Friday, April 8, 2011

A Dress Discussion & a Warm Reception


I had this wild hair for a while to start looking at dresses to change into for my reception. There will be a whole floor devoted to dancing at our venue, so I have the feeling a lot of our guests will spend most of the night down there. As my dress is very full and heavy, I was worried that I would get hot and not enjoy dancing at all.

When I mentioned my thought to my sister, she brought up a very good point: I'm spending a lot of money on the wedding dress (just over $2000 including alterations), so it's something I should get as much use out of as possible. A reception dress would certainly take away from several hours of enjoying the beautiful gown I purchased, so was it a good idea to even consider?

I put her advice to the back of my mind and continued my searching. I found nothing. I wanted to spend under $100 on something short and cute, and every time I even looked at a white dress, it was going to cost around $300. Even if I had wanted to buy one, I wished to see it first, just to get an idea of the dress' quality.

I looked at Ann Taylor, BCBG Max Azria, regular department stores like Nordstrom & Dillards, and it was just a big raspberry.

Well, I decided, I could make one. I sew very well, and if I didn't mind donating hours of my time to this project, I could possibly make a one-of-a-kind dress. This started a search through patterns from many companies - Simplicity, Butterick, Burda, McCall - and I finally found a pattern I kept coming back to.

Vogue 1102

I loved that it didn't remind me of a short prom dress or something a teen would wear. It was elegant and something I could use in the future at office parties or other events. The picture on the pattern really doesn't do it justice.

Then came the search for fabric. I decided that since it was something I'd want to either wear for a reception or use as a cute dress afterwards, I'd splurge on some fabric. Namely, dupioni silk. A friend pointed me to a site called Silk Baron, saying she'd bought nothing but amazing quality silk from them. I dove in and picked what I hoped would be an ivory silk with a slight pink tint.

It looks that way, right? (Shot from the website)

So, yeah. In no way was this fabric ivory with a slight pink tint. This fabric is full on pink with yellow highlights, and it's gorgeous! I was a bit bummed that it wasn't as shimmery white as I had expected, but I decided to make lemonade out of the situation. Because the fabric is so pink and gorgeous, it could serve as a great go-to dress for other people's weddings without stepping on the bride's toes.

I decided that no matter what, I was going to make this dress and see how it turned out.

So I cut and sewed and hemmed and cut and sewed some more. It was a great labor of love, mainly because this was a piece I wanted to have around for a long time. I finished it a few nights ago.

I've decided that I will take the dress to my wedding and change into it should mine simply becomes too heavy and frustrating to dance in, but I'm not going to plan on it. I'm just so pleased how it turned out and for the price. Here's a breakdown:

$ 9.00: Vogue Pattern (bought on sale) ($4.99 + $4.00 shipping)
$60.00: Silk: $13.50 a yard @ 4 yards ($56.00 + $6.00 shipping)
$ 2.20: 7" Zipper from Joann Fabrics
$ 3.00: Thread (pre-owned & price estimated)
$75.00 Total

It probably took around 10 hours to make, all said and done, but that was time I didn't mind donating.

What do you think of it? Did you have anything for your wedding that you thought you might use, but only as a back-up if needed?


  1. I think you got the wrong fabric, actually. There is NO way that that pink fabric is the same as the ivory-pick in their picture. However, it seems to be a happy accident, as the dress looks lovely! :) Shoes?

  2. LIKE! I ended up not even using the bustle on my dress at our wedding but it was really light weight. I like your idea of having a back up dress.