Rosalie’s bridesmaid dress

Do you see that cake? That is the best cake. Rosalie baked it (and many others like it) for my wedding. Because she is wonderful. And so is her cake.

But this isn’t a blog about cake, it’s a blog about sewing and dresses, and look, there’s also a dress in that photo! Rosalie and I designed it together, I made a pattern and cut out the pieces, and Rosalie sewed it together and printed the waistband. I love how she looks in it, and I love that we made it together.

The pieces of the pattern are above. This is a pretty straightforward dress (a good thing if your seamstress is also baking wedding cake for 100). The only tricky parts are planning out the bust darts and making the gathers.

Side darts pull in the dress bellow the bust and allow extra fabric vertically, which is helpful for larger bust sizes. For smaller sizes, the gathers add enough shaping (depending on how tightly you gather, the waistband can be up to two inches smaller than the bodice) and the rest can be pulled in at the side seams. Side darts are cut straight at the top, and curved at the bottom. Measure carefully along the curve to make sure it is the same length as the straight line, or ever so slightly shorter – since the curve is on the bias it will be easy to stretch it slightly to ease it in. Making the curve too short will lead to puckers along the dart, so keep it light (I usually do 1/2 an inch of easing in a 4 inch dart).

Gather the main fabric and the lining separately. To form the gathers, sew a long straight stitch down the center of the top. Tie the ends of the thread together at one end, then pull gently on one thread at the other end to form the gathers. Place a small scrap of fabric behind the gathers, and sew the bodice to this scrap, carefully following the gather line. This will stop your gathers from popping undone when you run around after the flower girls.

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