Next week it’s our 8th Wedding Anniversary, so I’m taking this opportunity to tell you all about our handmade wedding! Yesterday (Day 1!) was, of course, THE DRESS, today it’s the bridesmaid’s dress;
I had one very special bridesmaid, my daughter Helen, she was 9 years old and desperate to be bridesmaid – in fact before he’d even proposed she was dropping very unsubtle hints as only a 9 year old can! I seem to recall that fairy outfits from feathers and petals came into it at one point!!
Nine year olds can be a difficult age to dress, so many patterns are either very little girlie or strapless, there’s very little in between. We went to York for a trying on day, great fun! She finally found a style and a colour that she liked.
I used Vogue pattern 7845 for the dress and Butterick 4385 for a bolero jacket. I found some beautiful red satin in The Shuttle, it was a beautiful claret red and a gorgeous soft satin, it was made by a famous fabric manufacturer whose name escapes me!…and it was only £3 a meter!!
Helen wanted a full looking skirt, like in the picture, so I interlined the whole dress with netting and the bodice end with calico. Years ago I went a two day study course on linings and interlinings at Linton Tweeds in Carlisle, I have to say it transformed the way I sew! For those of you not familiar with interlining ( as opposed to interfacing) it is used to make fabric behave in a different way, I wanted more body in the skirt and a slightly heavier fabric for the bodice. I cut out each pattern piece in netting, I cut out the bodice area only in calico, then laid them both on the wrong side of the satin. After quickly hand-basting round each piece, the satin/net/calico sandwich was then sewn as one.
The dress is fully lined and I stitched more netting to the underskirt to give it even more oomph! I embellished the neck line with red seed beads and bugle beads in a stylised flower pattern with Swarovski crystals to give a bit of sparkle! Her bolero jacket was again fully lined, with beads to embellish the front.
I made Helen’s dress in the September apart from the hem which I left until the last minute in case she had a sudden growth spurt, as kids are prone to do! The hem was hand stitched, having the interlining made it much easier to get a neat finish as it could be stitched to the netting, rather than through the satin.
All she needed was a tiara, some pretty ballet shoes and of course a matching dolly bag! One very happy bridesmaid!