The very stressful Emery dress!

HI everyone,

As you have probably guessed by the title, this one isn’t all hunky dory!

I decided I really wanted to make a dress for my friends wedding, and I instantly knew I wanted to do the emery with a full circle skirt! My friend is very vintage glam, and I wanted to honour her and her personality with how I dressed!

Gary and I were in Bluewater shopping centre for a Golf Show, which was seriously the most boring morning/afternoon… whole day of my life! But in the same way we all love the sewing shows, Gary adored this. He had so many golf conversations, he got free stuff and we had a big burger for lunch. He was in heaven! Anyway… I did persuade him though that if I had followed him around all day at the show, that we had to make time to go to John Lewis haberdashery. It was a must for me. I didn’t go in with the idea of getting fabric for Janine’s wedding, but when I saw the bold of blush pink satin (I didn’t realise it was satin until I got home), with burgundy birds … I knew I had to get it. I was even more in love that this meant I was in a small way coordinating with the wedding colours. I sent a photo to Janine to check that she was happy for me to wear these colours and she loved it.

Happy days.

Or so I thought…

I made this dress over the course of one month. Over the past 2 years I have altered the Emery bodice to fit me perfectly (including reducing the shoulder to bust measurement and lowering the neckline). I took my time cutting out the pattern pieces, and did struggle as every time I laid the pattern down, the fabric moved a little, which meant I was constantly trying to straighten it.

I pinned the skirt pieces together first, which I don’t normally do, but I wanted to see how it looked… This is when I realised that I had somehow cut one of the back skirt pieces upside down!! So the birds were hanging off the trees!

I was mortified. I quickly send a text to Rach, from Rach Against the Sewing Machine, to get some expert help, but there was no solution other than buying more fabric. Gary agreed that this is what we should do, so we jumped in the car to drive the two hour round trip to Bluewater again. Only for the motorway to close for nearly an hour… On a sunday… When we were already needing to rush to get there before JL shut.


Fortunately we did make it with 5 minutes to spare.

The rest of the sewing was actually quite quick. I lined the bodice with some burgundy rayon I had in my stash, which was such a lucky find.

I tried the dress on, and I was so upset that it really didn’t fit. It was so tight that I felt like I couldn’t sit down, or even really breathe. There was absolutely no way I could have worn it to a wedding. After a lot of crying (and I mean a LOT), I started looking at dresses I could buy, but found none that I would actually want to wear.

So with not much spare time left, and with a lot of Gary’s help, we cut out a whole new bodice… 1 and a half sizes bigger. I left all the darts in the same place, and just simply extended the side seams. I did this because the darts on the first bodice were actually sitting in the right place.

I am so pleased I did do the new bodice, as I think it looks great now, but I have never been more stressed before doing a sewing project!

I am actually getting married in a years time, and a lot of people have asked me if I will be making my own wedding dress. At the beginning my response was definitely yes. Then I started thinking about it and wondered if my skill set was good enough. But after this dress, I can safely say that I don’t want the stress. I want to enjoy the lead up to my wedding! I will be making things for the venue and adding lots of personal touches, but the dress will be bought!

The gorgeous fascinator I wore to the wedding was custom made by GG’s Pin-Up Couture. I love it. I sent a photo of the fabric to Gail at GG’s Pin-Up Couture and I think she has done a wonderful job of mirroring the colours and beauty into the fascinator. Finished off the outfit perfectly. I would a thousand times over recommend Gail to everyone. For a custom made fascinator and fast delivery was still cheaper than buying a generic one from somewhere like Debenhams or John Lewis.

Supporting an independent artist, gorgeous product and value for money… what’s not to love!!!

So, although this project was super stressful, I did learn a lot! It really pushed my skill level, and satin is actually not as bad as I thought it would be (once I figured out there is no ease in the fabric at all).

Hope everyone has a wonderful week, and there is time for some sewing!

Love, Abigail x

3 thoughts on “The very stressful Emery dress!

    1. Aww bless you. Sorry to hear your dress wasn’t the dream project for you.
      I think a wedding dress is such a big thing and is the item of clothing that is worn on the biggest day of your life so it’s such a shame to have it as also a symbol of stress.
      A lot of people have asked me about if I would make mine, and I was thinking about it. But I now think I was saying yes to people out of feeling like I should do it because of being a sewer, not because I wanted to.


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