An anniversary roses dress

As it was my parents 25th wedding anniversary in July this year they decided to have a vows renewal this summer

I thought that it would be a great excuse for me to break out the sewing machine and get back to dressmaking!

Although I have made several things in the past, including my prom dress, I certainly would not call myself an experienced seamstress and I certainly expected, and indeed wanted, this to be a challenge…

I decided to use vogue pattern 9343, with a couple of minor alterations


Cutting out the pattern pieces

I was comfortable enough doing this though the skirt fabric i was using was very slippery nd not easy to cut at all!


Transferring all those marks

The ones pictured there were for the pleats the top of the bodice


Pleats and bodice construction completed!

This was my fist time doing pleats and I’m really happy with how they came out!


Ready to attach the skirt to the bodice

The skirt for this dress is essentially just a circle skirt. I decided that I wanted to use patterned fabric for it to add a bit more glamour but kept the bodice a plain colour as I have never had to pattern match and did not want to start with such an important project!


Hand finishing the edges of the collar

In truth I will always be more comfortable with a needle and thread in my hand than I am relying on a machine so hand finishing the collar felt like the right thing to do. I just feel I have so much more control over the stitches when hand sewing


It needs something more!

As you can see, the pattern for this dress isn’t a little… sparse.

I had originally planned to adapt it by sewing up the front to create the desired neckline but after trying it on I decided that the best thing would be to make an insert for the bodice out of some of the leftover skirt fabric


It looks a little baggy…

So, what I have to keep telling myself is; ‘it fits me way better than it fits my dress form!’.

I have discovered throughout this process that my dress form has not only slightly different proportion, which I suppose is inevitable because one size does not fit all, but also has terrible posture!

She leans forward and almost has her shoulders stooped a little. So she doesn’t really show off the tailoring I’ve added here at all!

I’ve taken in the side seams that were too loose, added a bodice insert and inserted the zip down the back. And I promise, it fits me great!


Sash or no sash?

Another addition that wasn’t in the pattern is this simple sash.

I felt that the join between the bodice and the skirt just need something a little extra, it looked bare somehow…

This sash seemed like the simplest solution and I love the effect it has on the overall garment!


It didn’t fit!

So at this point I got very disheartened. With all the effort I had put into the dress I just couldn’t get it to fit right!

I didn’t know if it was the pleats, the fact that I had taken it in at the sides or just that it didn’t suit me.

‘Then I realised, the waist of the dress was hitting more than an inch below my natural waist! So with the dress fully constructed I decided to go back in and take out an inch of fabric at the join between the bodice and the waist.

Luckily it worked so here is the final creation!

I highly recommend branching out creatively to everyone! You don’t have to stay in your lane all the time and it can be a really fulfilling change to try something new!

Purple Rose Embroidery