Let’s go formal….

Here, dear readers, is the perfect example of what you can do with…

a) beautiful fabric (we can help you out there)
b) imagination
c) a good dressmaker (optional if you are one yourself)
d) style

It’s that fun time of the year when we get loads of fabric requests for formal dresses. Lovely, young girls armed with pictures torn from a glossy mag, looking for something a little bit different. As there are very few places around where you can purchase a ready-made dress for such an occasion, the risk of someone turning up in the same dress is – unfortunately – a distinct possibility and a potential nightmare (ever happened to you? Do tell…).

I’ve known Stephania since she was a toddler. She used to come into Tessuti with her grandmother Nonna Maria, a wonderful seamstress and a very special lady who sadly passed away a few years ago.

After an exhausting and frustrating time spent looking for a store-bought dress, Stephania and her mum Antonella came into Tessuti to ask advice about purchasing some silk and having a dressmaker make up her dream dress. Together, we picked a stunning 100% silk crinkle chiffon in ‘Emerald’ and, for the lining, we chose 100% silk satin in ‘Aquamarine’. The combination created the most ethereal shot effect which unfortunately you can’t see in these photos. And let me tell you that this shade set off Stephania’s beautiful green eyes magnificently.

After the fabrics were chosen, we rang Angela from Swish Design to see if she could make up a dress for Stephania in 2 weeks*….aaargh!!! She very kindly agreed – a real feat considering she had a lot of other bridal gowns and formals on-the-go already. Thanks so much Angela!

After we worked out the correct meterage, Stephania and Antonella headed straight out to see Angela in her workroom. Together they talked style, likes and dislikes, while Angela sketched away some ideas. Finally, all three agreed on a style that was appropriate for the fabric and flattering for Stephania. Most importantly, the dress had to include a few things on this lovely young lady’s wishlist… a cute bow at the back of the dress and a low v-shaped neckline. And herein lies the beauty of DIY or DIWAD (Do It With A Dressmaker – catchy, no?) – you end up with exactly what you want.

And so, a few fittings, one muslin and one silk dress later…VOILA!

These photos were all taken on her very special night. What do you think? I think she looks so grown up and lovely.

Nonna Maria would have been so proud.


*if considering using a dressmaker, we recommend you organise to see them a month or two before the special event.