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Betsy’s Bridesmaids

McCall's 5319 in cornflower blue

My middle daughter was getting married and I had two more daughters in the wedding, plus needed to consider two girls that might as well be daughters as we figured the budget. It was an afternoon wedding in late July and we wanted something that would look and feel cool. This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve made matching dresses for this group of girls, but they might have been 3 years old the last time we did it!  The bride and groom love blue and we took all the girls to the fabric store and draped them in fabric until we found the perfect color for all of them. The bride choose this pattern for her sisters and friends and for once we might have dresses that really can be worn again! We did not have to worry about tan lines showing or bra straps hanging out. All the girls were the same size so we only needed one pattern, gang cut the fabric and then another bridesmaid’s mother and I did what we call “sweat-shop sewing” where we set up several machines, recruit a seam presser and pinning assistants and sew like mad women. My friend spent one whole Saturday just sewing skirt pieces.  Four dresses x three layers x three  french seams = a lot of skirt seams!  She then layered them all together and gathered the skirts so that they were ready as I got the bodices done. We developed this team sewing method when the kids were little and everyone needed a dress or costume at the same time. It is fun and as you can see, produces something beautiful. These dresses cost $40 each to produce, but we got the fabric on sale 40% off.  My biggest problem was the gathered cumberbund with 3 layers of fabric at the zipper.  I ended up hand sewing each and using a lot of Fray-Check. The bride chose to buy her dress, but I made the veil and I made many matching accessories for the wedding party such as pocket squares for the ushers (they wore their own suits), a topper for the cake table and I replaced the sash on the purchased flower girl dress. The bride made the flower cascades that decorate the pews by cutting apart pre-made flower garlands.


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  1. User avater
    megamom | | #1

    Beautiful dresses, and beautiful girls.

  2. Ceeayche | | #2

    Very well done! I like the fact that you took time to find both a color and a style that was flattering to all, and not too risque for a sacred ceremony!

  3. historytrisha | | #3

    Thanks! I'm pretty proud of them and I hope I get to do two more weddings - for now it is on to prom with sparkling orange chiffon.

  4. User avater
    leeburns45 | | #4

    I really like it

  5. User avater
    Miley Stuart | | #5

    amazing work mate

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