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Summer Sewing Challenge - Express Yourself in Linen

mother of the groom dress

Closeup of neckline embellishment

 A year ago I offered to make a dress for a very dear friend whose son was getting married. I love both of them and knew that making a dress for my friend would be like giving a gift to her wonderful son as well. This dress, however, is the one I made for myself at the same time. It is the same design as the one I made for my friend. This was my practice dress and I decided to play with embellishment at the very end and was pleased with the results. 

I won’t go into all my design considerations, they exist and they make sense but it’s hard to be concise. For this purpose I will just mention some of them. 

The “ballet” neck was intended to visually widen the shoulder area. There are little folded bands which are folded so that they wrap around each shoulder. The flounce was added because I think most women enjoy wearing swishy dresses, they are comfortable and very feminine. I chose to make a longish circular flounce that is sewn on an angled seam. I thought that the angle would be more slimming than a horizontal seam. 

It is lined with white lightweight silky lining and there is an invisible zipper in the side. 

As for the embellishment. For years I had been intrigued by the bias tubing embellishment I’ve seen in some of my vintage sewing books. I made my bias tubing and played with several ideas but in the end I was more inspired by the way the vines and foliage look in my backyard and made a stylized version of that. 

 The bias tubing is made with one inch wide bias strips, sewn by machine and then sewn again along the raw edge with a serger. I find that the serged edge gives it a body and a little bit of weight without the stiffness of most cording. 

I sketched out a rough version of what I intended to do, played with shapes until I got something acceptable and sewed them in place by hand. 

As for the actual mother of the groom dress, that dress was finished also, in a slightly different color. I still think of this dress as “the mother of the groom dress” because that was my motivation. Of course I’m glad to have a dress to show for it myself … but the experience of designing it for my friend is what provides me with the happy memories. 


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  1. smazzle | | #1

    You have excellent design aesthetic! If only all mothers of the groom dresses were so tasteful.

  2. User avater
    PrincessKatja | | #2

    So very beautiful. The details are exquisite, both in execution and appearance.

  3. Couturegirl | | #3

    This is haute couture - your design, details and workmanship are exquisite.

  4. sewsuz | | #4

    Love, love love the neckline. Very graceful and becoming. well done.

  5. heirloomjoanne | | #5

    This is a lovely, fresh and interesting design. I'm very impressed with the combination of color, shape and couture detailing. Wonderful dress!

  6. jestersmother | | #6

    Superb, Very fine. Love it in every aspect.
    You go girl!

  7. jestersmother | | #7

    I was wondering if there is any wiring in the cords that help keep the curls in it or does it just naturally curve that way from the bias cut of the fabric. I am a fan of yours now after seeing your other creations. I have so much to learn.

  8. User avater
    Marcia05 | | #8

    Great!! This is beautiful and fresh!!!Congratulations!!

  9. User avater
    JBirdsArt | | #9

    Neckline embellishment is so now!~Wish I could see the other thumbnails in larger detail.

  10. User avater
    Artze | | #10

    Fabulous!!!! I think your design is timeless. Keep up theexcellant work.

  11. User avater
    alexus911 | | #11

    What a stunning design, simple yet elegant!

  12. sunbonnetsue | | #12

    I love the details. Beautiful design. Wonderful work.

  13. User avater
    briarpatchwoods | | #13

    this dress is awesome! I love it! It's beautiful and elegant. I really like the shoulder straps, too. I love the edge of the shoulder look but have aways had to come up with some way of keeping the straps from falling - even sewing them directly to my bra straps. Makes me want to buy some beautiful linen and try it out!

  14. User avater
    Scheri | | #14

    This is a one mother of the groom dress that made the mother look "fabulous". What a great friend.

  15. MStarr | | #15

    It's lovely! So nice to see the results of someone's creativity.

  16. User avater
    nanagloria | | #16

    I love the dress but this Mother of the Groom needs a little sleeve to cover these old looking arms! LOL

  17. User avater
    kerrybriggs | | #17

    I love it.

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