Tag Archives: Formal wear

Project Nip/Tuck

I’ve felt a little bored these last few weeks what with my back troubles and not really being able to do a lot, my creative spidey-sense has tingled for a little project to get my teeth into. Having spent the afternoon clearing out my girls’ wardrobes to give the old items away to charity I remembered I had my ruined wedding dress hanging in the spare room and as no one has actually worn it, it’s definitely ripe for a little creative tailoring!

My husband and I got married in deepest, darkest January with just 8 weeks notice and so choosing a dress was always going to be difficult. Most current season dresses take on average 16 weeks on order from designers/wholesalers, plus January is about as much ‘out of season’ as you can possibly get. Luckily I happened upon a local bridal boutique in the middle of a sale. I had some reservations about how I wanted to look on my wedding day, I have been married before and had the big fairytale white dress complete with princess-wannabee tiara. Now I’m a little older, a mum and getting married in a registry office I didn’t think the big meringue was appropriate?! Also, my baby was only four months old at this time and so I was still carrying a little more weight than I am normally comfortable with. Jeeze, talk about taking the fun out of it!

I finally settled on an Ivory silk dupion, strapless, A-line gown with a small train.  I fell in love with the fit and although it’s strapless the bodice fit and moulded my upper body perfectly without showing too much flesh. You may be able to see from the (badly positioned) photo’s that the silk is gathered to one side where there are natural pleats which sit beautifully on the hip. The dress has little detail to speak of, silk buttons down the concealed zip at the back, and the natural creasing of the fabric allows the dress to look elegant without embellishments. To complete my ensemble I opted for a small feathered shrug in ivory to cover my shoulders and a simple three strand hair band with ivory pearl beads to stand out from my dark brown hair. You may have gathered from this description that I am a plain girl at heart, its all about clean lines and symmetry for me!

So with four weeks to go I my bridesmaids had their dresses and coordinated acessories and I’d spent three days lovingly hand stitching a chapel length ribbon edged veil to sit low in my hair on the day. My outfit was complete and I was so pleased with myself to see my efforts really pay off.

Imagine my complete horror when on the Thursday evening, two days before my wedding, I collected the dresses from the bridal boutique to find the staff there has IRONED my SILK DUPOIN dress! The natural creases in the dress had a black streak to them and my dress looked dirty. I appreciate that the dress was a sale item but who on earth would sell a wedding dress knowing full well it was dirty? I was in floods of tears on the phone to my fiance, we tried everything to have the dress sorted out but as the fabric cannot be cleaned I was left with a dirty gown just 36 hours from my big day.

Luckily my fiance, now husband, saved the day and thanks to Debenhams I had a beautiful white Grecian styled column dress for my big day.

Now I have the ivory strapless gown, and its dirty marks in front of me and I’m wondering what on earth to do with it? I can’t wash it, and according to the bridal boutique steaming wont make any difference. So I guess I’m going to have to cover it with something?

Instead of looking at it with disgust at how much stress it caused me and my family, I am going to cut and sew it into a success story all of it’s on. I’ll update through the process and if you have any ideas about how to modify this dress please do leave a comment, it would be great to hear from you. Photo’s below.

Wish me Luck!

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The Missing Link?

When I was growing up my Mum and Dad always said that the things people remember about you is your teeth and your nails. A bit random really, I’m sat here thinking about all the people I met today on my 100 miles journey home and I can remember most of what they were wearing and their accents, but not a thing about their teeth or nails. Maybe it was just a bit of scaremongering to make sure I had a beautiful smile and manicured nails when I reached my twenties and they could successfully marry me off? I tend to notice a lot about people, I passed the observation test to join the police force with flying colours, although didn’t pursue it. People watching is a fabulous past time and one that the Official Olympic Committee have seriously overlooked.

I’m sure you’ll be sick to your shiny back teeth hearing about my sister’s wedding, but you may be pleased to hear that it was last Saturday and so I can stop milking the event for blog material. It was a great opportunity to people watch as well as catch up with family and take in all the little details of the congregation and their attire.

A the wedding breakfast my eldest daughter was seated next to a lovely young man called Jack, and although he is 8 years older than my little one, he spent the majority of the meal playing noughts and crosses and generally entertaining the younger ones much to my relief. I got talking to Jack’s mum and she was telling me about his personality and that he has the potential to be the next Alan Sugar when it comes to spotting a profitable business opportunity at the school gates. During the speeches I looked over to chastise my daughter for chatting when I noticed Jack was wearing cuff links with his very dapper suit and shirt ensemble, in keeping with his entrepreneurial spirit, his accessory of choice was Only Fools and Horses yellow van cuff links. I was super impressed and wondered if he had chosen them himself but felt it was totally uncool to ask!

It’s funny how little decisions in life make an impact on how others see us. We will always live in an opinionated and judgemental society, it’s just human nature and it takes a lot of courage to stand out from the crowds these days. It has been known in recent years that people have suffered horrific attacks simply for the way they look, yet some still have the courage to resist the urge to conform.

Accessories are the perfect way to make a statement about who you are and what you believe in, and for men in particular ties and cuff links are the perfect accompaniment to a traditional suit. Women don’t have it so easy. We are almost expected to make every single outfit we wear visibly customised by carefully choosing from a vast array of jewellery, hats and bags etc on the market. Ever turned up at a party and someone else is wearing the same dress as you? Then you’ll understand the importance of accessories.

I helped my Dad get ready on the morning of the wedding and when he asked me to fasten his cuff links I was a little shocked by his choice……. Hologram Pole Dancers…..really Dad? The wedding was lovely, and I will of course type up a full report on the proceedings when my sister and her new husband return from honeymoon and I’ve vetted all the photographs that I appear in.

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