As previously mentioned, on 15 February 2014, I married my bestfriend and lifelove Mr M. It was a wonderful day, full of laughter and (happy) tears. It was also a day stuffed full of crafty projects – executed by us and a whole team of talented, tireless friends and family. More on that later.
When it came to the bridesmaid dresses, I knew from the outset I wanted to make them myself. A bold (ill-advised?) move, considering I am a relative sewing newb, but what is life without a little risk eh? M and I designed the fabric together using Spoonflower – an incredible American site where you can upload any design (or choose from the thousands others have uploaded) and they will print it to order, on a range of fabric weights. To create our fabric design we started with various succulent illustrations, bought on Etsy, and then added in little icons that represented each of us – tea for me, coffee for him, spectacles for both of us, a Swiss knife for home… and an origami bear, just because.
Since each of my girls has their own beautiful shape, I suggested different patterns for each of them. One was an Elisalex, one was a Cambie, and one was a vintage 1970s-does-1940s faux-wrap pattern (which I seem to have misplaced the sleeve for). The third was by far the most challenging, and really illustrated how brilliant today’s indie patternmakers are. Without the luxury of a clearly illustrated instruction booklet / online tutorial /sewalong it turns out that sewing is MUCH HARDER folks.
Also, a word of warning to other brides to be – making your bridesmaid dresses is not for the faint hearted. Especially if you have never really made dresses for people other than yourself. And especially if your ladies live in different cities/countries meaning that you get just the one fitting only before the big day. And especially if work is hectic so you don’t manage to finish them until the week before (THANKYOU to Ray Stitch for their wonderful basement where you can hire sewing machines by the hour, and they even make you a cup of tea – you absolutely saved my bacon).
Having said all of the above, I couldn’t have loved the dresses more. Whilst there were a few nagging fit issues that bothered me, I soon forgot about them and thought the girls looked completely gorgeous. (Wedding photos by our wonderful photographer Tarah Coonan)
And some details I was downright ruddy proud of. Can I get a high five for the pattern matching across the back here please??
Mostly though, it just felt lovely to be able to give them something handmade as a little thankyou for being such wonderful friends.