Little Black Dress

Scheherezade is easy; a little black dress is difficult. – Coco Chanel
 

So this past December, while shopping with my mom and my sister-in-law, I found the most expensive fabulous dress ever! It was absolutely beautiful and fit like a dream! The only problem was that it was a little bit out of my budget range. Of course, when used here, the phrase “a little bit” translates to a couple of hundred dollars. *gasp* Well I don’t give up easily and I found a dress I wanted so I was determined to get it. How do you ask? Overtime at work maybe? Ha! Don’t be so silly, I’d make it of course!

Now this can sound like a very daunting task, I will grant you that for sure. It really is a lot simpler than you would think though. However there are a few things that I wouldn’t attempt this without.

  1. A sewing machine. I don’t know how handy you are with a needle and thread and your own two hands, but I don’t have the patience for that kind of sewing.
  2. A pattern of some kind. You can find them pretty cheaply at a craft store, or if you want a pattern as well as some inspiration I highly recommend The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room by Mary Adams. My sister got it for me a couple of years ago for Christmas and I absolutely love it! She has great ideas and tips and her pattern is really basic yet classy. A phrase when translated here means “easy to alter and a great starter cause it will look great!”.
  3. A clear idea of what you are going for. Before I left the store where I found my ‘inspiration dress’ I took about a million pictures of it. What it looked like on me AND on the hanger? What did the seams look like? How about the edges? Did it have a zipper? What about elastic? Did it have boning (those little wire/stick things in fancy clothes that help hold them ‘stiff’)? Without a clear idea of what you are going for, its easy to get lost in someone else’s pattern and when you’re finished, you’re less likely to have the dress you really wanted.

With these tools in hand, I set to work. The same day that we saw the dress, we went to the fabric store and purchased any supplies I thought I might need for it. This included lace, satin, a light-weight and a mid-weight tulle, some boning, and the widest elastic I could find.

After purchasing the supplies, life happened and two months passed before I got the chance to work on the dress again. 🙂 This is just a note from me giving you permission to NOT feel guilty if it takes you a little while to finish a project. Projects can be big and scary and kind of extremely overwhelming at times. So please don’t feel like I whipped this up in an afternoon cause I certainly didn’t.

I then decided to give myself a deadline (I work better with a deadline, although sometimes I’ll admit I just like to sit back and watch the whoosh by me) of the third Saturday in February, cause that was the day that Ric had promised to take me out for dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

First thing I did was cut out ALL of my pieces. Yes, this took some time, and it made quite a bit of a mess. I just wanted to make sure that I had all of my pieces though before I got too involved and then had to stop my ‘groove’ just so I could cut some more fabric. Important note here: If you are cutting any slippery fabric (like satin) or something that can come unraveled easily (like lace or tulle) it is important to use pinking shears. This will help to prevent the edges of your fabric from fraying.

After that I just followed the instructions in the book for putting my dress together. There were a few steps though, that were a little different so I’ll explain them here.

My Skirt:

I wanted to have a skirt that was 3 different kinds of fabric, however the pattern was a little different. So what I ended up doing was gathering the fabric I did have, to make it match the edge of the fabric that did match the pattern. Basically, my skirt had more fabric/is fuller than the pattern originally shows. As you can see from this picture it can be a little time consuming, but it is totally worth it.

My Bodice:

The original ‘inspiration’ dress had a panel insert of elastic which allowed it to be strapless. With mine, I was able to insert some elastic between the lining of the dress, and the bodice (i.e. you can’t see the elastic from the outside of the dress, and I can’t feel it on my back either) which this picture shows here. However, even with that, I had cut the pattern a little too large (better too large than too small right?) and so just to give myself a little more ‘confidence’ while wearing the dress, I did add a

halter strap to it.

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I realize that this isn’t a complete tutorial but if you have any questions please ask! I felt like this was a huge undertaking but was really surprised at how smoothly it went. I think one of the reasons why is because I didn’t try to tackle it all at once. I only worked on it a couple of hours each day, then I’d put it away and think about the next step for at least 24 hours. I think this really helped to keep me from quenching my creativity and helped me get through some of the tougher spots. What about you though? Does anyone else have any great craft secrets and tips? What helps you make it through a big project? Do you string it out or tackle it all at once?

 
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Our Group

Hey there everyone! So I figured it is time that you found out about the rest of Ric and I’s wedding party. I know that with that phrase, people most traditionally think of bridesmaids and groomsmen only. Ric and I aren’t that traditional though, and so our wedding party contains a lot more people than that. Each of these people mean a lot to Ric and I both and we really couldn’t picture our day without them. So since you’ve already met my bridesmaids, I think its time you meet the rest of our crew.

The Groomsmen

  • Ric completely threw me off with this one. In a rather unexpected twist (at least it was in my eyes) Ric asked my two brothers, Jacob and Josiah, and my brother-in-law Kyle to be his groomsmen! I was totally surprised but very excited to have them be involved in my wedding in this way. My brothers and I have always been close and since Kyle has been a part of my sister’s life since I was 9 years old, he is most definitely a brother to me.These guys really do mean the world tome and I know that they wouldn’t have agreed to stand up with Ric unless it meant that they not only thought he was a great guy,but fully supported the idea of us getting married. It really means a lot for this little sister to get the stamp ofapproval from her older brothers.

The Men of Ushing

  • Sadly, in today’s culture, many people do not realize the importance of proper ushing etiquette. It really is a lost art that requires some of the finest talents and most refined manners. Which is why Ric has chosen two of his best friends, Jeremy and Andy to be our Men of Ushing. This last summer, when I went out to Wisconsin for the first time to visit Ric, I was able to attend Jeremy’s wedding! Ric was one of his groomsmen, so he took the week off from working at camp and I got the chance to meet some of Ric’s family & friends. It was really specialfor me to get to see Ric hang out with Jeremy and Andy just because they know him so well, and have been friends with him for such a long time. It was really fun for me to see Ric be in a more familiar environment than Colorado. I can easily understand why these two guys are such great friends of Ric’s and I am so happy that they can come and share in our special day.

The Real Talent

  • Ric and I decided that if the whole wedding thing flops, we should at least hold a concert for everyone. 🙂 No really though, I am so happy to have these people take part in Ric and I’s special day, and not just because of their vocal talents. 🙂 My sweet friend Adreanne, who has been one of my closest friends for as long as I can remember and is honestly my oldest friend, has agreed to sing at our wedding. I am very happy because Adreanne and I have always been close and I really couldn’t picture this day without her. I also remember thinking even when we were little girls, “I want her to sing at my wedding” so it is very special to me that this little childhood wish is coming true. 🙂 Ric’s kid sister Alyssa and her husband Nef have also agreed to sing at our wedding which really means a lot to both of us. They are both really great people and I know they mean the world to Ric, and I am grateful that I will be able to call them family in just a few short months!

Well! That’s all I have for now. I’m sorry that you have to click on the links to see pictures of all these wonderful people. I had a fancy shmancy layout all put together and then my computer decided to hate me. 😦 Please be sure to keep checking in for wedding updates and other ramblings. Thanks so much for stopping by!