Winter wedding dress

Fabric for wedding dress
Ivory wool fabric and pale green pin dot lyocel for winter wedding dress

Planning for a winter wedding, I wanted a dress I wouldn’t be cold in. I also had so many ideas I loved – From medieval and woodland fairy to a fifties style in red lace – and only one wedding!

I decided on a fabric, the most expensive I have ever bought (on a budget). I did get several samples sent so I could check the thickness and stretch, how it felt and folded.

I chose a natural white/cream coloured wool fabric and a pale green lyocel lining.

My inspiration for the dress shape was from the film Gigi, set in turn of the century Paris. I used a vintage Seventies maxi dress I have as the template for the skirt as I always get compliments and it fits so well.

Gigi Leslie Caron evening dress wedding feathers birds train wrapover edwardian parisienne

White or ivory silk or satin dress with bodice and train, decorated with black birds

The bodice needed to be planned and drawn out, so I learnt about folds and how to cut a pattern with folds on YouTube! There was lots of pinning and fitting to get the folds to sit right before using the pattern to cut the wool.

I chose to join the two halves instead of creating a corset or bodice separately. Making it into a dress meant I could have lots of buttons!

Amazingly, in my search for feathers for the shoulder decoration I chanced upon hair clips reduced in Claire’s Accessories. I dismantled the clips from the feathers so I could tack them on. I chose this method so I can easily remove and re-attach them if it needs cleaning.

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As the dress did not have sleeves and I didn’t want to spoil it with a cardigan or coat, I decided to make a matching jacket, using a Victorian/ steampunk pattern as a template. This idea came from a page I had kept from a Vogue magazine. I also wanted to add some wool frills.

My mum and I knitted yards of lace in Rowan Kidsilk to decorate the edge of the skirt and the front of the jacket.

I am so happy with the outcome of incorporating two of my dream outfits for my wedding dress, using styles that suited my shape.

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I hope I get to wear it again for a party sometime!

For more inspiration look at my post on vintage wedding dresses.

Wedding photo credit: www.jamesmarcelle.co.uk

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Fifties sari dress

This slightly irridescent silk sari fabric was a remnant given to me as a gift. I don’t feel like orange is a colour I naturally choose to wear, but I thought this was beautiful with the gold embroidery, so I’ve spent years just admiring it draped over a mannequin. My first idea had been a Regency  dress. However, as I never got around that, I eventually looked for some vintage ideas of how to style it into a Fifties dress. My impetus was finding an outfit for a friend’s wedding.

As the fabric is patterned and beautiful standing  alone, I kept to a pattern without making alterations to it. The simple fitted shift dress is accessorised with a detachable sash. This is a nod to the sari. The dress needs little added, so I kept my jewellery classic with a vintage pearl necklace, gold hoops and my gold heels (bought because I love Marilyn’s shoes in Bus Stop).

Indian fabric was used in the Fifties for Western style dresses. The pictures I found made good use of the gold panel of embroidery often found on saris. My first choice was to copy the one shouldered Dior dress with a stitched wrap of gold edging used for the bodice, and a full skirt. The sari I had was only a remnant, and I didn’t have enough. Less fabric meant a pencil skirt and and no gathers. I did get my sash though.

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At the wedding

On the day, I did require some dress first aid when I ripped the back seam of the skirt getting in the car. The trouble was climbing in instead of sitting and swivelling like a lady. I think that’s something you learnt at finishing school. Thanks to my mum’s first aid kit ( for clothes, naturally) I was able to enjoy the rest of the evening without embarrassment!

I think if I get the opportunity to buy a whole sari, I’ll make the Dior dress. Then I’ll just need something to wear it to.

London Trip 2016

So, this is a post from the beginning of last year, that I didn’t post because of the lack of photos. Now I’m packing for another weekend in London, this is a good reminder for me to start this year’s blogging and Instagram posts how intend to carry on – better quality photos and keep it regular.

In aid of that, I have enlisted the help of a few friends, one being a budding photographer, so I hope to do her justice this year. She is coming to London, so I’ll have my own personal photographer out in the field!

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Vogue to read on the train. Underground ticket to get around London. Crime exhibition at the Museum of London on Friday, theatre on Saturday night and Vogue 100 at the National Portrait Gallery on Sunday morning.

Basically I had such a good time, there aren’t many pictures! Here are a few.

Advertising for Charlie & the Chocolate Factory in the West End.

Friday night dinner out. The mandatory telephone box photo.

Sunday light lunch in Soho, at Foxcroft & Ginger. Mum wearing a vintage look blouse with high-waisted wide leg trousers.

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Goodies from the exhibitions

The books are always the best souvenirs, as the exhibits can be pored over at leisure and in greater detail. This is especially true as most exhibitions have a ‘no photos’ rule.

I hope I can share some of the looks from Vogue100 over the coming year. Mugshots may not be so glamorous, but it’s interesting to see how certain trends were emulated on the street. A case in point is Ruth Ellis. A glamorous, wronged woman, with a tragic story. How much did her image play in the Presses coverage of her story, and the publics reaction, I wonder?

Back to blogging and London trips, hang in there, and I will post my 2017 trip with more and better photos!