Burda Magazine 2-2009-124: The Officiant Dress

10 Sep

Here’s the happy couple!!

Saturday night I officiated my friend’s wedding. It was beautiful! Her dress was amazing. Like, seriously, amazing.

Not only did I finish my dress on time, I had several people tell me how well the dress colors fit into her plum and grey wedding. Since there was a large NYC / PR / fashion contingency, I was asked a few times if I was a designer. Well, first they asked if I had a theater background and then when they found out I made my dress, they asked I was a designer. It’s so funny how it just doesn’t occur to people that you might sew for *fun*.

I went back to my celebrant dress (Burda 2-2009-124) last Friday night. I don’t know why I was so unhappy with it. I’m not sure if the style isn’t me or it just wasn’t what I wanted to be sewing, but the only thing I liked was the beautiful Carolina Herrera poly jacquard from Mood Fabrics (seemingly backordered / sold out since my August purchase) . I sewed a 40 on top grading to the largest size on the bottom. Fundamentally, I realize I just sewed a dress that was too big for me. I should have made a 38 grading to a 42.

After sleeping on it, I decided:

  • to peg the hem and taper the bottom for a very narrow pencil, while adding a slit for walking ease
  • to release one inch (total) on each side at my saddle bags to rid myself of drag lines across my thighs
  • take  in one inch from each side of the waist — hoping to eliminate some of the ‘block’ look I was getting.
  • taper the shoulders by taking out two inches at the neckline and blending into the original seam line at the shoulder.

Sigh. Yeah. I’ve been slacking off in the gym and my mental state reflected this as I was sewing. I just thought the original was boxy on me and I looked like a shiny present. This though, this is better. My shoes were ordered from Zappos days before the wedding. I wanted silver to dress up the outfit, and I took some flats with me too. I cannot wear four-inch heels for six hours :) That being said, I bought them in a size 9 and by the end of the night they were a 9.5. I’m thinking of reselling them on eBay.

My friend Julia came as my date…

It’s so interesting to see the colors of the dress shifting depending on the lighting.


…and my mom flew in from Florida to watch me officiate.


And now, it’s all over! I’m so glad I stuck it out with the pattern and despite early reservations, the material was *perfect*. Gah. I’m so happy I got to pick it out in person at Mood when I was in NYC. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it.

The venue was the George Peabody Library here in Baltimore. My friend told me when she was my intern 12 years ago that she was getting married here. Over the years, I managed to stay on her running guest list. I never imagined I would be up front marrying her to the perfect man for her.

Here’s a photo of the library (image from Conde Nast Traveler)

I’m not in these, but here’s a Facebook sneak peak of the wedding photos from the very talented photographer. Does it sound dumb when I tell you I didn’t realize I’d be part of the posed photos? LOL! Seriously. It didn’t occur to me. The photographer even noticed my color coordination.

It was such an honor to be part of a gorgeous ceremony with two of my favorite people.

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63 Responses to “Burda Magazine 2-2009-124: The Officiant Dress”

  1. sewinginathens September 10, 2012 at 07:36 #

    Wow, I didn´t think much of the fabric at first, but made into this fabulous dress, it is stunning! Not only did you match the colour theme perfectly, these colours really look nice on you! Well done! I also love the shoes!

  2. lisette September 10, 2012 at 07:47 #

    You look wonderful! All the changes you made are perfect; that’s one thing about this pattern, I don’t like the one I made very much and I finally realized is because it is too big on me, this style needs to be fitted to look good. The colors in your dress coordinate perfectly with her color scheme. You did good!;-)

    • Shams September 10, 2012 at 08:05 #

      You look great, Celie. How special to be included in their day in such a wonderful way!

  3. Amanda S. September 10, 2012 at 08:26 #

    Okay, WOW!!! The dress looks perfect on you! I was a little nervous for you earlier on but am so glad it all came together. You look beautiful and the fabric was totally the right choice.

    • Miss Celie September 10, 2012 at 08:32 #

      Honestly, I was nervous for me too.

  4. Becky September 10, 2012 at 08:39 #

    Well, it just goes to show that persistence wins in the end. You look fabulous, truly, you got it all done, and you survived with a beautiful smile on your face. You have my admiration for getting all this done on time. What an honor to be asked, and what a success to do it in such style.

  5. Andrea September 10, 2012 at 08:41 #

    You look beautiful! The shoes are a perfect complement to your dress. Love the pic of you and your mom, and the venue is fabulous. I can see why the bride wanted her wedding there.

  6. Carolyn September 10, 2012 at 08:51 #

    Can I second that you looked beautiful! That your alterations were pitch perfect and that the shoes really enhanced the dress! I’m so glad that this worked out for you and that the wedding went off without a hitch…fantastic job! Oh and I’m so glad that you’re Mom was able to be there too!

    • Miss Celie September 10, 2012 at 09:11 #

      Well, you taught me the pegging trick when I had another dress I didn’t like the fit of!

