Monday, January 13, 2014

Velvet and silk

The big event of our January (so far!) has been the wedding of Douglas's younger brother in western Colorado shortly after the New Year. Trying to figure out what to wear to a wedding when you're massively pregnant is a bit of a challenge, shall we say? There are very few places to buy maternity clothes nearby, even if I liked the styles that are offered, and even if I had the extra money to buy a new outfit anyway! So I was honestly just going to wear one of my three knit maternity maxi dresses -- not very dressy, but it's what I have. However, about a week before the wedding, I started thinking about how my husband (Best Man) and son (Ringbearer) were going to be all dressed up, and Lavinia would be in her Christmas dress, and then there'd be me in my blah jersey knit. :-P I decided I had to come up with something a little fancier!

self-made maternity outfit

My challenge was to make this from my stash, and quickly (I only had a few days to get it done). I had purchased a bolt of black ponte roma knit at a garage sale earlier in the fall, so I decided to make a basic pencil skirt from that. I didn't have a pattern, but loosely based it on pictures of Megan Neilsen's ruched maternity skirt. This was actually really quite easy to make, and extremely comfortable.

The top was a bit more of a challenge -- I don't have many fancy fabrics in my stash, but I did buy several yards of aubergine rayon velvet at the same garage sale. I found an 1/8 yard swatch of cranberry polyester chiffon in my scrap stash that coordinated with the velvet, so I used that for the yoke to add some interest. Since the chiffon was sheer and I didn't want to have to wear any special strapless undergarments (ugh), I underlined it with rose-colored silk georgette left over from my sister-in-law's 1910s tea gown. I then found some plum-colored velvet ribbon I had in my stash to pull it all together for a "colorblock" effect. The design of the top is totally simple, essentially a square top, but since I am pregnant it was more of a trapezoid shape. :) It's a good thing I kept the design simple because velvet, chiffon, and silk are super fiddly fabrics!

I would have made some different design choices if I had more time and different fabric options, but in the end it was nice to have something reasonably elegant to wear along with the rest of my family. I was hoping to get a decent family photo of the four of us, but we were all going in pretty different directions all day long and the only ones I have are blurry, ill-lit shots from the end of the reception. This is typical of family photos of us, anyway, so here we are in all our dressed up, but exhausted, glory!

At the wedding

It was a beautiful winter wedding, though, and we were so happy to be a part of it, and to welcome a new sister-in-law into the family! Now on to the next Big Event, hopefully in just a few short weeks...


  1. You look lovely, Laura! And I'm looking forward to news of the next big event, and praying for you all! :-)

  2. For something that you put together "last minute" it certainly looks elegant! Is the top pattern one that you've used before?

  3. What a beautiful, elegant ensemble!

  4. Laura, You look beautiful as ever and what a beautiful family! I am sorry you have the flu; trusting that this too shall pass!! Oh, dearie, may the Lord continue to pour out His goodness and mercy and grace to you all.
    I am praying for you and yours <3

  5. You look great, and I love your "last minute" outfit. Praying your "big event" goes smoothly, exited to hear your news soon xxx

  6. Bravo! You did an excellent job making a flattering outfit out of what you had on hand. Hooray for lovely frugality!

  7. Your dress is gorgeous, Laura! Love the colour. :)

  8. That's a lovely photograph of your family..and I saw also the photo of your lovely baby girl! Congratulations :)