A Beautiful Welsh Summer Wedding

On Thursday I watched one of my best friends of eight years marry her childhood sweetheart in a beautiful Welsh wedding in the shadows of the Brecon Beacons. She looked stunning in her sweeping, lace gown which perfectly complimented her petite figure and warm tan. But most beautiful of all was her beaming smile, which I don’t think left her face all day! 😀

It’s not for me to post photos of someone else’s wedding online for all to see so you’ll just have to take my word for it that it was beautiful. 🙂 But I am able to share with you a few photos of my finished Wedding Guest Dress, which I finished in the nick of time!

As a recap, I used New Look 6401 as a base pattern but I made some adjustments to suit my style and tastes. First, I adjusted the bodice to ensure a better fit on my figure, and I decided the back would meet at a higher point than the original pattern. The long, drapey ties for the bow at the back were lengthened further and a ‘peek-a-boo’ back was added towards the final stages as I struggled to get the fit to work otherwise. I added a narrow band under the bust to connect it to the skirt rather than attaching the skirt directly to the bodice as, again, I felt it complimented my shape more. I used a very narrow hem to ensure the gown was floor-length at the front and had a short train at the back (which was repeatedly trodden on by other guests but I loved it so it was worth the hassle!). I also added a side-seam split on the left-hand side to ensure there was plenty of movement for dancing! I managed to avoid any fastenings whatsoever so I was pleased!

So, here it is! 🙂

Dress front Dress front2

And now for the back…

 

I don’t think it’s quite as clear in these photos as in reality how the back looks as the bow had dropped a bit – probably because I’d been seated beforehand. I really didn’t think that part through, I realised; I had to sit against a knot for the entire day!! 😉 Hopefully, you can just see that there’s a band of fabric across the bra-line (for the precise reason of hiding a normal bra so I didn’t have to wear an uncomfortable ‘invisible’ one all day!) and then there’s a ‘peek-a-boo’ gap, which I added when I had trouble with the fit of the waistband.

The night before the wedding I was holidaying with family in North Wales and so I was able to model my dress to my Grandma. Here reaction was priceless and so meaningful to me! She proudly paraded me to another caravan (yes – I strutted around a caravan park in this get-up, which led to a few funny looks!) to show some other family members. It was a relief as I was nervous by this point that I’d totally misjudged the dress and would look like a complete idiot at the wedding and be quite clearly the guest who had made her own outfit. Crippling self-doubt is a very common problem for me.

18645867_217607645412811_153283611812954112_n

I had the cutest shoes from Debenhams to wear with the dress, which were a lucky find in a sale a couple of days before. I’d also had Shellac nails done at a salon as my nails are always painfully ugly so what better way to compliment them than with a 10-minute clutch bag make?! Basically, I looked at clutches but couldn’t find one I liked so I envisioned making one. Needless to say I left it too late in the day to make my ideal bag so I tried to think outside the box… I grabbed a cushion cover from my car that had been waiting to go to a charity shop for weeks and quickly whipped up a perfect-sized sparkly clutch! One press stud and a bit of cardboard (for rigidity) later and hey presto! What do you think?

18722617_1038551862945110_4697255257455984640_n

New Toys!

I’ve been adding to my equipment and pattern stash recently, in part because I was avoiding essay writing but also because I’m greedy when it comes to sewing supplies! Of course, my big purchase was my Jaguar 096 overlocker, which I posted a photo of before it arrived. I thought it would be a lot trickier to thread than it is but the key really is to unthread it only a step ahead of rethreading it so you can’t get muddled up. It is rather noisy but it saves so much time whilst also providing a professional finish. Being as the Wedding Guest Dress has so many panels forming the skirt, I’ve had lots of practice overlocking long lengths of seams! 😉

My less expensive purchases are a mish-mash of things I have either wanted for a while and saw in online sales or happened upon and decided I needed them.

Patterns

Hobbycraft were having an online sale on sewing supplies so I picked up two patterns which compliment my current stash by being completely different to anything else I have. One was of a girls’ dress so I can make not only the pattern included but also have some idea of sizes for drafting different designs for my nieces.

img_8646

The other pattern is for a ladies’ jumpsuit or playsuit, which appealed to me as a good holiday item. I might make a jumpsuit for my Sri Lankan holiday in November as an option for evenings.

The recent issue of Prima – which my Grandma bought me a subscription for – contains a pattern for off-the-shoulder boho/gypsy-type tops so I might be making one of those too.

Cutting and Sticking Tools!  

I’ve been meaning to buy a rotary cutter and mat for a while and so the Hobbycraft sale provided the perfect excuse to do so. At half their usual price, I’m happy to have added these to my kit! The glue gun was an additional purchase (£5 from Hobbycraft) as I was toying with the idea of adding tiny “diamonds” to my Wedding Guest Dress. It didn’t work but I don’t regret the purchase as it will come in use for many things and didn’t break the bank.
img_8645

 

Crochet Hooks Set

A full set from 1mm to 10mm across 20 hooks so I won’t have to work out whether I have the right hook size for a project when I trying to buy yarn in-store! (I have far too many 3mm – 5mm hooks as a result of never being certain what I have in stock!) I’m hoping to get lace-making now I have some smaller hooks. 🙂

img_8629-1

 

Machine Feet

I desperately wanted to finish off my Wedding Guest Dress hem with a rolled hem so I bought a compatible foot online… and then waited for it to arrive from China for three weeks! My, my, my – what a fiddly little ****** it is to use! My attempts were shocking and I ended up putting it to one side and finishing the hem manually. With time, hopefully I’ll get the hang of it and be rewarded with delicate, light and floaty hems!

img_8628

The other foot is to assist with pin-tucking because my attempts on the yellow chiffon Betty blouse I made were passable but could have been more even. I’ve not used it yet but, as pin-tucks are a favourite feature of mine, I’m sure it won’t be long until I do.

Magnetic Pin “Cushion”

As someone who is absolutely rubbish at putting pins into a cushion as I go, this is a real delight! Something so simple yet so helpful in preventing stabbed feet and en masse pin loss!

img_8627

 

Fabric

I’ve made a *couple* of fabric purchases lately, namely some navy cotton stretch jersey and also some grey jersey with blue and white anchors, which is super cute. 🙂

81_2513_063_SZ00

I took a chance on a wool fabric, which looked as though it would be nice for a coat but it was very disappointing when it arrived. It’s much more ‘plastic’-looking than the photos on the website show so I would only use it ‘inside out’, so to speak.

57_968017_82

Other purchases include some navy chiffon with spots in red hues, and some purple/pink swimsuit fabric, which I mainly bought to bulk up my order to get free postage and a discount but it will be good to practice on before forking out for more expensive stuff in the future.

That’s it for now! June needs to be a frugal month so I’ll have to hold steady on the purchases but I think you’ll agree I’ve enough to keep me going for at least four weeks as it is! 😉