Well, I’ve had a busy couple months.

July last year, my youngest sister announced she was going to get married (end of August 2017) so of course I had to make my garment for the wedding.  In England.  At Moor Park Mansion.  Lots of time!  But it’s surprising how quickly months pass before there is just 3 1/2 months left before flying outta here.

I decided to make an old favorite, New Look 6184, out of some printed linen we had in the store during the spring.

I had made this dress a couple times before out of some printed stretch cotton and received many compliments so I figured I had this thing nailed. As with my previous dresses from this pattern, I made the size 16 with little adjustment except for shortening the back bodice seam by 1 1/2″.  I also made it a little longer – just below my knees – since I am not comfortable with the shorter length shown in the pattern.  But upon completion, I worried it looked too mother of the bride-ish.  Yes, I am 16 years older than this sister, have diaper changed her numerous times, bottle fed her etc, but I am not her mother! (Please note, I wore my scruffy Tom’s for walking around London, not to any of the events!  I noted that everyone in London wears flats.  Must be all the walking and the stairs to get anywhere.)

So back to the drawing board.

Next, we received this printed rayon that I thought would be perfect for this New Look 6244 dress.  Because of the bias cut, which tends to be a bit clingy, I decided to make the size 18.  Again, the only adjustment I made is to make it tea length (added 6″ to the length) as the others in the store thought the longer length would be more sophisticated.  This style requires a long slip.  And what more perfect fabric for that but some silk satin.  But what colour?  I tried a variety of colours (white, pale pink, and a milky tea)  and decided the milky tea is closest to my skin colour so wouldn’t contrast so much.

By this time, there were still a couple weeks to go.  Instead of sitting back and relaxing, I decided to try another dress option.  Something more party!  With a low cut back.

I decided on Vogue 1102 but despite wanting to make it in black, I was told by “those who know” one does not wear black to an English wedding.  It is just not done!  So I chose to make it out of this printed quilting cotton of all things.

Looking at the finished bust measurements of the pattern, I decided to cut out the size 18.  After all, my bust is 40″ and the dress bust measurement was 41 1/2″.  I also had to cut the one piece front skirt into 2 pieces (with a centre seam) as the quilting cotton wasn’t wide enough.

I quickly basted everything together and tried it on, and it was swimming on me!  HELP!  Fern McDonald (my sewing and fitting guru) to the rescue.

Here is a list of adjustments I had to make.

  1. Take out a total of 1 1/2″ from the center front.
  2. Which meant I had to move the bust darts towards each side seam by 3/4″.  I also had to shorten the bust darts by 5/8″
  3. Take in the side seams by a total 1″ per side.
  4. Take in the back seam by a total of 5″.
  5. Add 2 small upper bust darts from the armholes to take away the gaping.
  6. Scooped the neckline which is more flattering for my short neck than the wide boatneck.

For the big bow at the back, I used a wide black petersham ribbon to break up the print of the dress.

Voila!  I now had 3 dresses to choose from.

Oh, also a hat.  So I went to our local millinery store, Roberta’s Hats and purchased this little number.

So which dress did I choose to wear?  Why all three, of course!  I decided to wear the bias cut dress for the ceremony, the pink party dress to the reception and the printed linen dress to the in-laws after party.

I don’t know about you, but for me there is nothing like a deadline to get my a$$ in gear!


In case you are curious, here are some pictures of the wedding.  Pictures by A2Z Photography.