I wanted a new dress to wear to my sister’s wedding at the end of May, and I knew exactly in what style I wanted it. I soon found a fabric (originally cotton curtains with a woven plaid whose colours reminded me of blackberries and cream or possibly lilac flowers, got at a charity shop a few years ago) in my stash that I thought would look pretty. I used a pattern I made myself a while back, and then spent some time pattern matching the bodice before cutting. A friend had lent me her sewing machine, so this dress went together faster than most of my projects this year, but a few things were still stitched by hand.
The dress is closed with hooks and eyes in the front, and the bodice is boned with strong zip ties. It’s tight and sturdy enough to give good bust support.
The neckline is trimmed with a pleated self-fabric strip, as I felt the big pattern needed something to hold it together. For the whole dress I had taken inspiration from dirndl dresses, and did the same for trim. I found tutorials for the pleating online: here’s one nice video – it’s in German, but is clear enough to be useful even if you don’t understand the language.
The skirt is made up from straight panels, pleated to match the bodice in the front, and cartridge pleated in the back. I might have to loosen the gathering treads a bit to make it hang nicer, I was in rather a rush and didn’t try it on as I should. The skirt has two pockets in the side seams, and the hem has a wide facing of white cotton. While it looks very long in the pictures the skirt really ends about 20 cm (8”) from the ground.
I’d have preferred having time to have made a new blouse to wear with it (a button tore off the cuff when I was going to the wedding, taking a bit of the fabric with it, and there was no time to mend it – the reason for the rolled up sleeves) but I still enjoyed wearing the dress a lot. It made me feel very pretty – it’s very much me.
I won’t go into details, but as for the wedding it was filled with all the laughter, smiles and tears one could expect, and had a very comfortable spirit between the two families. It was a good day, and I hope my sister and new brother in law will be very happy.