The thing is, the dress was too small.
I bought it second hand, and was pretty sure it wouldn’t fit me properly, but couldn’t resist the raw silk with embroidered flowers.
Here’s the dress in (/on) its original form:
I considered having to remove the bodice and reconstructing it with extra fabric while opening out the gathers at the waist, but luckily the zip (just!) made it’s way up to the waist.
Older dresses often have a bit of extra fabric in the seams- although I’m not sure if this one is old enough to have had that. But in the end, the option of opening out the seams was anyway prevented by the embroidery, which would have been damaged by any unpicking attempts.
So I decided for an open back option, sewing the sides of the back down at an angle to give a gradual slope.
I had to remove two of the bones (plastic ‘ribs’ that hold the bodice up), but managed to keep everything else intact, folding instead of cutting. Which means that my mods are all pretty much fairly un-doable.
Here are a couple more shots of the back.
I sewed on the ribbon so that ribbon strip has has tails poking out from the bottom of the waist, allowing a bow to be tied at the bottom of the back, which covers the zip ending and prevents unzippage. The ribbons then run along the newly-sloped back of the dress and exit out the top of the bust part, with about 1.5 spare metres of ribbon.
These ribbon parts then wrap around the neck.shoulders, cross at the back of the dress, wrap around the waist, and tie at the back with the other bow.
I think you can see how that works best from the side:
Anyway, here’s the dress in full. Don’t worry- I ironed it for the wedding day itself (these photos were taken after).
Anyway, that’s my fairly easy, minimum-sew dress edit. What do you think?
As a very-important-aside, I’m also pretty impressed by Sameer’s look, which he also pulled together also partially second hand.
The bowtie I found on a second hand app, Vinted, which was bizarrely advertised on a dog (call me a hypocrite- I’ll like anything cat-adjacent- but isn’t it weird to send a dog-furred-contaminated item? Sameer washed it and wore it anyway).
Then, on the day, we realised that he’d forgotten his coat, so we bought one from a charity shop that we were already browsing in due to my genetically predetermined inability to pass a charity shop without having a ‘just a quick look’.
All in all, he is very very very pretty. .
While we were waiting for our Uber to the wedding, a random man called out of his car that Sameer looked like James Bond. Which also, note to #allmen, is how you use any ‘desire to shout things at people as you pass them in/on a vehicle’ energy.
Anyway, massive thanks to Sameer for not only turning up beautiful, but for also kindly and enthusiastically taking thousands of these shots of me in my dress so I could pick my favourite few.
He even went through what I will call his ‘high fashion’ creative phase.
Here’s us looking all fancy at the wedding itself. More on that later.