The Party Dress Book

Over the past three years, we've attended 19 weddings. (Probably over 25 if you count the year before that, but my memory doesn't go that far.) What can I say? I love weddings, and if I can make it, I'm there!

The difficult part about attending so many weddings is figuring out my attire. It's an opportunity to get beautiful and buy a fancy new dress, but since it's completely illogical to buy a new dress for every occasion, I am faced with a complex riddle to figure out the minimum number of dresses I will allow myself to buy so that (almost) no one will see me wear a dress twice.

A woman's life is tough. Dustin just changes out his tie or his dress shirt. The permutations are almost endless.

For this year's office-Christmas-Gala, I promised myself that I would not buy another dress. Surely, I would figure something out with my wardrobe of dresses, right? No. But a promise is a promise. So instead of buying a new dress, I made one!!!

I didn't know I had it in me! (Which is why I had told very few people about this project in the likely event that I had to abandon ship...)

The secret to my success? Mary Adams' new book: The Party Dress Book, how to sew the best dress in the room. The book is incredible. It not only had full size patterns, detailed instructions on fitting, and tips and techniques, but the majority of the book was page after page of inspiration in colours, details, shapes, and fabric. There are sewing instructions for three types of dresses, but most of the dresses in the book are based on the same silhouette.

As I was pressed for time (and lack the skill to sew with silk) I opted to sew a cotton dress using a piecing technique with French seams.

One of the first images in this book is Mary's "Bo Peep" dress. The vertical piecing in the skirt was just so cute!

I chose some beautiful charcoal cotton fabric from the workroom and decided to "fancy up" the dress with some plum organza.

And without further ado, I unveil to you my plum party dress!

(And since none of Dustin's friends from U of T attended the Christmas Gala, I can wear this dress to our last wedding of the 2010 season on New Year's Eve! Hooray!)

Anonymous –   – (December 8, 2010 at 1:23 AM)  

WOW! This is so pretty! I feel like you should open a small shop with all the things you make! If I was in Canada, I would def go to your store!

Krystle K.  – (December 8, 2010 at 10:18 AM)  

OH. MY. GOODNESS! This is fab, Kel! I love the panelling on it. Makes me want to learn to sew =)

-Krystle K.

Kelly  – (December 8, 2010 at 11:11 PM)  

9sc44: I would love to open a store. and I would love to make super cute things to sell to super chic HK people. and Krystle: I'll teach you! at this super cute store of mine, I will teach you how to make one of your own!!!

Emily  – (December 9, 2010 at 9:43 AM)  

oh my, I am so impressed! the dress is fabulous is so many ways: colour, silhouette, the cutest frou trim at the bottom. can you twirl? it looks like a dress for twirling. I'm going to dust off my sewing machine...

OneCraftyFox  – (December 11, 2010 at 10:05 AM)  

Va va voom!! Kelly, I LUVS it!! Get over here and sew with me already, lol.

Great seeing you the other day, we really should do it more often.

Your blog rocks my world. You are one crafty girl.


wubecca –   – (December 14, 2010 at 10:27 AM)  

i love it when there's bulk activity on your blog! that dress is killer - makes me want to (almost) learn how to sew ;) ps. saw you at dan's bday bash, there's not enough pics of you!!!!!! xoxo

kelly z –   – (January 29, 2011 at 5:03 PM)  

kelly! i haven't checked your blog out in so long, so i was excited that there were so many new things! where on earth do you find the time?! this dress is a-mazing. i can't believe you made it. when you open your business and make it big, don't forget about us :)

Kelly  – (January 29, 2011 at 10:53 PM)  

Thanks everyone for all your great comments!

It's so encouraging to hear so many great things! You're all amazing.

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