Wednesday, 3 August 2011

We've come a long way from red satin

Last night I finished the dress for O to wear to our wedding.  It has been a long time coming.

O is a girl who dreams of weddings - she was so excited when we told her that we were getting married ("Finally!", she said) but the excitement wore off rapidly once she realised that our plans for the marriage ceremony were vastly more minimalist and laid back than hers.

For the past few days she has been illustrating her Dream Wedding, to show me how it should be done.  At the moment it stretches to 5 sheets of A4 paper taped together, but I have no doubt it will end up even bigger.  It is most definitely not a minimalist wedding.

Livvy's dream wedding

The dream wedding needs 5 sheets of A4

The groom is unnamed, but frankly that doesn't matter.  He has a very small role to play in all this.  She has two of her friends, three of her cousins and her brother as attendants.  C was very cross when she drew him wearing a red checked shirt, so she is still pondering what to put two of her boy cousins in.  The friends and her girl cousin are dressed in long white dresses with gold necklines and gold hair accessories.  All the family are there to watch, and all of the girls from her class at school too.

Livvy's bridal party

There will be a limousine to transport her from the wedding to the party afterwards.  The wedding feast features all her favourite food - brownies, strawberries, blackberry pie and cinnamon rolls.  Well, why not?

Livvy's wedding feast

So you can imagine, with her deep enthusiasm for all things wedding-related, that when I asked her what she would like me to make for her to wear to our ceremony she had a detailed description, and illustration, all ready.  It went something along the lines of 'what Pippa Middleton wore, but in red satin'

That was never, ever going to happen, on so many levels, and it has taken weeks of delicate diplomacy to find something that both she and I were happy with.  What she chose in the end surprised me.  She wanted this simple camisole dress from my Japanese pattern book.

Another dress made from my favourite pattern book

And even more surprisingly, she wanted me to make it with some pink cotton printed with roses (by Tilda), from my fabric shelves.  This fabric is much more to my taste than hers, so I was surprised but delighted.

A dress for Livvy

The dress is very simple and quick to make, but annoyingly came out far, far too big for her.  This is odd because everything else I've made for her from the book, in the 140cm size, has fitted her beautifully.  So I unpicked the side seams and re-sewed them at the top with a whopping 3.5cm seam allowance rather than the 1.5cm it should have been, grading out to the 1.5cm allowance about half way down.  I also added a pleat into the front, to stop any gaping around the neckline. 

As so often happens with fudges alterations to dress patterns, I have ended up liking the amended version a whole lot more than the original.  My re-drafting of the side seams has given the dress much more of an A line shape, and the pleat at the front makes for a more interesting neckline.

Livvy's dress for our wedding

Most importantly, however, it meets with O's approval, and the arguments about red satin have finally been put to rest.


  1. She looks lovely! You'd better get saving for her wedding....

  2. So funny. Pippa Middleton's dress is exactly what my daughter would want too. Love what you made and thank goodness she does too. Gosh, I'm getting excited about your wedding!

  3. just gorgeous. and I like her menu too. a lot. chocolate dipped strawberries - what's not to like! xxx

  4. And the problem with her wedding plan is...??? LOL I think her wedding sounds fantastic! Her dress is so pretty - love the ric rac on the hem, the fabric, style and pockets, you need pockets - gorgeous.

  5. Oh, you totally must save that drawing forever, it's fantastic! And I do love the sweet dress you made... happiness all around.

  6. So much better than red satin! She looks absolutely gorgeous.

  7. Oh it's perfect! And I love the new neckline. K x

  8. Lucky guests at your daughter's 'wedding' with blackberry pie. Maybe a red satin dress for HER wedding would be a good idea then the blackberry stains wouldn't show!

  9. What a fabulous wedding plan and a really gorgeous dress! lucyx

  10. A girl after my own heart, I'd have done the same as O when i was her age! I LOVE the dress you have made though, it's really pretty and fresh.

  11. I'm loving O's dream wedding picture! And I'm really pleased that you are both happy with her dress x

  12. Plenty of time for red satin, me thinks!
    Great frock, love the fabric, and she can wear it for the rest of the summer too.
    Ask O if she can design a new menu for the cafe? I reckon she has some good ideas there-cinnamon rolls and strawberries dipped in chocolate are high on my list of favourites too.
    Have fun with the shoe shopping, still think daisy chains around ankles would be perfect!x

  13. Are you going to be able to stop her tipping jam down it before the big day?

  14. This is all so exciting, I've clearly been missing out here. Love your wedding dress, love Miss O's dress and you're right, the pleat is perfect, as is the green binding and the fabric .. well the whole thing actually. I think the wedding feast sounds delicious, I hope I get an invite!

  15. That dress is lovely, and your daughter too. Great idea to put the dream wedding down on paper. She needs to save it and take it out when she gets engaged one day in the future, just for inspiration :-)

  16. I think though, that you must buy her some red shoes with sparkles and some red pants.
    And get her a bigger piggy bank!


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