For the past few weeks I have been swept up in a delightful, merciless whirl of sewing gigs, family cottage time and motivation-crushing heat, but right now I do believe it’s time to catch you up on the wedding dresses!
In my June post Starting with a Navy Wedding Dress, I shared a wedding dress I was working on and mentioned another one I was about to start. The second dress, the ochre dress, started with a Simplicity pattern from the 1950s with a bateau boat neckline and an empire waist. We found the fabric, drapery fabric if you can believe, loving how it complimented the navy silk with pearl-white illusion top on the first dress. I carved the high, bateau neckline down a bit to reveal the bride’s collarbones and a little shoulder blade at the back. I also added a ruched waist, but kept the high, curved empire line of the original pattern, a nice architectural element for a bride who’s an actual architect by trade. Because of the wonderful pattern on the fabric (yes, it is total put a bird on it fabric, cue the jokes, I can take it) we bought extra yardage so I could place a bird over her chest, like a designed-in corsage, and across her shoulder on the back.
By now, both dresses have been made and each has done her duty well: adorning their respective brides down an outdoor aisle on a family farm in one of the most profoundly simple and sincere marriage ceremonies I have even been graced to witness. What a lovely, secret pleasure to see my work walk and swirl the night away on two beautiful ladies so truly in love. I am grateful for the honour of dressing my friends Ann-Marie and Leah. I even got to do the hair, a secret pleasure of mine (seriously, if you ever want a french braid or a bun, call me!) and Leah fashioned her fascinator with perfectly matched ochre French netting. Look how they radiate adoration for each other and how well (if I do say so) the dresses stand beside one another, so different yet complimentary.
Since I was also a guest at the wedding, I needed a gift. And I knew just what to do. There was enough fabric to piece together a quilt from their wedding fabric. And since Ann-Marie and Leah are the handmade-appreciating, sentimental kind of folk, obviously my favourite kind, I knew they’d enjoy the effort. So in between making their dresses I put together this wedding quilt. I’m a total quilting novice, but I loved every minute of it, learning to mitre corners, quilting the pattern of the ochre fabric so that it appeared in relief on the flannel back, stitching hope and love and perseverance into each seam.