If you’ve visited my blog in the past 6 months, you know that I’m in the midst of planning my wedding. I talk about it way too much – I know. I’ve also made way too many sewing commitments for the wedding. In December, when the wedding was 8 months away, my list seemed reasonable. And if it weren’t for the Pattern Review Little White Dress contest, I would have never made or finished my first LWD (which will probably be worn to the rehearsal dinner btw). Back in February after we went to Minnesota for some wedding planning, I realized it was 6 months to the big day and I better get going on all my plans. So I started my second little white dress with fabrics purchased from Mood when I was in NYC in January.
I made serious headway on the dress when I started it (blogged about here)…but then I got distracted and didn’t want to finish it. Thankfully, I had another timeline scare when I talked to my Maid of Honor who kindly reminded me it was now only FOUR months to the wedding. AHHHH. No more fooling around…I needed to finish this dress. So that’s exactly what I did this long Boston Marathon weekend.
Bodice of the dress is By Hand London’s Anna dress and the skirt is just a big pleated rectangle (although I did use a rectangle pattern; McCalls 6833). The whole dress is underlined with ivory silk twill and lined with a gray rayon Ambience. I really like that this dress is bridal without being overly white. The flowers on the lace are outlined with black thick thread/yarn that is held in place and covered with white thread – creating a gray appearance. Below is one spot on the dress where the black thread is starting to pop out. I’ll need to be especially careful at this location to make sure it doesn’t unravel any more.
You can tell I didn’t follow the pleating instructions from the McCalls pattern and it was this step involving skirt design and creativity that held me up for 2 months. I played around with the skirt a LOT before I found a pleated layout that I liked. One of the problems I had while testing different skirt designs was that the lace/silk underlining doesn’t have a ton of drape. So I would pin a new pleated arrangement and it would look terrible for a week until the fabric relaxed and fell into a natural drape. I really wanted to line up the pleats with the bodice darts. In the end, I couldn’t make it work in the front, but I did line up the pleats with the darts in the back. This may have resulted in the back pleats being a tad too close together though.
I hand sewed the lace to the silk underlining before starting and treated it as one. I did make sure to hem the underlining before sewing it to the lace so I wouldn’t have to worry about it later. I carefully trimmed the scalloped lace to hem the bottom.
This dress is much girlier than I typically make or buy - but it’s a nice contrast to the much more structural and simple first white dress that I made. I plan on wearing this lace dress to the brunch we’re having on the Sunday morning after the wedding.
Also, note to self – don’t bend over in this dress – it will come up!
White dresses are really hard to photograph!! Most of the pictures that turned out the best were in the shade where you can make out the details of the lace. The pictures in the sun are perfectly nice though and they provide a different perspective on the dress.
Dan was kind enough to take some of the pictures for me. However, his instructions for posing are a little less than helpful. They’re usually something like, “move around”, “do model poses”, or “just do something different”. This is me asking, “What do you want?!?!”. I’m super awkward in front of the camera haha
This is a long post – I know – but at least it accurately reflects the amount of time I spent on this dress! Just a few more pics on the dress form and we’re done :)
Friends, I leave you with two questions: With ribbon belt or without? I like how the belt accentuates the waist and breaks up the lace…but is it too girly??
Second question: Should I make a petticoat to wear with this dress? Are the pleats droopy and lackluster? I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘petticoat sort of gal’ but I can see how it would help the skirt be more fluffy and light.