I’ve been pretty good so far about following my 2019 sewing goals, but I’ve hit a queue-jumper and I need to deviate from June’s original project. We’ve got a friend’s wedding coming up in July that will require 2-3 (!) outfit changes over the weekend and I don’t have anything to wear! I’m not exaggerating. I grew up in an unfussy wedding culture (think wedding receptions in the church gym) and haven’t attended a lot of wedding weekends in my life. I’ve got a couple of wedding-appropriate dresses that are more appropriate for winter, so I need a major summer dress update. On the plus side, I’m glad that at this stage of my life I have the desire and resources to sew something that will work for me.
My first priority project is the reception dress. The dress code is formal, and the invitation specified long or cocktail dresses for ladies; summer prints and colors welcome. I went on a fabric shopping trip to Fabrics R Us with my friend Emily a few weeks ago and found the perfect floral rayon for my yet-to-be-envisioned dress. I only got a little over 5 yards of 52″ fabric and I’m totally regretting that (it was only $3/yard!) because most floor length dress patterns I’ve looked at call for at least 6 yards of 45″ wide fabric. I finished off the bolt and decided it would probably be enough (there was another length of fabric left on the bolt that I could have gotten more of) but I should have known better since I didn’t know what pattern I’d be making yet. Oh well! I can’t do anything about that now except wait to see if I can do some pattern Tetris with the fabric I have.
The original inspiration dress was this dress from Erdem that my friend sent me and I couldn’t get it out of my head. The florals matched my fabric really well and I loved the details like the flutter sleeves, the twist at the neckline, and the velvet ribbon at the waist. After a ton of time browsing Instagram and Franken-patterning a bunch of patterns that I knew off the top of my head I realized that I wasn’t ever going to replicate the dress as closely as I wanted, so I started setting my sights on other silhouettes that I could sew out of an existing pattern, or at least with only a couple of small alterations. I literally googled “what do I wear to a summer wedding” for ideas because that’s how out of the loop I feel with wedding fashion. I found a couple of other long dress silhouettes that looked promising (the two middle dresses in the graphic above) and had interesting sleeve details. Based on those loose ideas I considered some formalwear classics like the Anna dress from By Hand London and the Magnolia dress by Deer and Doe.
AND THEN… I came upon the Winslow dress from Reformation and decided it checked all the right boxes for my dream summer wedding dress: floor length, kimono sleeves, deep V, underwear-baring slit (joking!). This dress also happens to match the internet’s favorite dress pattern V9253 almost perfectly, minus the slit. I did some digging and finally found the pattern in my size from a seller on Etsy and ordered it right away, but as I mentioned earlier it calls for 6 yards of fabric for the maxi length. I’m going to be optimistic about my pattern Tetris because my fabric is a few inches wider than the pattern calls for, and just looking at the fabric it looks like I have A TON of fabric for a dress. WATCH THIS SPACE, Y’ALL.
The next dress I need to think about is for the welcome party before the wedding day, which calls for “casual cocktail chic”(??). I haven’t given this one much thought yet but I’m struggling envisioning anything that isn’t veering *too* casual, since that’s more my style. Currently I’m envisioning a slightly modified Stevie dress by Tillie and the Buttons (love that tie detail in the back!) in a fun floral print, maybe Tropical Stems by Lady McElroy? I also love Simplicity 8636 by Cynthia Rowley, probably in a breezy solid fabric, but I’d add a few inches to the hem to be just above my knee.
If you’ve sewn anything for a wedding lately, shout it out in the comments! I need all the inspiration I can get.