Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wedding Bells

My eldest sister is now married!  Congratulations to the happy couple!  In anticipation of this event, I had decided to make a dress.  When I found out that the wedding would be outside, and given that nothing screams ”hat” louder than the words “outdoor wedding,” I decided I had to have a coordinating sombrero-cito.

 The bride had requested that my brother and I escort in our Mom at the very beginning of the ceremony, so I knew I needed something smashing for this highly visible job.  She also requested that we ladies wear off-white/cream.  There were several dress patterns in my stash that might work for this event.  The first was Butterick 5880.   

From the Butterick Patterns website

As you can see, it’s a lovely “Retro” pattern and extremely ladylike.  I love the vintage vibe but decided against it because made up in off-white, I thought I would compete with the bride.

Another option was Simplicity 1798, a Project Runway pattern.  Although I really want to make this up, I was looking for something a little more adventurous for the wedding. 

I finally settled on on Simplicity 1877, a Leanne Marshall pattern.  The short length makes it very contemporary, and the flounces add a dressy touch that are a bit reminiscent (to me, anyway) of the crepe paper wedding bells that people used to hang as decorations for bridal showers. 

For the hat, I chose Vogue 7600, view B (top left below), a Patricia Underwood pattern.

From the Vogue Patterns website

I found a lovely cream-colored linen/rayon blend fabric from Paron Fabrics that was the perfect color for the dress along with a Carolina Herrera lining, also from Paron that was just $4/yard! 

Since I wanted the hat to coordinate but not match, I chose a darker and heavier linen from New York Elegant Fabrics.  Taking a cue from a very stylish friend’s lovely Emilio Pucci hat, I wanted the lining fabric to be from printed silk – Pucci if I could find it.  After a multi-city search, I found a muy linda Pucci silk in LA’s fabric district.  I was just lucky that a business trip coincided with my hunt for Pucci.  Here’s a shot of this lovely fabric.

Isn’t it amazing!

I made some changes to the pattern by adding a lining and lengthening the hem just a bit – it’s really short as is and the pattern calls for a 1 1/4" hem.  I added 1 1/4" and, in the end, used a 1" hem.  I also made a muslin of the bodice and realized I had to make a Small Bust Adjustment (SBA) for the top (yes, a Small Bust Adjustment – the chichi fairy has never visited this Latina). 

The hat was fairly easy to construct, but I had some issues.  I believe it’s meant to be a very floppy sunhat.  Even though I used some very stiff interfacing and spray on sizing, I couldn’t achieve the smart curl on the brim as in the photo on the pattern envelope (top left, above).  I ended up spraying Stiffen Stuff over the brim 45 minutes before the start of the wedding and speed drying with a blow dryer.  It held up for the ceremony and the photos that followed; but I think I’ll have to re-do the brim, inserting buckram for the interfacing. 

Given that I had a business trip before the wedding and that I hadn’t had time to finish the dress before leaving NYC, my trusty Bernina Virtuoso 150 accompanied me on my  travels.  Yes, there was late night sewing in my hotel room!  In the end, I completed the dress at my mom’s just under the wire at 4:30 AM the morning of the wedding ceremony which was scheduled for 10:00 AM. Ay, ay aythis was definitely a “sew chica, sew moment!”

With my brother just before the ceremony.  Isn't he handsome? ¡Que Guapo!
The ceremony was followed by a lovely brunch.  A few times I reached for the flounces thinking they were my napkin!  That's the only hazard to wearing this dress but overall, I'm very pleased with the ensemble.  What a lovely, lovely day.

¡Hasta pronto!

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