Nearly a year ago, Jeff and I quietly closed the shop right before lunch, locked the doors and were married in a nearly-secret wedding ceremony with only Peppermint the basset hound and two friends in attendance.
After the ceremony, we sat on one of the sofas in the shop and Facetimed my mom. “Guess what we just did!” We were giggling. And when it sunk in, mom giggled a bit too. Turns out, she wasn’t too angry that we’d eloped (to our shop) and didn’t tell her beforehand.
In the weeks before the wedding I spent most of my time making my wedding dress. I wanted something very specific. Lots of details, fun shape, sentimental trims and cashmere.
Everything needs cashmere, don’t you agree?
We were married on Friday the 13th. Looking back on the past year, there’s been tons of good, some stressful, one or two near heartbreaks, a new kitten in the household and a foot regrown.
What there hasn’t been is a post showing off my wedding dress.
Let’s change that, shall we?
The basic design of the wedding dress is very similar to the slipdresses in the new 3 Snugbugs Line. Simple, slightly shaped dresses that are sleeveless, with tons of interesting detail (especially at the hemline) that make them perfect for layering.
Since my wedding dress was white (or rather, ecru) I’ve gotten a lot of wear from it over the past year. The super detailed hem is perfect with short or long dresses and the neckline (with doilies) peeks out perfectly with a lot of the dresses in my closet.
This is the dress (pre neckline trim) and cardi (pre lace panels)….
I’m showing the wedding dress with the wedding cardi (see also: cashmere) that I’ll speak on in a bit! One of my favorite details on the dress is the hemline, which, not gonna lie… is a curtain.
But what a curtain! I found it at a thrift shop – two valances worth – with tons of lovely Battenburg style lace. One of the valances was longer than the hemline, so I gathered and let the extra trail down as a small train on the center back.
The main dress is made from a buff colored linen blend that I left unfinished at the hem. I attached the Battenburg to the hemlien with my machine, and followed up with a lovely hand feather stitch that I applied with a mid-weight candlewick thread.
You can see in the above photo how I ‘finished’ the edge. I stitched about a quarter inch from the edge, then frayed it a bit by pulling loose threads.
I used pieces of the Battenburg lace to make the wedding sweater as well. For this sweater I started with a white cashmere crewneck a’la Lands End (they have such great cashmere!) I’d bought it on sale, but don’t really care for crewneck sweaters. I cut the center front to convert from a crewneck pullover to a cardi, then finished the edges and sewed in lace panels. My favorite part is the good-witch lace points over my hands…
Here’s a bit of the back detail… plus some of the pretty ruching and gathering along the hemline with the feather stitching. Before I road-tested this dress I tamed down those gathers near the hemline, but how awesome is that sweater, right?
The final touch on the dress was bringing in a bit of ‘something old.’ The dress was the new, and we found the ‘old’ in a trunk full of textiles made by Jeff’s grandmother. I cut apart and appliquéd parts of doilies to the neckline and created little flutter ‘sleeves’ as my last step.
This ended up being my absolute favorite part of the dress. Jeff is one of the most sentimental men on the face of the earth, and prizes his collection of textiles from his grandmother. It felt perfect and complete that we were able to have her with us at the wedding.
Here’s a photo showing a bit of the doiley detail. Not only was this so special for us, the crocheted detail makes the dress an even better layering piece!
How lovely, right? With our sneaky-wedding plans, I’d not planned on anything elaborate for flowers. Jeff surprised me with the lovely bouquet with roses — my favorite color and my favorite flower.
This is so fun to share! For those of you following with the 3 Snugbugs Studios launch, I’ll be working on variations of the wedding cardi (there’s a pile of cashmere in my studio – most in sizes small and medium) and slipdresses with a lot of these details. Of course, as my wedding dress, this little number has everything I love – handmade, crochet trim, hand stitching, vintage linens and lots of gathering and pleating.
As a fun postscript… the dress had everything I needed for something old and something new. On the day of the wedding I ‘borrowed’ a blue scarf from a neighboring antique shop owner. So I had my bases covered. Last fall at my friend Darla’s lovely wedding in Kentucky I was happy to pass on all the love and joy, along with my borrowed, blue scarf… Here’s Darla showing off the scarf in the poorly lit bus after the reception.
Love love, ya’ll!
Speaking of using family linens to trim out my wedding dress… since I know a lot of you love upcycling as much as I do, I want to share a wonderful book coming this spring! Passed and Present (Seal Press, April 12, 2016) is a collection of incredible ideas and projects that you can use to help remember loved ones who have passed on. This is a project of a client of mine, the amazing Allison Gilbert. If you have lost someone in your life and you love the idea of using grannie’s doileys on a wedding dress, this book is absolutely up your alley! Hop over to follow Allison on Facebook, where she’s sharing tons of cool ideas!