Party Dresses

Meg wears a soft blue-gray floor length dress, standing by a window with white curtains.
Meg wears a soft blue-gray floor length dress, standing by a window with white curtains.

If the past year and a half is a chrysalis

a time characterized by dissolving and re-making, here I am – a new butterfly covered in iridescent linen fabric, my social wings stretching. My little brother (actually Patrick’s little brother, who I’ve known since he was a kid) got married, and I needed a dress. A dress for a real life party, the kind of thing I hadn’t experienced since my caterpillar days, pre-Covid.

The day I hit the fully-vaccinated mark, I headed to my local fabric shop, Mulberry Silks, and found this two-toned, yarn-dyed linen. The warp is peacock green, the weft is rust. You can see the intricacy of the color where the rays of sunlight hit the dress.

The pattern has been in my collection for a while – Vogue 1735 (formerly known as Vogue 9253). As party dresses go, this one is pretty casual with minimal shaping, because I like to get a lot of everyday wear out of the things that I make. It does have an invisible zipper at the center back. If I need someone to help me get into and out of a dress, then it’s a community effort and, as such, perfect for a party. I could have left the original plunging V-neckline for more drama, but I opted to hand-sew it together for a bit more coverage and versatility.

Sadie also needed a flower girl dress

and she chose the Atlanta Dress by Nun Studio. The pattern is in French, so I appreciated the opportunity to broaden my vocabulary from its literary roots in college to the more practical sewing terminology. If you are an intermediate – advanced sewist, you’ll likely get by just fine with the illustrations alone.

Meg holds a cream flower girl dress with a floral lining on a wooden hanger by a window with white curtains.
Meg holds a cream flower girl dress with a floral lining on a wooden hanger by a window with white curtains.
Meg holds a cream flower girl dress with a floral lining on a wooden hanger by a window with white curtains.

She chose her fabric from my stack of remnants, and we juuuuust barely squeezed out a size 8 from some leftover creamy Mora slub linen and a precious scrap of Nani Iro Fuccra Rakuen double gauze. The flouncy sleeves billow and dance as she moves, and the precious peeks of the flowers add a playfulness to the fluid weight of the more subtly elegant main fabric.

Now it will be worn all summer, acquiring the badges of a childhood well-lived: watermelon drips, mud stains, and rips from playground adventures.

And finally – some photos of the beautiful, small family wedding a few weekends back in Savannah, courtesy of Chia and Hon Photography.

Sadie and Uncle David, getting ready. Did you know that David works for Sew Liberated? If you’ve had a tech question or ordered paper patterns for your shop, David has been on the other end of the screen since the beginning of the pandemic.

Lachlan also sported his favorite Mama-made “fancy” shirt, the Theo pattern from Zonen 09. For a fourth grader who attracts dirt and grime like it’s his professional calling, it’s a minor miracle that we got a few photos of him before the sticky bubble solution transformed his formal-ish attire into what looked more like campground clothes!

Sadie was beyond thrilled to befriend the baby ring bearer, her new aunt’s little nephew.

And as idyllic as a the post-pandemic wedding euphoria was, it wasn’t strong enough to overcome the disappointment of a boy who was asked to set down his bubble gun for a formal photo. 😉 Gotta love him!


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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! Isn’t the iridescent nature of the fabric amazing? I believe it is from Italy. Mulberry Silks in Carrboro, NC, might have more or be able to point you in the right direction!

  1. It sounds like such a lovely day! Congrats to your brother ❤️ And the pictures here really show the depth in your dress fabric – it’s so beautiful!

  2. OMG, I freaking LOVE the fabric of your dress! Those are two of your absolute BEST colors! I never thought about the warp and weft being two different colors; however, after seeing your linen dress, I just realized how they make some of the two-tone taffetas I’ve seen. Funny how dressy linen can look, and then you wear it all the time, and it becomes loved. Really classy how you pulled that off with the perfect fabric for that classic style. It’s like taking the "little black dress" to a whole new level.

    Those are fabulous pics; I can see that you all really enjoy each other and had a great time at the wedding. OK, understatement. After Covid, who doesn’t want to dress up and go to a beautiful family wedding with relatives you actually like (and love)? Everybody looks beautiful looking at each other with love in their eyes.

  3. So so lovely! Thank you for sharing this event with us. I’m also trying a pattern in French… I need to spend some time to sit with it. I end up going off on tangents trying to figure out why certain things are called what they are because that’s the most fascinating part to me. Also Sadie’s shoes!

  4. It is heartwarming to see people able to begin to live again. You all looked beautiful! Looks like a very special day. I’m a fan of Sadie’s shoes as well, haha!