Tag Archives: Wedding

The Mrs. Miller Dress

This post is dedicated to my dear friend Anna, who, in the blink of an eye, recently went from being Anna Raff to Anna Miller, and I couldn’t be happier for her.

I’m going to be honest with you, I’m not the kind of person who ever dreamed about their wedding. I dreamed about being an ass-kicking archeologist traveling the world and finding amazing artifacts. I dreamed of being a ninja, being a pirate, being a professor, having my own hair-care line, living in the 1700’s (which I would have done amazingly well at, der), and being a movie star. But weddings? Those I could always take or leave.

But  as I’ve gotten older, I realize that I do love going to the weddings of my friends. I love supporting them, I do, and I certainly love the free booze (well, I SAY it’s free, but if you factor in the cost of the gift, transportation, the outfit, the emotional damage of dealing with (generally older) people who can’t get over the fact that you don’t want to/aren’t getting married and want to talk and talk about it until the point that you start making up stories like “I don’t believe in marriage because that’s how the terrorists win” or “Modern feminism dictates that I can only marry myself in a secret ceremony ‘neath the full moon after summoning forth a unicorn and the mother goddess and the ghost of Emma Goldman”, or “I’m not really done with my sleeping around phase yet, but I’ll let you know when I get there”, you really do end up paying for all that “free” chardonnay). I very much love the opportunity to get dressed up. I love the opportunity to dance! But it’s not something I really think about very much, until I go to a wedding.

So when my friend Anna announced her engagement to her now-husband, I was thrilled for her, and I also knew that with engagement comes a wedding, and with the wedding comes the chance for me to make a new dress! I know, I know, twist my arm. But really, isn’t making a dress for a friend’s wedding the greatest gift you can give them?

(Don’t worry. I also got them a real gift.)

So, in honor of Anna, who is now Mrs. Miller (soon, relative to eternity, to be DOCTOR Miller, which is what I will always introduce her as because I’m a jerk that way), I made this dress for her lovely lovely wedding which was celebrated this past weekend in Philadelphia:

MM 1

This dress, well, there are many ways in which I love it, and some ways in which I am a bit pfffft about it. Let’s do the pros first, shall we?

MM 2

I love the fabric. I REALLY do. My mother thinks the print is a touch too subtle but I adore it. I bought it at Vogue Fabrics in Chicago last February when I went out to the Windy City for my friend Jenny’s wedding shower (oh, this fabric is wedding to wedding! That’s amazing! I love that!). It’s an Anna Sui silk crepe print and the drape is to die for. It’s so good, it’s worth ending a sentence in a preposition!

MM 4

I like the skirt, which is a half circle, and I do love the fit of the bodice, it’s from my block with a modified neckline.

MM 6

That being said…well, this I can fix, but there is a lining issue here, mainly that the bodice lining, which was not the one I had intended for this dress. See, I ordered a yard of black silk lining but it STILL hasn’t come from Mood Fabrics (THANKS FOR NOTHING!) and as the days flew past I got more and more concerned because the fabric wasn’t arriving, so finally I just broke down and used a silk organza from my stash. Upside, the stiffness of the fabric adds great structure to the bodice, downside, the neckline keeps flipping out and showing the white underside! Lame. I can fix it by altering the bodice, but I didn’t realize how bad it was before I put it on to go to the wedding… so I spent a lot of time adjusting my neckline until I just went with, screw it, it is what it is. SIGH.

MM 3What can you do about such things. Wow, look at that halo of frizz, sigh. Summer, I love you, but you aren’t nice to me.

What else, well, okay, so I think it might be a little short…

MM 8Especially in THIS photo. Yes, I was jumping, but goodness, that’s some leg…

MM 5

It’s certainly shorter than my normal style. But maybe that’s a good thing! I got a lot of compliments and my friend Ben told me I looked like the fancy kind of escort, which is just what every little girl dreams of, so you know, there’s that. I felt a little odd but I didn’t have any awkward Marilyn moments, so all things considered it was a good foray into trying to update my hemlines.

All this being said, I am happy about this, and I got a lot of love for it at the wedding, which was very sweet considering that MY dress wasn’t the focus of the day…and good LORD did Anna look amazing:

MM 10It may or may not be the love part. Who can say?

Anna and I have known each other since the age of 8, and we went to school together for years and years, which also meant that our OTHER friends who we have known for years and years were there as well. And because they love me and have been dealing with me for literally just under two decades, they took my photo. But of course they encouraged me to bring out my inner jungle cat:

MM 7So glamorous, am I right? From here you can see that the zipper is a side zipper, which is blue, and you can also see my shoes, which I love very much, they are Chelsea Crew.

And there we go! A little not-quite-black dress for Anna’s lovely wedding. It stood up to the ceremony, at which I discreetly wiped away a tear or two, cocktail hour, in which I ate my weight in finger foods, dinner, in which I joined everyone in toasting the happy couple, and dancing, in which I, um, danced. Oh, and I look great drinking wine in it, which is good, because I did that a bunch too. I mean, come on, it’s a wedding. L’Chaim!

MM 9

All in all, I’m very pleased with this dress. Of course, I didn’t look anywhere near as good as the bride, but I’m pretty sure that’s the point, right?

Congratulations, Anna! Or should I say, Mrs. Miller?


