ever sew for deserving friends? ;)

Welcome back miss Kathryn:)

sara said...

oh, my dearie, we never could have pulled it off without you! we've got some pictures up too, I'll add a link to yours if that's ok...

kathryn said...

feel free to add the link!!
i hope you had a nice honeymoooooon.

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