Monday, May 18, 2015

The Dress and Starting Again

Here I am, over 6 weeks later making good on my promise to talk about the dress. I've spent the last weeks thinking about a lot of things craft related and who I am as a blogger, as a maker, as a person. I didn't intend to take time away from the blog, but I think it was good for me because it gave me a bit of perspective. I started this blog as a Quilter. I wanted to make quilts and read about quilts and quilting and fabric all the time. But more and more I found myself straying into other crafts. I love yarn, for example. I've been crocheting longer than quilting and now I've taken to knitting as well to the point that I think about yarn more than I think about quilting. I've also been experimenting with sewing clothes more and looking at other things I want to make or do as well. I'd love to figure out how to keep plants alive in a real garden, for instance. Or to dye yarn. The more I started learning new things, the less I felt like I could share them here. I felt like anything that was not to do with quilting had no place here. Sure, I mentioned my other projects once in a while, but quilting was supposed to be the Main Event. When that stopped being the case, the blogging dropped off.

But lately I've been thinking about how silly that is. I started this blog because I wanted to reach out and find other crazy people like me who think that spending 5, 10, 40 or even more hours on making something we could easily go buy in a store is worthwhile and even fun. Most of us crafty people don't just stick to one craft, after all. So why shouldn't my blog be about whatever I'm pursuing at the moment? So now I feel ready to return with less expectations and pressure on myself, with more of an attitude toward exploration and sharing those explorations with you.

So, in the spirit of all that, I'm going to talk about making my own wedding dress.

This is my family. In case you're wondering, the older gentleman is not my grandfather, he is my father.

First, a note about wedding dresses. I don't understand wanting to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a dress you're only going to wear once. I also don't understand the appeal of white dresses (so hard to keep clean!) and dislike the symbolism that has come to be associated with them, so I pretty much rejected the traditional expensive white wedding dress from the beginning. From the start I knew it would be hard to find a purple wedding dress. They just aren't a thing. So I figured I would have to make it myself if I didn't want to pay a huge amount of money for someone else to make me a custom dress or if I didn't want to choose from the cocktail dresses and prom dresses available in department stores. And that was totally fine with me- it would be cheaper this way, anyway and allow me total control of the dress.

In the spirit of that, my dress cost less than $100 to make. Really, including the price of the pattern, the thread that I didn't have on hand, and the sparkly belt I bought on Etsy, it was about $70.

And Mario's family.
The pattern is the Flora Dress. I only made a couple of alterations to it. I had to do a small bust adjustment, which went just fine, though I probably could have taken out another quarter inch or so. And I had to take a wedge out of the back on either side of the zipper so the straps wouldn't slide down my shoulders. Other than that, the pattern sewed up easily and more quickly than I expected. The dress was one of the first things I crossed off my list!

The fabric is a polyester satin with a crochet lace overlay. I picked both up at a local fabric shop for around $3/yard. They aren't super luxurious, but I love the way they look and I love the way the dress turned out. It has a great weight and swish to it that I really loved.

Originally I had this notion that I would construct this elaborate dress with layers and layers of chiffon cascading all around me (likely this came from too many hours browsing Pinterest for the perfect dress- it's dangerous!). But then I thought about what a headache that would be and how terrified I would be all night about getting it dirty or catching the floaty chiffon on a cactus or something and I threw that idea right out the window. This was a much more sensible dress and really, it's much more my style.

So, there you have it. A simple, homemade wedding dress for a simple, homemade wedding. I'm really excited to share all the other things I've been up to these past two months! It feels good to get back in this space.


  1. Anna,

    From a fellow Tucsonan, this is your blog. Make it what you want. Yes, you'll lose some followers, but you'll gain others. Also, many quilters are like you and me. They do more than one craft. I personally have done just about everything except knit. I'm holding off on that hobby, because I just have too many supplies and WIP from every other craft and hobby. Those are the people who will truly appreciate the diversity of your blog. Hang in there, and don't let any negative comments get you down. The rest of us appreciate the time and effort it takes to publish a blog.

  2. Squee! I love your dress! I say blog about what you want to blog about! I love yarn! I love fabric! And even if someone doesn't share the same crafts that you do, I think they can appreciate the time and work you have put into them.

  3. What a beautiful dress! And I agree - blog about what you want to, and what you love. I quilt, sew garments, sewn a few 'grown-up' things like cushions for our apartment, I also knit when I get the time and am not averse to trying a new crafting activity if I get the chance. So many of us multi-crafters out there :-)
    Looking forward to reading more ...

  4. Love the dress! I go back and forth between quilting and knitting- and sometimes there's crochet or travel or geeky fun things to talk about too. The back and forth applies to actually doing things as well as blogging about them... why limit yourself to one part of your life?

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