When I tell you we stayed here.
and I tell you the wedding was black tie you may see why I thought I wanted to make a real effort. Though mostly it was the fact it was my husband's only brother getting married which is a once in a life time event regardless of venue.
The hotel was fantastic as you would expect given the number of royals and other internationally important people who have stayed there. The ones most people will know of being the Middletons for the recent Royal wedding. The dining room and indeed pretty much everywhere we ate the entire weekend were totally clued up on Celiac and took it in their stride. For once I didn't feel I had a very limited selection or that I could only have sub-standard dishes without the sauces and so forth as is so common in other places.
For the wedding I wanted a dress and jacket as it is November and you never know on the weather. It was actually pretty warm for the time of year but the jacket was still a good idea.
After considering several patterns I went for these two.
Vintage Vogue 2859 from the thirties
I'm never going to look that long and slender but still it's an interesting design.
Butterick 4919 which is again a vintage pattern this time 1950's
I planned to use the jacket from the first and the dress from the second but with a straighter skirt as I wanted evening dress not ballgown in feel. In the end I took the skirt off the dress in the first pattern which worked very well.
I did a mock up of the jacket in a leaf design cotton I got cheap from IKEA which I'll post when I've done the finishing touches to it as I stopped once I'd worked out what did and didn't work. Actually the fit was pretty good though the shoulder darts weren't quite right.
I mocked up the dress from the first pattern in a nice floaty satin I had spare, mostly to check the fit on the hips. Again I will finish it, this time as a nightly I think as it's a bit minimal on top for me to wear otherwise given my shape. I decided to add a couple of inches ease as while it fitted it was a bit TOO close to not show off lumps and bumps even with magic pants.
The dress bodice I used with no alterations. The pattern fitted quite well and is a very interesting design as there are NO side seams. The front pieces extend all the way round the back and are hook and eyed at centre back only then do you do up the back zip. Then the back panels extend and become the sash which you wrap round the front in a variety of ways then take round to the back to be done up ! Quite fun and very un-usual and really not that easy to do up on your own !
I made the final versions in two different fabrics. For the dress I used a silk/cotton mix satin which is one of my favourite fabrics, over the years I've bought it several times in different colours when I've had the chance and I had several yards of the lilac left I'd been keeping for something special for me.. I think this is good reason to use it. I paired it with a slightly pinker toning Chinese brocaded satin with a cherry blossom design for the jacket.
I forgot to get a photo of just the dress so will have to get someone to do that for me later. The shoulders are still a little blocky on the jacket even though I adjusted them from the original design, My shoulders are so narrow I suspect it isn't an ideal design for me but I do love the seams on the back view and it went together surprisingly easily. The sleeves look a little long in that photo but there really arn't, however the fabric is one that creases if you look at it hence the amount of creasing on the sleeve.
The dress itself worked OK though when I put it on the neckline suddenly seemed very low and I could see a lot of bra but while I would add a bit to it next time I think it was mostly my rather unique viewpoint and not so bad from where everyone else sees it ! I embroidered two birds with flowers either side of the bottom of the front split which I think worked well though it's hard to see in the photo as I did it in toning shades. I considered doing more but time was against me and actually to it could easily have become too much. The sash ended up a little short so I put hooks and eyes on it then couldn't get them to work when I had to finished getting dressed on my own as Jon was off early being an usher so in the end I safety pinned it ! With jacket on no-one could see.
This is what it should have looked like
The wedding was fabulous, organised amazingly well by my new sister in law who is lovely as are the rest of her family and I wish them both many many years of happiness together.