Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Wedding Dress

I finished hemming it and binding the waist seam this morning.

Finished dress

It may be the only wedding dress in the world with nice, deep pockets.

Wedding dress - inside

I'm pretty pleased with it.

Colette wrap dress

The pattern is the Crepe Wrap Dress from Colette Patterns.  It is categorised as a 'Beginner' pattern, which at times I thought was wrong, but now I've finished I think is pretty fair. There are no zips or buttons in this dress, which is primarily why I think it gets its classification.  However, it is full of curved seams and darts, which I always find very fiddly, despite having done them many times before.  I personally find putting in a zip much easier than sewing facing into curved armholes!  I think the arms and neckline would be pretty challenging to someone brand new to sewing, but if you've made a few pieces of clothing before you wouldn't find any of it too tricky.

And all the swearing over getting the neckline to curve correctly is completely worth it.  I think this is such a pretty pattern.  It is hard to photograph nicely without a mannequin, or someone to model the dress, because it has a 1950s-style, flared, curvy shape to it, but you can see a little of what it will look like on, from these pictures.  I think I may try and get hold of a 1950s petticoat to go underneath it on the day and flare it out a little more.

I've made it entirely with vintage fabrics that my Grandmother has given me.  My Grandmother won't be at the wedding next month so I like the idea of her contributing via the fabrics she has given me.  The main fabric is a vintage sheet which is machine embroidered with trailing pink flowers.  I spent an entire afternoon working out how to place the pattern pieces for the bodice and one of the skirt panels on the sheet, so that when it was finished, the flowers would trail diagonally across the dress.

Wedding dress - close up of waist and neckline

The sash is made from a piece of vintage yellow silk tafetta.  It is the perfect fabric for a structural sash like this - stiff, thick and full of shape and texture.  It feels almost papery when you sew with it.  The sash fastens the dress and ties in a big bow at the back.

Embroidery detail and sash

Wedding dress - back view

The last fabric I used was a length of yellow vintage ribbon to bind the inside waist seam.  You can see the binding in the second photo, at the top of this post.  Binding an inside seam is not something I would normally do, but I'm glad I bothered this time, as it makes the dress seem that little bit more special.

The Colette pattern was very clear to follow, and as I mentioned in this post, the booklet format is an absolutely genius idea.  I would love to make more clothes from their patterns.  I particularly love the Parfait dress and the Nutmeg underwear patterns.

My next sewing project though needs to be a wedding outfit for O, who has very clear ideas about what she would like....  I should have started negotiating with her a long time ago.


  1. Oh, that is simply beautiful! I love the way you've used the embroidered flowers, and that it came from a vintage sheet from your grandmother! A really, really special dress.

  2. Beautiful :) Very elegant and timeless - no looking back in ten years and wondering "What was I thinking?"! I love that it was made out of vintage material, so your grandmother will be with you on the day in spirit if not in person.
    I love that it has pockets, if I ever get married I don't know how I'll cope without lip gloss and a tissue - maybe if my dress doesn't have pockets, the maid of honour's will have to!
    Gorgeous, well done :) Good luck with your daughter's....!!
    Sara x

  3. Lovely. You will post a pic of you in it won't you? Please?

  4. What a beautiful dress! it really is perfect. Naomi

  5. I can't wait to see you in it on the day!

  6. Lovely, the trailing flowers are so pretty, perfect for a wedding dress.

  7. It is very very pretty... just perfect. I hope we get to see a picture of you wearing it.

  8. Oh it is so pretty - I love the way the flowers trail down it. You are going to look very lovely.

  9. Oh, it's just as lovely as we suspected!

  10. Your dress is truly beautiful. Please let us see it on on the day. It almost feels like we are coming along too, very exciting!

  11. Nancy it's beautiful!!! the pictures on the pattern just don't do it justice. I love the fabric, the embroidery and how carefully you have placed it on the bodice, and the overall prettiness of it all. You will look fabulous, and should feel very proud of yourself. Can't wait to see the photos (and also what O's outfit will look like-will it involve red lipstick?!)xxx

  12. I'm thrilled that it has worked out exactly as you wanted it to and that everything about it is special and means something to you. It really is the perfect dress for a French country wedding and you will look fabulous in it.

  13. Oh I love the embroidery. We simply must have a picture of you in it!

    Monica and I saw a window display of petticoats at one of the vintage dress shops by Loop the weekend before last.

    Now just wondering what O has in mind!

    K x

  14. That is so so so pretty. Lovely fabric. Am thinking maybe I could make that pattern. Am dying to have a new dress - but one I've made myself, not shop bought. That looks the ticket.

  15. That is a beautiful dress, and the fact that you have made it yourself and from vintage fabric makes it the perfect wedding dress.
    I love how the pattern runs on the dress, I am sure you spent a lot of time to get that right.
    Every great dress needs good pockets, wedding dress or not :)

  16. Hello Nancy, I'm a friend of your friend Lenka. She reminds me to look at your lovely blog, especially to see The Wedding progress. Your dress is gorgeous. I'm even more captured by the idea of pockets, than I am with grandma's sheet. I LOVE it. Happy day to you.


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