Confessions and Associations

Right, I’m going to ‘fess up.  To serveral things.

No1.  I started writing this post and when I looked at my draft (in word) it ran to five pages before I’d added any photos, so I’m gonna spare you all and break it up a bit!

No2.  I’m still scared of self portraits which is why this post ended up being so long before it was chopped up; lots of projects all photographed in one go.  So the hair and makeup is gonna be pretty consistent for a while!

No3.  I’m uncharacteristically disorganised at the moment so haven’t participated in Sew Grateful week.  I’ll probably do an all encompassing post later, ‘K?


The oldest finished item ought to be the first in my catch up, it’s only fair don’t you think?

Oops, shoulda got the iron out!

Five months after I finished it, I give you V2903.  I loved making this dress and I got a ton of compliments on it at Brother-in-Law’s wedding in early September.  The only thing I’d change would be to use a fabric in a natural fibre.  It was HOT that day and we were all melting in suits and dresses which were derived from man made fibres.  If I could have financed this dress in a natural fibre I would definitely have been more comfortable!  Having a massive petticoat on didn’t help with the temperature control either but definitely adds to the dress.  Once we got to the evening, the petticoat was removed; here’s the dress with and without ‘poof’.



And here are some of our photos from the day.  Doesn’t boy look ridiculously gorgeous in his little tails, waistcoat and cravat?  Husband brushed up well too!

DSC00247Husband, Boy and Brother-in-Law




There are a ton of emotions tied up in this dress.  Happiness in that it was a much anticipated and enjoyed wedding.  Happiness in that four days earlier I’d found out I was pregnant and seen our baby the day before the wedding for the first time.  There is so much ope associated with this dress, but also a tinge of sadness because that hope and happiness I felt was only to continue for a month as I lost our baby at the beginning of October.  It’s amazing how one garment can evoke such strong feelings; particularly as it’s only been worn the once.  Realistically I probably wont wear it again because of the (not entirely rational) associations that are tied up with it, but at the same time I won’t be getting rid of it.  Not at the moment anyway…


I enjoyed making the dress.  Whilst at times I felt under pressure due to having a very fixed deadline and absolutely no plan B, I learnt a lot whilst making it.  My knowledge of underlining and the effect it can have on the body and drape of a fabric exploded (Thank You Evie!!).  I tried new construction techniques and made my first Vogue pattern (really not that scary, just read the instructions carefully!).  I also dyed fabric for the first time which was a lot of fun and turned my hands blue for a day or two!

If I was to make it again, I’d take some of the ease around the waist out as I no realised that I like to accentuate that there is some shape there and this dress doesn’t make the most of that.  I’m glad I lobbed a good lump off the length too; to me it reads vintage inspired rather than wanna-be vintage!

All in, I love this dress; I love most of the memories and I love the colour.  It’s very definitely an event dress rather than a day to day one and I’m pleased I took the time to make it.


38 thoughts on “Confessions and Associations

  1. Aw, I was so pleased to see that first pic- I have been waiting to see this gem for…5 months- then you share how you felt wedding week and this was just such a lovely post to read! Thank you for letting us crash the wedding!

  2. Thank goodness you are not on schedule for Sew Grateful week. I’ve not been blogging for a year and it was the first I’d heard of it 🙂 My life is all over the place as the kids went back to school last week and we are still getting organised with back to school activities, dancing, drama and more!
    Gorgeous dress, even with all the memories bundled up with it, life can be bittersweet but at the end of the day it’s a golden moments that make us smile and I think you will always do plenty of that when you look at these pictures of you looking fabulous and your beautiful family. Priceless memories xox

    1. Yay! I’m not the only one! Hope the kids and you are getting some sort of school routine going soon so that it all calms down a bit.
      Bittersweet is right, one of the reasons I won’t let it go. I may wear it to a posh hen do at the end of Feb to add some more happy memories to it…

  3. What a lovely dress, it’s a beautiful colour on you. I can understand why you have such mixed feelings about it, but I like your idea of hanging on to it and hopefully adding some happy memories too.
    Re the self portraits, you’ll get there with perseverence. It used to take me multiple, multiple photos to get one I was happy with but these days it only takes a couple of shots but it always works best when I take my own photos!
    p.s. your wee boy is a mega cutie.

    1. Thank you Kerry. I love the colour.
      I’ve come to a grudging acceptance that perseverance is the key with the photography.
      Thank you for your kind words about Boy! I think so too, but I’m biased!

  4. It is beautiful! I love the color and the petticoat just finishes it. I completely understand what ou mean about associating certain garments with emotion. I remember exactlywha I was wearing th ay my father passed last year (nothing fancy, just work clothes) but I haven’t worn them since. It’s just too painful. Seems silly but I guess that is how we are wired. I’m so sorry about your loss, but I truly believe that these deviating experiences happen to make us stronger. Keep up the a,axing sewing, I want to see more!

