Engagement dress

I finished sewing my second modified April Rhodes party dress just in time for the special occasion deadline I set for myself: our engagement pictures!


Saturday marks exactly one year to our 2015 wedding, which seemed like the perfect day to do this. To be honest, I didn’t think that doing an engagement photoshoot would be on my to-do list, but allocating a sizable portion of our budget to photography and capturing the day was important, and getting the chance to work with our photographer beforehand was just invaluable. Sure, a photographer might take amazing pictures, but how do you know you’ll feel comfortable laughing, being affectionate, hiking up your skirt to launch yourself over a line of shrubbery, or climbing a tree? (Yes, I did all of those things.) We’re working with Shannon Collins, who is amazing. Sweet and funny with so much personality, she instantly put us both at ease. I just love her and all the pictures she took, and I already signed my contract to lock in my date, so if you’re in the Philly area and needing some pictures in your life, you should go check her out, too. ; )

I’m also thinking about wearing a flower crown next year, instead of a veil, so I had one made for the occasion by Sullivan and Owen and had my hair done by the lovely, lovely Su-Shan, owner of Starshine Philly Salon. I loved both so much that when I came home that night, I changed into pajamas, washed my face, pinned the flower crown back in place and ate ice cream on the couch. As you do.

But the DRESS, huh?


The fabric is a Nani Iro double gauze, and I lined the skirt with a mystery yellow-green silky lining that I had in my stash. In addition to lining the skirt, I also made the same neckline modifications that I did to my wearable muslin.


And lesson learned? For crying out loud, make sure you finish your DIY projects with time to spare. I finished this one up at 11pm the night before with a 6am wakeup call. Some tears were shed.


Rolled hems on both skirt layers! I love that setting on my serger SO MUCH, and my seams inside look pretty gorgeous, if I say so myself. I now understand that whole business about inner beauty. They meant beautifully finished seams, yes? (kidding! kidding kidding)



I also followed this Grainline Studio tutorial for finishing a neckline with bias tape, which helped significantly. I think understitching was the crucial step I’d previously overlooked. Altogether, pleased with this project! And so very excited for the impetus to undertake many more projects in the upcoming year. <3



  1. Great pictures and great dress!!

    1. Thank you, lady!!

  2. Susan D · · Reply

    I got tears in my eyes, you look so lovely, and happy, you both are wonderful together. You have a delightful fresh personality, and are so talented! Great pictures, you obviously picked a great photographer too… an admirer from Canada :)

    1. Thank you so much, Susan! It’s a funny thing, to sends bits of life and projects out into the internet, and it means so much when it results in being able to connect with others in a real and resonating way. Also, yessssss, Shannon, the photographer, is wonderful. I’m so excited that she’s going to be there with us on our wedding day! <3

  3. Gorgeous pictures and dress!

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