Saturday, 10 December 2011

A green dress

I haven't posted in a while due to other life events getting in the way!  So I though I would share with you a post I've had in draft for a while.  Here is a green dress I made this year, I am very pleased with it and have started making a follow up with sleeves in a wonderful orange and blue octopus print I got at the quilt show last year.

Thanks to my cousin Rob for the photo

I designed and made the dress for my grandma's funeral at the start of September.  She was always insistent that her funeral should not be an occasion for mourning but should be a celebration of her life, she had even written her own words to hymns that we should sing including 'come and join the celebration'.  With all of this in mind I did not want to wear black, I wanted to wear something special, a real 'party dress' to remember her as she wanted.

Ever since I was 5 my colour of choice for party dress has been yellow, thanks to my mum taking my favourite colour and producing this little number for my 5th birthday party, the original 'party dress'.

But on this occasion I just didn’t feel comfortable with yellow, so I compromised with myself and decided to make a green dress to go with some yellow irregular choice shoes I have had for many years but only worn twice due to the size of the heel!

I wanted a fifties style tea length full skirt fitted from under bust to waist (I had been looking at fifties styles for a while with the plan of making a dress) so I drafted the skirt based on my measurements and a sketch of how I wanted it to look, then for the bodice I used a pattern I've had for a while for a strapless dress  which I needed to alter to make the bust bigger and needed to shorten it to fit onto the skirt then i added some straps.

I planned it with a hidden zip down the left side but at 9 oclock the night before the funeral I finished the dress, tried it on, and broke the zip.  The result was another couple of hours work, unpicking and restitching and a dress with no fastenings at all, it goes on and off over my head (with a little effort) and I actually like it this way, there is no zip to detract from the line of the dress.  I was really pleased with the results, especially with yellow short cardigan and yellow shoes, it was exactly what I wanted for the day and it was very therapeutic to make something specifically for the occasion, it also gave me something to focus on at a time when I felt like falling apart.

I was worried that I might not want to wear the dress again because of negative associations, but (thanks in large part to grandma's plans and wishes) the funeral was very emotional but not unpleasant, it was a lovely way to celebrate and remember a very special lady.  I have already worn the dress a couple more times and am planning to get/make a  yellow crinoline to wear underneath.


  1. I looks super on you and i love the shoes... Emi

  2. Thank you :) I love the shoes too, I wish I could walk better in heels (and wasn't so tall already) then I might wear them more, as it is their cost per use is pretty high!


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