Monday, October 12, 2009
Today is a hymn of praise to what mums can do, serendipity and all things handmade. As I've mentioned in previous posts, a very important wedding is coming up in (eek!) only a couple of weeks now. I'm an honoured daughter-in-law indeed to be involved in lots of different ways including making treats for the children (see crowns in previous post), playing the flute for the entrance of the bride (gulp!) and reading.
So obviously my outfit is pretty important, but I always find it really hard, not least on a limited budget, to find anything I really like to wear. So I decided, like I did with my own wedding, that making my own was the way to go. I realise that sounds slightly like I made it all myself, which would be slightly innaccurate, but suffice to say I found a fab 50's dress pattern free with a copy of 'Sew' magazine and rang my mum to ask if I could stay with her for a couple of days of free babysitting/dressmaking consultancy. Mum being mum she said yes of course, so I got some samples of fabric from MacCulloch & Wallis, whose online service I can heartily recommend, and, having previously decided on gunmetal grey or sage green, ended up buying a scary amount of dupion silk in green shot with RED! It looks wonderful and is perfect for the autumn feel of the wedding (I know, I've been privy to fabric samples and flower plans from the bride herself!).
So two days of sewing later (sewing on my part mainly consisting of stitching the neck ruffle you can see detailed here- my idea for an addition, therefore my stabbed fingers achieving it!) and the dress was ready, fitted to my exact requirements and the one and only in the world.
I needed something on my shoulders so I made a shrug from Fitted Knits using Rowan Kid Classic, which makes beautifully soft garments with that lovely fluffy haze that works well on retro designs.
The serendipity came with a text message from my mother in law asking for my shoe size. Turns out we are the same size, and also that she had bought some shoes to wear for the wedding but had changed her mind. The colour and retro styling just happened to be perfect to go with the dress so would I like them? Well now I have a policy never to look any horses in the mouth, least of all gift horses...
And to (literally) top it off? Only a cocktail hat would do- not least because playing the flute in a lampshade would just look weird. Folksy came good, with the simply marvellous Tallulah Blue. Despite having to struggle with dodgy internet connections and being on holiday, she agreed to making a customised version of one of her fabulous designs, using my dress fabric and at an incredibly reasonable price. The detail is great, down to the leopard print lining and the sequined jewel buried in the rose. My photography really doesn't do it justice but do go and check out her shop and/or blog.
There's something wonderful about knowing that you're wearing something where care (and not sweatshop labour) has gone into every stitch. I can't wait for the wedding day now!