A Wedding Story
Sewing is one of my hobbies. I’ve always loved to create my own patterns more than following one, and making medieval clothing is of particular interest to me. I have made many dresses, tunics, pants, cloaks, and even jewelry and corsets. I used to be very active in a medieval reenactment group, and this skill came in very handy for that. I am happy to sew things that are a challenge.
I suppose that’s why I volunteered to sew all of the clothing for my daughter’s wedding a few years ago. Of course, the wedding party seemed to keep getting bigger, so my list of things to sew grew with it. We bought a dress that my daughter had fallen in love with, then dyed it black, because my daughter isn’t a traditional kind of bride, and this was not a traditional kind of wedding, as you’ll see from the photos. The groom and groomsmen all carried swords, and when the married couple left the stage, they passed under swords on one side of the aisle, and bouquets on the other. It was a great day, actually.
A couple of months before the wedding (because I prefer to work under a short deadline), I gathered all of my materials: scissors, a rolling cutter, a cutting mat, two dress forms, patterns, fabric, thread, pins, and lots of fabric. Some days, I felt like I was drowning in purple satin. If you’ve ever worked with satin, you’ll know that it’s not the easiest fabric to deal with. It slides around too easily, and that can cause you to make mistakes you might not otherwise make. A few times, we had to cut new pieces to replace ones that were slightly wrong. Thankfully, the jackets were made out of a sturdy black cotton blend, which is easy to work with.
I also gathered the bridesmaids and put them to work. I had already measured each bridesmaid and cut out the pattern pieces in the correct sizes and pinned them onto the fabric, so all I needed was for the girls to cut them out. I set up my card tables and put a bridesmaid at each one to cut out pieces. I used patterns this time because I didn’t want to make any mistakes by trying to create my own pattern. Besides that, my daughter had an idea of what she wanted the wedding to look like, so patterns fit into that idea. I was going to have to make six purple satin dresses and six jackets. While the girls cut out satin, I had the groomsmen come in to be measured for their jackets. Each person’s measurements were written on a paper and placed in a container. The fabric for each jacket and dress would go into the container with the paper, so that each differently sized item would be kept separate from the others. For the participants who didn’t live nearby, I sent a list of measurements I needed, and had them get someone to measure them for me. The first time we met, there was no sewing, but a lot of measuring, cutting, and sorting pattern pieces into the correct containers. When cutting large amounts of fabric, rolling cutters and cutting mats are lifesavers. Scissors are great for cutting corners and tiny parts, but for large parts and long lines, the rolling scissors make short work of it.
The next day, I grabbed two containers that held the jackets and set up the dress forms with the measurements from the containers. Dress jackets are not easy to create. They have lots of smallish pieces that have to be lined with interfacing to make them somewhat stiff. There is a lot of ironing needed to make the pieces lay correctly when the jacket is worn. I realized pretty quickly that making six long-length jackets was going to be a more difficult than the dresses, so I was glad I had started sewing them first. The first jacket had to be taken apart more than once and resewn the right way. More than once, I regretted offering to make all these outfits, but I kept sewing anyway.
The day before the wedding, when the whole wedding party was finally together, I had everyone try on their outfits so I could make any necessary alterations. One of the bridesmaids was pregnant, so I had to alter her gown, and one of the flower girl companions is extremely thin, so I had to alter that gown a bit as well so it would hang a little nicer on her. The father of the bride seemed to have grown a bit since his measurements had been sent to me, so I had to sew extra panels into the sides of his jacket to give him room to move without ripping it, but the rest of the jackets fit well.
The day of the wedding, there were no more alterations to be done, and I was able to enjoy the day. The wedding party loved their outfits, and they looked like they fit well. Sewing all those items was an experience to remember. I had done alterations on prom dresses, wedding dresses, and other formal wear, but making every outfit for a wedding was a new task for me. Honestly, I’d do it again if I were asked. Enjoy the photos!
There are no comments for this story
Be the first to respond and start the conversation.