  7. SewingElle September 10, 2012 at 08:53 #

    Just Beautiful! It is easy to see why you received so many compliments. The final version of your dress is a great fit, very flattering and gorgeous fabric.

  8. Erin Cumming September 10, 2012 at 08:54 #

    You look so tiny!! The dress is beautiful, and you look beautiful in it.

  9. Julie September 10, 2012 at 08:58 #

    What a beautiful dress and you look stunning, glad you had a great day

  10. Claudine September 10, 2012 at 09:36 #

    Gorgeous dress! Your makeup is great, too. When I look at the back view, I do not think, “She has been slacking off at the gym.” I think, “I wish I had a butt.” I actually made a pencil skirt once, but the back view made me want to cry, and I never wore it.

  11. CGCouture September 10, 2012 at 09:47 #

    Gorgeous! The wedding looks beautiful, your dress was beautiful, and it sounds like an all-around amazing experience. :-)

  12. LLADYBIRD September 10, 2012 at 10:11 #

    It was well-worth the effort – you look totally gorgeous! I love that fabric you chose, so perfect for the dress.

    Also WOOOOW at that library. Just… wow. I want to go there!

  13. oonaballoona September 10, 2012 at 10:39 #

    beeyootiful. refusing defeat definitely paid off… and those shoes are killer with it. insoles??

  14. Marty September 10, 2012 at 11:26 #

    My goodness girl, you almost outshone the bride! And there is nothing wrong with your figure, I wish I looked that good in a fitted dress. (BTW, I have a 36 year old son that would be very impressed by you. I know, he’d say, “Mom don’t match me up, I’ll do it myself!”)

  15. redsilvia September 10, 2012 at 12:16 #

    Dude, seriously you look amazing! What’s not to like. The dress fits great and it’s a nice style with the material. The fabric is the story of this dress so a fussy, complicated style wouldn’t have worked. You took this dress to a modern Mad (wo)Man place.

    P.s. That bridal dress is almost as pretty as the bride.

  16. Sarah Kayla Jacobs September 10, 2012 at 12:17 #

    The dress is beautiful, you look beautiful…I think that part of the “boxy” feeling you have is that you need to lower the neckline a bit…or loose the cap sleeves..the cap sleeves, the raglan cut and the high neck visually broaden you.. i would either cut the neck into a deeper “V” or would cut the sleeves off and create a cut away shoulder line. you have good strong arms. The sleeve hits juts above a broad/muscular part of your arm…the same way that you don’t want a jacket hem hitting you at the broadest part of your butt…this is making your arms/upper body look broad rather than muscular. I am broad shouldered and I find that raglan sleeves tend to make me look like a box as well. it isn’t a flaw with your body..but a flaw with the dress design. I think that the fix isn’t difficult.

  17. T. Sedai September 10, 2012 at 12:40 #

    The dress is stunning! It turned out so good! And that library setting is beautiful. It sounds like an awesome wedding.

  18. laurali September 10, 2012 at 12:44 #

    HELLO and knock it off !! your being to hard on your self.your cutting edge fashon fabric is ELECTRIFYING like MICHELLE OBAMA dress !!!And you look stunning !! my only suggestion is try steaming the seams/dress-it works wonders. no irons on that fab fabic !! laurali

  19. Crystal September 10, 2012 at 13:34 #

    You look amazing and what an awesome variety of questions and compliments you received. I loved the fabric from the start and the finished product is fantastic.

  20. Elizabeth September 10, 2012 at 13:44 #

    Your dress is gorgeous. I love the fabric and the fit changes you made were spot on. Beautiful!

  21. c d September 10, 2012 at 13:54 #

    Just have to say you look so gorgeous! It was so fun watching the whole process, deliberations included. Job well done.

  22. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) September 10, 2012 at 14:10 #

    Fantastic fit, perfect look on you and for the event, love the fabric. what a great choice.

  23. smonakey September 10, 2012 at 14:44 #

    The bride looks lovely & her dress looks like it’s gorgeous! I really like your dress too – it looks fantastic on you. It’s flashy, flattering & dignified all at the same time. Congrats on pulling it all off!

  24. Clio September 10, 2012 at 15:52 #

    Beautiful! Honestly, I think simple, clean lines and a good fit was the way to go for such a show-stoppping fabric – great call on that. You look terrific in this dress.

  25. Jenny September 10, 2012 at 17:25 #

    You look gorgeous! I love the color scheme and fabric you used! Congrats to the married couple too!

  26. Steph September 10, 2012 at 17:38 #

    You and your dress looked absolutely stunning!! Gorgeous fabric and such a great fit — think it shows off your “fitness” very nicely :)

  27. Bold Sewist September 10, 2012 at 17:40 #

    You looked stunning – I LOVE that fabric and the fit alterations you made to the dress meant it looked great on you! Your friend is beautiful – congratulations to them! And your shoes are GORGEOUS.

