A couple of years ago, I bought some beautiful pieces of an old Japanese kimono from one of the vendors at the annual Original Sewing and Quilting Expo, an event held every spring in Atlanta that I try not to miss. This vendor has the most gorgeous vintage silk fabrics that she groups together. None of the pieces are big enough for an entire garment, but I knew I would eventually find something special to do with the pieces I purchased.
When my niece announced her engagement, and plans began to form for a spring Nashville wedding, I pulled my kimono silk out and started playing with it, draping it on my dress form to look at the kimono fabric with some black silk. My daughter would need something pretty to wear, and this would be the perfect starting point.
I bought Tracy Reese Vogue pattern #1190, because I liked the general silhouette of it. But I left off the front ruffle, and since my daughter wanted the back of the bodice to be “regular” rather than the style shown, I drafted a plainer version. I used the kimono fabric for the bodice front and back, and a soft washed silk charmeuse in black for the skirt. The tiny waist band was cut from a piece of kimono silk in a deep navy, one of the other pieces from the grouping I bought in Atlanta.
Because I wanted everything to be just right when I cut this vintage silk fabric, I made a muslin for the trial bodice to tweak the fit. When my daughter and I were both satisfied with it, I used that as my pattern to cut the kimono fabric. I then sized the skirt pieces to fit the bodice, and cut them out of the black charmeuse.
The dress went together like a dream! (I love sewing with good quality silk!)
I also made her a necklace and earrings to go with her dress. I bought the glass necklace focal component three or four years ago at an art gallery in Destin, Florida. The necklace and earrings are fashioned from Swarovski crystal beads. The wedding was beautiful, and so much fun, and my daughter was beautiful in her very special silk dress!