Sunday, January 4, 2015

Mother of the Bride dress...first muslin

Now that the holidays are behind us, I'm thinking wedding...

I visited with Ashley the weekend after Christmas for some girl time...and a trip to David's Bridal! She found the most beautiful dress - it is just what she had envisioned for herself. Such excitement, a few tears, lots of happiness.  She also got an exquisite corset and shoes, as well as her gown preservation drop-off box.

Then we went off to lunch to relive it all. Such a memorable time with my girl.

Note: the original decision to make her dress was fleeting :-) Shopping for a gown and watching her face was such a wonderful experience.

Now I'm working on my dress! I've been thinking about it so much, trying for an idea that will work well with her venue and theme, while being comfortable and elegant.  I know I want a maxi dress with long sleeves, so I won't be at all concerned with scleroderma scars and so on on my arms and legs.

For my first idea/muslin, I'm using pieces of two patterns. The dress is based on New Look 6936, which I made as a maxi dress in matte jersey for Jungle January 2013...

And I'm using the narrow sleeves from Vogue 1315, another Jungle January dress!

Redrafting the New Look bodice with the armscye from the Vogue pattern was very easy - and I'm really happy with the muslin so far:

Clementine Floral ITY Knit - Fabric Mart

As with my Jungle dress, I've changed the waistline elastic casing treatment. The original pattern uses 1/4" elastic in a narrow casing formed from the bodice/skirt seam allowance. Instead, I've applied a 1 1/2" wide casing (finished width) in which I'll use 1" elastic.

IMO, the wide casing adds interest and finish to the dress. The lining on the inside of the casing is woven broadcloth, chosen to provide stability and support at the waist area. ITY knit in a long maxi skirt can be very heavy!

I also applied binding around the neckline edge, instead of turning it inside in a narrow hem. Again, I think it looks more finished with the binding. Another plus - the binding makes the neckline very stable, really important for a crossover plunging neckline! 

Speaking of which, I fit the crossover very carefully with my intended undergarment, so it will behave when the dress is finished :-)

I'm also thinking about another approach, loosely based on this pic, i.e., a maxi dress with a jacket or shrug.

Vogue has a beautiful pattern for a knit shrug, V8885, that includes a long sleeve option. The dress could be as simple as McCalls much-loved M6559.

And I have a luscious jersey that would be so pretty with a lace topper. The two fabrics don't seem to match here, but they do in real life. The lace, which I found at JoAnn's but haven't purchased as yet, has a very soft, dense, and drapey hand.

Lime/Grey/Multi Abstract Floral Burnout Jersey
Fabric Mart
Scroll Lace - JoAnn's

Back soon with more - Ciao! Coco


  1. In case you decide to go with the elasticized casing, I was recently reading this post on how to get professional looking results with these. Article at

    1. Thanks, Carol. Actually, I'm still using elastic, just wider elastic. My first version of this dress was short and had narrow elastic. I think the maxi is nice with the more defined waistband. And I love Off the Cuff!

  2. I will be following your blogs with extra interest because I'm making my mother of the groom dress! My future DIL is going to have a very formal wedding so I am making Vogue 1428 ( so I bought 4 cuts of inexpensive lace from Fabric Mart to practice on! On a recent trip to Baltimore I scored a French lace at a gaggable price and Oscar de la Renta matching crepe backed satin for the skirt. You can bet I'll be making muslins, muslins, muslins!

    1. Oh, that's such a gorgeous pattern! Brave woman. I've seen some of those pricey laces, they are so lovely. Some were a couple hundred $ per yard.... aacckk!! But I hope you blog all your muslins and the final dress. Want to see!

  3. Congratulations. So much excitement experimenting with ideas. I just helped my friend get an outfit for her daughters wedding next week. An informal garden wedding. Whatever happens you'll end up with a couple of great outfits which look less stiff and formal than the usual mob look.

    1. Thanks, Janine. Satin, taffeta, and chiffon are really not my style...or Ashley's. I love what she and Darrin have planned for their wedding. Her dress is tea length, just perfect. She can dance in it! (her words....)

  4. thanks, Val. I've done that too, particularly when I've ended up with a gaping round neckline on a first go at a dress. It works!

  5. How exciting! The grey lace is lovely.

  6. Oh such wonderful times! Looking forward to see what you make for your MOB dress.


I love it that you came by...and thank you for your comments! Coco