This past fall Jeff and I had a lovely little wedding full of love, laughter and many of our favourite people. The rains came in full force starting Friday evening, but miraculously the clouds parted and the sun came out less than a half hour before the ceremony and were able to quickly move the ceremony outside.
Pretty early on in the planning I decided I wanted to sew my dress. I was lucky enough to find a wool silk crepe that perfectly suited my vision. I had just given up searching through the bridal section at Fabricana, where everything was either too white and too light, when I decided to take a look at the clearance wool wall.
Alexandra of In-House Patterns offered to help with my muslin fitting. It was wonderful to have her skilled hands and expertise. My original muslin was of Butterick B5710, but I wavered on whether or not it was the design I wanted. I knew I wanted the shape of the bottom half, but throughout my internet research I was drawn to this skirt and top from Amy Kuschel. After much deliberation I went for it. The top was adapted from Deer and Doe’s MÉLILOT Shirt.
It was my first time sewing with such wonderful fabrics and for the most part I think I did alright. I only ran into problems on the bias cut skirt when I failed to heed advice and reinforce the seams and zippers. There was some puckering, but with the belt I was mostly able to minimize these.
With many thanks to Jennifer Picard Photography, here are a handful of photos featuring my handmade wedding gown and my handsome new husband.
Last October, shortly before I jumped on a plane for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco, I quickly sewed up my second Alder dress. I modified the neckline to remove the collar and add a V. The fabric is hand dyed and printed cotton from Merchant and Mills. The fabric is so light and breezy and the longer length in the back makes it perfect for sitting in the grass and listening to music.
And if you notice the sandals, they are my second pair of handmade leather sandals. I used the same outline for the sole as my first pair and drafted the pattern for the uppers myself. I used Birkenstock rubber rubber for the soles and coincidentally found two Birkenstock buckles from a local cobbler. I treated the leather with olive oil and they darkened up quite nicely, and are even darker now after wearing them for a week in the sun. Here are some photos…
This Alder shirtdress started with some very special fabric, a gift from a friend returning from Bali. Completely out of his element, browsing bolts of fabric, and asking for advice in broken English he found this gorgeous natural linen (and some stunning silk chiffon lace.) After much deliberation and a Pinterest board for inspiration I decided it was a great opportunity to take a crack at indigo dyeing using a natural indigo dye kit that I bought earlier this year.
My original intention was to dip dye an already stitched up Alder dress for an ombre effect. The pattern was a dream to sew, with a sew-along to guide you through any tricky steps. It was my first attempt sewing a collar and I think I have finally gotten the hang of creating the correct size button holes for my buttons. Once sewn, I made a last minute decision to give shibori dyeing a try instead of dip dyeing. Linen is known to wrinkle and the effect of shibori hides these wrinkles well.
I have to say, this is one of my favourite makes in a while. Here is a closer look at the shibori effect.