In Full Bloom

My wedding is on Saturday.

(Realization hits.)

Oh, wow. It’s really here. It’s real. A year of planning, worrying, a move, a new house, a pandemic, a new garden, a new husband….a new life.

Ready or not, here it comes!

The gown is finished at last. I have a little bolero jacket, too. The silk ripples when I walk, and the tulle floats along with each step. It’s a magical confection of silk and tulle and lace. I love it.

To get here, I had to work a whole lot of hand stitching all over the gown to attach the leaves in sections and in small individual pieces. I went through two and a half spools of thread for that alone. It took me the equivalent of four and a half streaming binge-worthy series on Netflix and Hulu just to get all that done, using the embroidery hoop for the larger pieces and simple pins for the small leaves. (If I may recommend to you, Killing Eve and The Great were very interesting and fun to watch.)

To finish the edges of the bodice, I cut a couple of yards of silk bias strips and made some bias tape. I also used it to create the ties at the back. I had my sister-in-law over to help me with the hemming. We discovered, though I was not too surprised, that my skirt length was all over the place. Silk sometimes warps after cutting; it’s why typically you let it hang a day or two before you sew with it once you’ve cut it out. I also knew as I cut it that I had fudged the side panels a little. Silk is slippery-notoriously so- and I pinned it (excessively) and weighted it down with books to try and halt that sliding it is so famous for when one cuts it. This did help, however….I didn’t have quite enough fabric width. I made the panels as close as the remaining fabric would allow, but…there was a significantly shorter left side than the right side, in spite of my best efforts to mitigate that. After conferring with Mary Beth and measuring, marking with pins, and examination, we determined adding a four inch hem was needed. Fortunately, I did have enough silk left over for that. I cut all the hem pieces from a single piece of fabric, and they went on with relative ease. I hand stitched them, of course, so that was yet another Netflix binge.

I tried the dress on, satisfied with how it looked, tried to zip it up….and…

At this point, the zipper broke. It tore free of the zipper tape and wouldn’t zip past the ruptured area. Frustrated and near tears, I went to bed. I was so close to finishing and the stupid thing broke! My wedding was only a week away!

The next day, after dinner, I found a replacement in my stash. Thank goodness I’m the kind of sewist with extra supplies on hand! (Translation: I’m a pack rat.) I ripped out the zipper very, very carefully and installed a new one, hand sewing it in place with what felt like a thousand really small stitches to make it nice and secure. It’s a little stiff, but it is there, it works, and we are done with it. Thank heaven.

The sweet little bolero was a challenge all by itself. The pattern called for wool, but naturally, I ignored that and made it in silk charmeuse. It actually translated fairly well, though I had some issues with the shell and the lining not wanting to line up correctly. I ended up solving it by redoing the exterior darts, and then taking the back seam and making it deeper, turning it into a sort of dart with a larger portion taken from the center area. That worked pretty well. It might had been simpler to just make it a pleat, but… we’ll never know! I’m not changing it now! It does work, though, and I adore that shawl collar.

I used some of the glamorous rhinestone buttons I had purchased originally for the back of the dress on my cuffs. I didn’t end up using them on the back because a tie closure was simpler and imparted a bit of fun.

There are four buttons on each cuff with loop closures, and I adore them. The leaves trail beautifully alone the collar. It’s as elegant as I could wish for. In one of the ironies of life, it was 80 degrees Fahrenheit on my wedding day, and I may not need the jacket at all. It is late September, though, and the nights are chilly. I will likely slip it on partway through the reception. Had I not bothered to make a jacket, you absolutely know that the temperature would have been much colder.

There is also a little bonus in the works: I took a few scraps from the leftover silk to make wedding day lingerie…nothing complex, but a pair of silk panties to wear on the big day is a nice touch. I have a plan to make a little chemise that matches, but I don’t think it’s going to be finished in time for the wedding. It’s a nice thing to work on next week, though.

I also wanted to make a clutch purse for myself, but I definitely won’t get that finished, either. That will be a great project for winter…because we’re going to be going to another wedding next year! Some friends of ours got engaged the week we got married. I guess it’s contagious?

I did do my own flowers, naturally, being a florist. They look amazing! I have centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, pew decorations and mantlepiece. Impressive, if I do say so myself.

Happily Ever After…..

Part of this post was written a few days prior to my wedding. It was beautiful, amazing, and joyful. I am so happy! As you can imagine, I had tons of work to do the few days before, since I did my own flowers, made the gown, and was generally a very busy lady! Hence, the late date of posting…well, post-wedding, post-honeymoon.

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me. I am the happiest I’ve ever been! This gown has taught me many wonderful new skills, and when I wore it, I was the most beautiful woman in the world. If you were to ask my husband, he will tell you I already was, and still am.

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