  5. isn’t is amazing what memories a piece of clothing can hold? this dress is definitely something to cherish, even if you can’t bear to wear it again. i remember reading about your loss – my heart broke for you.
    on a happier note (but not to diminish the heartache), the dress is absolutely stunning and the fit looks superb! i think i want one 🙂

  6. Vicki, you look just stunning in this dress! Choosing to cut off some of the length was a great choice as this silhouette is just perfect for you. I understand all of the emotions tied to the dress, making it something you don’t want to wear often. But the dress got you what you needed, you looked gorgeous on the day of the wedding. I do think you should attempt to make this dress again; something different enough that it doesn’t remind you of the emotions associated with this dress – because this dress is very you.

  7. It’s lovely, a wonderfful colour on you and an interesting post. You’ve done a great job, and it’s great to recognise how much you learnt , and therefore it all adds to your sewing confidence and the ability to want to tackle it again ( or something of a similar skill level) fab. I can also understand the associations, so if you are able to add another event to it, that’s not only getting great value out of a posh frock, but gives even more associations with it. Looks like you’re getting more comfy with pics, particularly the last one !!!

  8. Ooh, this looks gorgeous on you! It’s really a wonderful color and suits you beautifully! The neckline is so flattering and unusual, and it really shows off your lovely complexion. Even if the dress doesn’t have the most pleasant associations now, you really should be proud of the great job that you did. I hope you find a way to wear it and reclaim it down the road.

    I’m echoing what everyone else has said, but, holy cow! Boy is beyond adorable! What a sweetie! Your family is gorgeous!

    1. Thank you! Boy is gorgeous and Husband isn’t bad either but in also incredibly biased! Thank you for the comments on the dress too. I’m very proud of it. I will try and wear it again; I just need more ‘events’ I guess!

  9. I’m so glad to finally see this dress finished and modeled in all its glory! You look beautiful in it and did a spectacular job 🙂 I can totally understand if you don’t feel able to wear it again soon but maybe someday, right? 🙂

  10. This looks great! I loooove the color & I love the petticoat!!! (I wrote you earlier on your first post – asking questions about your process – I’m making this dress as my wedding dress coming up this August)

    I have almost completed my muslin at this point & am about ready to fit it – likely this weekend – I have a couple questions:
    1. Is woven silk a wise choice for fabric? I am willing to be ok with the heat – because its a night wedding…but because it will be my wedding dress… I’d always wanted it to be silk satin – I want a flattering structured fabric…
    …which brings me to:
    2. I’d like to add a interlining that would make the dress even more structured – I asked at one of the fabric stores here in NYC & they told me the name of a commonly used fabric – but that was several months ago.. so I can’t remember (haha) – I know it started with an S…either way – would you think this is possible? Also specifically – I’d like it to be only on the top of the bodice (not the skirt) – so it would work as a corset without bones in a sense. I know that its easily do-able with a dress that is constructed with a seam at the waist – but since this dress is a continuous piece (which is part of what’s so awesome about it) – I wasn’t sure how that would work out…
    3. Did you have someone there to help you fit?
    4. In general terms about how long would you say the dress took? At this point I am also on a deadline :/ ….

    Sorry for so many questions! Thanks so much for the post – it’s given me a little more confidence – I as well will feel much calmer once I start with the actual fabric – but as of right now – I’m getting a little nervous… Thanks again!! / credentials can be used.

    1. I’ll send you an email if that’s OK? I can’t think of the fabric beginning with s. I used calico (muslin in the US with dress net for added bounce).

  11. FYI 🙂 – I just finally tracked down the ‘S’ fabric I mentioned earlier – its called Siri(?) – Don’t know why I couldn’t remember that – ha…
    It’s almost lunch – so I’m going to run out of my office (nyc) & get to a fabric store to get a better feel of things – I have a little over 4 months left… is that too little time, in your opinion?
    Also – since its my wedding dress – I’m wondering how much time I should leave myself, if I’d like to have a professional take over (if need be) – I’m hoping that I won’t need to do that – however – since it’s my wedding & obviously one of the most important dresses I’ll ever wear, I want to leave time for that out – just in case I get in over my head.. haha

    1. Four months should be plenty! If make a toile/muslin sooner rather than later though so you get a feel for how the dress goes together as much as the fitting. The yoke and sleeve insertion is unusual!

      Sent from my overzealous spell checking phone! Please excuse brevity and typos.

  12. Oh great!! Thanks so much! I have started making a muslin – I cut everything out & have actually stitched about a 1/4 of it together as of now – I know a lot of time people choose to not stitch it all – but I think I might as of now to fit at least the bodice area – so that much I’ve started…

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