  28. kathleen September 10, 2012 at 18:00 #

    Beautiful dress-you look wonderful. And the bride looks pretty too :)

  29. Marcy September 10, 2012 at 20:21 #

    Gorgeous!!! Thought the wedding was going to be in NY.

  30. Elizabeth Bradshaw September 10, 2012 at 20:24 #

    The dress fits beautifully and you look stunning. So sad about the shoes because they are brilliant with this dress.

  31. gingermakes September 10, 2012 at 21:06 #

    Holy cow, this looks gorgeous! I absolutely love it– you picked the perfect fabric/pattern combo!

  32. poppykettle September 10, 2012 at 22:00 #

    I lurve this dress! The fabric is smashing. And I’m a sucker for a co-ordinated lip. You look fabulously amazing!

  33. noriecreates September 10, 2012 at 22:15 #

    Wow, you look amazing! And what a venue! And those shoes- gorgeous!

  34. Amy L September 10, 2012 at 22:21 #

    That dress is lovely. You look fantastic. So glad it turned out and what a honor to officiate. Life is amazing isn’t it.

  35. Heather September 10, 2012 at 23:11 #

    Oooh, do I love this on you! Your alterations are spot on, and the color is fantastic.

  36. Gail September 11, 2012 at 00:35 #

    Totally razzle dazzle!

  37. ann September 11, 2012 at 04:44 #

    nice post

  38. emzdot September 11, 2012 at 06:44 #

    Totally gorgeous. Love it!

  39. Irene September 11, 2012 at 10:08 #

    Gorgeous! The dress, make up and shoes, the bride (that veil!) and groom – and the location, WOW.

    • Miss Celie September 11, 2012 at 10:11 #

      The cathedral veil was amaze. It was so delicate and pretty. Plus, it was nice not to see a strapless dress and that vintagey look lace.

  40. Jan Deibert September 12, 2012 at 02:37 #

    Celie, I just found your blog and I love it – your clothes are beautiful! So I am looking at your archives and see your comment on scissor sharpening. (I did the same thing with half off coupon – bought another pair). BUT did you know Gingher will tune and sharpen your Gingher scissors for just $7.50, including postage to mail back to you? My shears were all out of whack and very dull. They came back like new!

  41. Robyn September 12, 2012 at 04:16 #

    Those final alterations were worth it – you look great and I love the fabric.

  42. Janice September 12, 2012 at 13:24 #

    You should have said, “yes, I can design original dresses.” Having gone to a lot of shows lately in Fashion Week in NYC I’ve always been asked if I’m a designer, especially when I tell them I made my own dress and have a sewing blog. I don’t think it occurs to them that sewing can be a great hobby as well.

  43. allisonc September 12, 2012 at 22:17 #

    This whole wedding looks spectacularly beautiful and you really fitted in with your stunning dress. The fiddling you had to do with the fit was well worth it and this will be a great cocktail dress to have in your closet for the future too. And the shoes are divine!

  44. Heather September 13, 2012 at 09:17 #

    All I can think of is *AWESOME*! You look soooo fine. You did well, congrats!!!

  45. Myra September 13, 2012 at 13:58 #

    Lovely couple! Your dress turned out beautifully!! It fits you like a glove! and you and your mommy look so sweet together!

  46. Pella September 13, 2012 at 15:18 #

    Your dress is such a beautiful fit!

  47. Angela September 13, 2012 at 20:17 #

    You look lovely Miss Celie :)

  48. sew2pro September 14, 2012 at 08:45 #

    Gorgeous couple, gorgeous location, gorgeous dress, gorgeous you!

  49. MissLadyAudrey September 14, 2012 at 21:16 #

    Wow! The finished dress is amazing…. I especially love the way the colors change! Great job.

  50. The Slapdash Sewist September 15, 2012 at 08:28 #

    This came out so gorgeous! The color is so flattering and the fit is like a sexy, sexy glove.

  51. Deborah September 15, 2012 at 16:23 #

    Amazing dress that looks so great on you.! Astonishingly beautiful setting for the wedding! Congratulations!

  52. Lyrique September 15, 2012 at 19:32 #

    You made the comment about not be happy with something, but honestly, it’s a beautiful dress, and you look sensational in it.

  53. Amy September 17, 2012 at 22:59 #

    Gorgeous dress! And, what an honor to officiate. All the best to your friends in their marriage!

  54. Nancy Karpen September 18, 2012 at 18:19 #

    You look beautiful; the dress is beautiful all in all a successful garment. What an amazing venue, a fairy tale setting. Mazel tov on being a part of the Mood network. It sounds like an amazing opportunity.

    • Miss Celie September 18, 2012 at 18:42 #

      And l’shana tovah ro you Nancy!

      Sent from Gmail for Android

  55. senaSews September 19, 2012 at 10:05 #

    Stunning dress and glamourous outfit! Beautiful!

  56. Tracy October 23, 2012 at 16:53 #

    That fabric and dress are gorgeous. As a purple lover, I have to ask-what’s that paint color?


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