Posted in sewing

Burda Magazine 2-2009-124: The Officiant Dress

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.

Posted in sewing

Officiant Dress Begun

I finally started on my officiant dress  last Saturday night. The wedding is in ten days. Which would normally be plenty of time. But, because of my job, I’m working all Labor Day weekend (this weekend).

And, because I’m the caller on my office dragon boat team, I’m on the Inner Harbor all day, the day of the wedding. So, nights after work are kind of *it*.

I’m making this Burda 2-2009-124 pattern. Surprised? You thought I was making the famous Galaxy Dress from Vogue patterns, right? Yeah, so did I.  I went to four different Joann’s Fleece and Crap on two different pattern sale weekends to get the pattern and struck out every single time. And, for me who commutes 8 miles roundtrip each day, schlepping an hour roundtrip  to the suburbs to find a pattern times four makes me SALTY.

Then, I decided to just order it online with the last sale. Brilliant, no? Well, I’m an idiot because I ordered everything I wanted *but* that pattern.

So executive decision to sew this dress instead. It’s simple, good lines, should flatter the figure and was actually in my possession.

I cut a size 40 and made a 1 inch FBA by adding a dart at the side. I made two muslins of the top as my dart adding is notoriously horrendous. And, for some reason I can’t seem to grasp that I should make a 38 with an FBA.  But, I’ll tell you now, the fit is still kind of wonky. And, I think I look a little chunk (boxy)  in it.

The Carolina Herrera polyester jacquard from Mood Fabric is underlined in silk organza. I managed to get that done after work last week by hand basting and marking the darts with basting thread (not my basting thread from Amsterdam. I can’t seem to find the five spools I bought).

The lining is going to be half Bemberg half silk charmeuse. I unfortunately started cutting the lining first, before I added some width the to neckline. I have fairly short shoulders and in the muslin the neck was too wide for me. So, some charmeuse was lost in the making of this dress.

Now, I also need to continue writing my remarks for the day. Eek. Where does the time go? I’ll check back in after it’s done…