Filed under Clothing, Fabric, Sewing

A Peppermint Pastille (MMM 5 Continued)

I don’t know if I would call the color of this dress mint, really, but an Icy Aqua Pastille doesn’t have that alliteration I so crave, so there we are, everyone okay with that? No? Well, suck it up, we’ve got a lot to cover, here, and I don’t have time for your tomfoolery. Now, you remember my pastille muslin, don’t you? I mean, I only showed it to the world a mere three months ago, how dare you not remember it like it was yesterday? Well, never mind that, it was a trifle snug in the bust, so I did a full bust adjustment and made it up in a stretch poplin. Let’s talk about woven fabrics with a touch of stretch, shall we? They are delightful. They will solve any number of fitting issues with ease (heh) and grace. They don’t strain, they don’t constrain, they curve around you and they do what they are told. In short, I loves em. And I must be so immodest to say that I think they love me.

I wore this to my cousin’s wedding on Saturday, at a church out in nowheresville, Cerdo Gordo, Puerto Rico. The wedding was lovely and adorable and perfectly suited to the bride and groom. Of course it started a full hour late. Like everything does in la Isla Del Encanto. So I had time to force my brother to take some shots of this here dress.

This time I didn’t bother with facings. I have very negative feelings about facings. So I lined the bodice and left the skirt unlined. The wrinkles in the skirt rather obscure the pleats, I’m sorry to sa, and if I could afford it, I would travel with a team of people waiting to iron me at all times. That would be just splendid.

I was probably one of the only people, other than my mother, who didn’t wear a set of three-inch or higher heels. I don’t really wear hells. Why? Because they make me fall down.

The back, she is rather wrinkled. Swayback adjustment in the future? I suppose I must do what I must.

Still, I’m pretty into this dress. I think the fit is nice, though of course sheaths aren’t particularly flattering to any stomach of any kind, and mine is no exception. Still, I like it, and wrinkles aside I think it’s adorable and I’m sure I will wear it to other Spring and Summer events.

The church was surrounded by palm trees, as most places are in Puerto Rico. But what was astonishing were the gorgeous orchids grafted onto the trunks of the trees. magnificent!

Amazing, aren’t they? I’ve never been able to grow orchids. They just stick them on a tree and call it a day.

By the way, the vintage item is the headband, which is really a scarf, from my grandmother, which looks something like this:

It’s a souvenir scarf! I love souvenir scarves. Adore them, in fact.

One final shot amongst the orchids.

So there it is, FINALLY, my Pastille dress. Only one more to go and I will have fulfilled the obligations of Sew Colette and sewed my way through the Colette Patterns Handbook!


Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Colette Patterns, Sewing, Tutorial

My Kind Of Town

My amazing and wonderful and beautiful and brilliant friend Jenny is getting married. Jenny is one of the best people I have ever met. We met in college, and we’ve been friends since our freshman year, so that’s about 7 years, now. She is upsetting nice (not only is she from the midwest, where they grow nice people, but she is naturally a kind and generous human. I would hate her on sight if I didn’t love her so much), she is gorgeous, she is going to heal the world (she’s in med school right now and MAKING IT HER BITCH). Oh, and she is also getting married to a remarkable and wonderful fellow this June. Congratulations Jenny!

So of course I’m making a bevy of outfits for the wedding, because that’s how I do, and also it’s fun to sew dresses (man, it’s so fun to sew dresses. I can’t really stand how much I love making dresses. It’s getting to be a problem.). So you can expect many more posts to come this spring on this subject. But this weekend I flew to Chicago (and boy are my arms tired) for the wedding shower.  And I am extremely lucky because not only did I get to see Jenny and her amazing family, but I also got to spend time with our friend Becca, who lives in Chicago with her own long term fellow, and is going to be a bridesmaid in the wedding! She and her gentleman put me up, for which I gave them booze. Like you do.

So while I don’t have any new garments to post, here are some shots of Chicago, and then a shocking and painful confession:

This is the Carbide and Carbon Building, an amazing example of Art Deco Architecture (of which I am very fond).

This is the Tiffany Glass Dome which you can see in the Chicago Cultural Center, formerly the Chicago Public Library. The mosaic in this building is amazing, I would go see it if you get a chance. Book-lovers like myself can delight in wall art like this:

So true.

People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.- Logan Pearsall Smith

And ME!

And now my horrid confession. I know I said I wouldn’t buy more fabric. I know I said I don’t NEED any more fabric. And I have been quite good and I haven’t bought a scrap of new clothing for over 4 months. But Becca and I went shopping, like you do when you are avid shoppers spending a free day in a lovely city full of things to buy. And while she drooled over sweaters and dresses, I averted my eyes, virtuously. But all that commerce got to me, folks, and in some down time I just couldn’t help myself, and I dragged poor Becca to Vogue Fabrics which I had found out about on the interwebs…..

and I bought some fabric. I couldn’t help myself!

I’m just showing you this one, because I don’t want you to judge me, but I bought 5 different items in total, including a short length of silk organza for interfacing, a lovely silk crepe by Anna Sui (the same kind Kelli used for this amazing dress), and two kinds of jersey (for Renfrews 4 and5). This beauty was sitting in the (extensive) remnant table, which is separated by fabric content (GENIUS, THANK YOU!) . Becca had noticed that I’d been eyeing turquoise ready-to-wear items all day, and said, in her glorious no-nonsense way, Leah, get this fabric. And I was like, I love you.

And then later, when I showed our June Bride Jenny the fabric, she was like, awesome, and I was like, you two are like the flying buttresses to my Cathedral. And by that I mean that you support me.

Of course I couldn’t be all that crafty in Chicago. OR COULD I?

I had to crop this because of some other junk that was on this table. But it’s a sweater! In process! Because knitting is mobile, and sewing is not. Until that day I learn how to haul my machine across the country. And then it’s on.

How was your weekend? Break any of your own rules? Get to see your friend unwrap scores of cooking supplies at a wedding shower? No? How sad.


Filed under Fabric, Travel