Food Friday and the road to a dress to wear to a wedding

First the food.

That’s chicken with chestnuts, brown mushrooms and potatoes and fennel. The chicken is so adorable looking that I will serve it whole and carve it at the table. I know it’s an autumnal combination, but it’s been chilly. Actually it’s what I think of as menopause weather from moment to moment the weather flip flops from being balmy to bone chilling. So a hearty taste will be nice for tonight. I’m, also serving a kale salad dressed with sesame oil and rice vinegar. I will add bits of cara-cara oranges and pecans before serving.
As always I’m grateful to my older son for his input and insight. He will ask me how I plan to cook each of the elements of the meal and offer tweaks and suggestions. I realize that I do the same for him as he cooks. It’s nice to have this sort of a dialogue going about the meals that I cook. It just makes it all come out better.

The time has come for me to make a dress to wear to my niece’s wedding. My sister, the mother of the bride, has purchased this Eileen Fisher dress top wear at the wedding.

I realized that the dress my sister purchased looks an awful lot  like my usual wear to a wedding dress. V- necked, sleeveless and a high/low hem and black crocheted lace over a lining.

I realized that I needed to make something new. I have made  a few really dressy dresses over the past while but they have too much sparkle to wear to a Boston afternoon wedding.  Sparkle and sequins look just right for a New York evening wedding or one in Florida, but it just would not fly for either Boston, or my family. I bought some smoky blue lace to make the dress a few months ago but I was chicken to cut into the fabric.

Before we went on the cruise, I got  a little brave and cut into a black eyelet and made a dress to wear on the cruise. I used my usual method of making a big shape and then darting and seaming it until I ended up with a dress that worked.

I had mis- calculated when I cut the skirt of the dress and cut it too narrow. I added a godet made out of some wide galoon lace. ( ( Galoon lace for you non-schmatta-geeks is those wide strips of lace with a finished edge on both sides)
I liked the shape of the dress.  It looked good on me, so it seemed like a good idea to base the wear to the wedding dress on the black eyelet dress.

So far what I have is a relatively  unedited dress shape.

I cut the dress so the scalloped selvedge would be the hem. I plan to applique the other scalloped edge along the neckline and the sleeve. Clearly lots more shaping and darting needs to take place before this is a completed  and flattering dress.  I thought it was useful to show the dress in this in between unattractive and awkward stage. It will look like a lovely wedding worthy dress when I’m done. But darts are a girl’s best friend.

As I tried on this draft of a dress I remembered that both of my grandmothers wore  short sleeved blue lace dresses at my parents’ wedding. At the moment the dress does look grandmother-ey. It won’t by the time I’m done.

Shabbat Shalom to all.


  1. Looks lovely already! I hope you get some good photos.


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