Floral Silk Girly Dress

Whenever I have been invited to an occasion, the first thing I think of is “what am I going to wear?”. The next thing I think of is “what can I sew for myself to wear” as I love to make clothing and I love wearing things that are unique and nobody else has in their closet. From there, I pull up my pattern stash archive, pay a visit to my fabric stash (or the fabric store if I really don’t have the appropriate fabric to work with) and get started planning and sewing my outfit.

For this occasion, I was invited to a wedding of a lovely bridal alterations client who had become a friend over our many dress fittings and consultations of her beautiful wedding gown. The major part of her dress that I altered was her complicated and intricate bustle of her train that I she dreamed up and I created for her. Originally, as I fiddled and fussed to get her train bustled just right at one of her fittings, I said to her “I’ll just hide in the bushes at your wedding venue, you give me the signal when you are ready, and I’ll sneak out and help you bustle, then disappear back into the bushes and let you be on your way to the reception”. She would have none of that and insisted that I attend the wedding as her guest, and enjoy the entire ceremony plus be ready to bustle…DEAL!

So, being the alteration seamstress of honor at this wedding, I just had to have something special and handmade to wear! Not having all the time in the world to be sewing for myself with the very busy post-Covid wedding season upon us and other alterations and custom sewing client projects literally piling up in my sewing studio, I decided to make a dress that I have made before (a huge time and energy saver!) and use fabric that I had in my stash from Mill End Store in Portland, OR.

I pulled out this lovely pattern from Butterick that I had already cut out and made fit alterations to the pattern for a dress that I made a couple of years ago:

Butterick 6554 pattern

I made view C, the halter neck, ruffled and flounce dress that wraps and ties to the side.

This time around, I decided to fully line the dress (instead of using the bodice facing from the pattern), meaning I cut out the entire dress, the bodice and the skirt pieces, less the flounces, in both the outer, floral silk georgette fabric and the silk lining that I also had in my fabric stash. Cutting silk, especially sheer, floaty slippery silk, is NOT easy if you’ve ever tried. It slips all over the place and misbehaves in as many ways as it can, just to drive you nuts and practically give up before you even started. But, since it was SO pretty and soft, I did my best to battle it and tackle it into submission, knowing in the end it was going to be incredible and worth it all.

The silk draped so innocently on my dress form
Anchored down and ready to cut!

So the sewing begins!

Making a tiny hem to the ruffled edge

It all went pretty well and the fact that I had made it before, I knew what to expect from the pattern instructions.

The most difficult and time consuming part was making the narrow hem on the long outside edge of the flounce that would be attached at the bottom of the skirt. Check out this pattern piece that is over 110 inches long. Yikes!

After tackling that beast, the dress was nearly done and I could start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Having a major deadline to hit, and other clients banging down my door and begging me to help them with their last-minute bridal requests, I finished up my dress and just got ‘er done.

One last thing I added to the dress was lightweight foam bra cups sewn into the bodice lining as that sheer stuff certainly wasn’t going to hide my bits. Thank goodness I had some on hand in my supply stash and I was able to swiftly hand sew them into my dress, no problem! Confidence boosters for boobs-horray!

Bra cups sewn in saved any wardrobe malfunctions!

I just have to share the insides of the dress with the lovely silk lining!

Here I cheated and used my serger to attach the waist of the bodice to the skirt and hide the raw edges.
The skirt lining that ends just above the flounce

So off we went to the wedding, leaving enough time to stop at one of our favorite spots in the wine country of the Willamette Valley in Oregon, The Allison Inn and Spa, to snap some photos and have a glass of champagne and a light cheese plate before the wedding. Perfect!

Let’s go up there, that’s where the champagne is served!
The lovely snack we shared over a glass of wine and champagne!
Watch that breeze!

As much as I enjoy the entire process of making a new dress, it feels so good to be done with this one, wear it to a fun wedding (and not have to hide in the bushes!) and hang it up on my wardrobe for another occasion.

Until next time, cheers!

A Little Something for Her Big Day

I am lucky enough to have made some wonderful friends at work. Friends who are smart, fun, sweet, supportive and interested in happenings of life outside of the workplace. Alyssa is one of these friends.

When Alyssa got engaged to the love of her life Connor, we all were, of course, delighted and so happy for her! We threw a bridal shower for her at work which was super fun, and sent her off to enjoy her wedding day and honeymoon in Hawaii.

Several months before the wedding, as one usually does, Alyssa purchased a beautiful wedding dress that fit her perfectly, but needed to be hemmed. Guess who she asked to alter her special dress for her? Yours Truly!

She came over to my apartment for the first fitting already bearing gifts. She made me this wonderful box to use as a platform for alteration clients to step up on while pinning a hem. She even painted it with my Love, Stephanie logo on it. It is perfect and I love it! So sweet!



As she was trying on her dress, she thought it would be really nice to add a little “sumpn’, sumpn'” to it for two reasons: one to add her own twist and flair to the dress, and two to add extra support to the little skinny straps so that they don’t cut into her shoulder so with all the weight of the beaded bodice and full skirt of the dress.

Hemming the skirt was part 1 of the alteration which was the easy part:

It was a pretty even cut around the three layers of the skirt. The tulle outer layer was just cut off, and the two under layers I used a baby hem. (Wedding) cake!

I thought I could take what I cut off the hem of the skirt lining and use the fabric to make skinny straps. We played with some ribbon I had laying around and came up with a nice criss cross strappy design for the back of the dress. Here we I just pinned the ribbon in the pattern that we liked for the straps:


I cut strips out of the scraps of the hem, and sewed long skinny tubes out of the strips, then sewed in by hand the straps to the front of the bodice.

At the back side of the dress, I sewed in tiny clear snaps to the inside of the dress and the the mate to the snap near the end of the strap.


I needed her once again to try on the dress and make the straps exactly the right length across her back so that they were long enough to go across her back, but didn’t sag when worn.

Fast forward to the Big Day. Everything went smoothly, the straps held up, and the bride was radiant in her beautiful customized dress. Yay!!!

Alyssa Beck Wedding Dress

Congratulations Alyssa and Connor! May you have the rest of your lives together filled with love and happiness!