Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Wedding Project: Mother of the Bride Dress (Butterick 5450)

I can now breathe a sigh of relief! For the past nine months, my sewing life revolved around my daughter's wedding. In spite of the best laid plans, I ended up cramming to finish my own dress. I had some free time in between long distance fittings for her gown but I could not bring myself to start on mine until I was sure I completed hers. So with just two weeks left before the big day, I was muslin fitting some new to me dress patterns.


The wedding's theme color was purple and blue. I have read that the MOB (Mother of the Bride) dress does not necessarily have to match the theme color but care should be taken not to clash with it either. My daughter didn't care what color I chose so I went with my favorite shade of blush pink. It is easier to sew something when one is inspired by the fabric. 

 I bought this gorgeous embroidered mesh lace fabric from Etsy. My plan was to use it as an overlay on silk satin fabric. 

Here is a view of the silk satin fabric to the left and the silk charmeuse lining to the right. Both were purchased from Emma One Sock. 

To give an idea of the timeline, I bought the lace fabric in April and the rest in May.


I went through several muslin fittings of the following patterns. Unfortunately, none of the styles worked for my shape or with my fabrics. 

When I only had two weeks left into the wedding, I was beginning to sense a bit of panic so I thought why reinvent the wheel and not just go for one of my TNT (tried and tested) patterns? So I pulled out my favorite Butterick 5450. 

I have sewn this pattern countless times since I bought it. Thankfully I have preserved the original because through the years, my measurements have changed and it seems like I go up a size every time I make a new version! 


My plan was to sew the entire dress in silk satin and cut out the lace overlay and hand sew them as appliques. I had to interface my entire silk fabric with a medium weight fusible interfacing as the fabric needed more body. Sewing the underlying dress was the easiest part. The hand sewing process was labor intensive and took me maybe four to five days. 

Here is a view of the interfaced fabric. I used ProSheer Elegance Medium Fusible interfacing purchased from Fashion Sewing Supply. The interfacing not only added more body to the fabric but it also helped minimize the wrinkling tendency of the delicate silk satin. 

These are the bodice pieces cut out and ready to assemble. 

Here is the skirt part. 

Here is a view of the lining already stitched to the outer fabric. The pattern only provided lining for the bodice but I fully lined mine. 

Here is the fun part! Playing around with applique layout. 

It is often preached that one should be careful when using pins of silk as they will leave marks. So I made sure to pin where the embroidery will cover any leftover markings. I used those thin sharp Japanese glass head pins for this project. 

Hand applique sewing in action! I used T.E.C. brand Japanese needles size 9 for hand sewing. Found them at Etsy.

Some more photos of the applique sewing in progress:

After all the appliques were sewn, I hemmed the dress. 

I sewed a lace hem tape to the silk fabric hem and used handsewn catch-stitches being careful not to let the thread show up on the outer side. 

To sew the lining hem, I serged the raw edges first then pinned them to the edge of the finished dress hem. 

Then I hand sewed it catching only the inner fabric. 

 When it was all sewn, the lining hem was then folded down, similar to what is usually done in jacket hems. That way, the entire bottom edge of the dress was effectively sealed. 

I wasn't really planning to sew applique all around the bottom edge but it was a good way to camouflage the hemline marks that were inevitable even with the most careful blindstitching. 

The Finished Dress

So here are pictures of the finished dress including some taken during the wedding itself. 

View of the lining. Pardon the wrinkles. I took these pictures after the event was over and before I dropped it off to the dry cleaners. 

If you are wondering why the difference in lining color, I used up silk charmeuse from stash for the skirt part. 

I just want to show these tiny prick stitches I used to tack down the bodice lining along the neckline. 

Here are photos of the dress in action!
Almost forgot to mention that I made a small clutch from leftover fabrics to hold my cell phone and and other essentials like tissue, lipstick and eyeglass cleaner during the wedding.

Photos below are all courtesy of my best friend May who documented the entire wedding!
With my hubby in the hotel as we prepared to go the wedding venue.

Another photo taken at the hotel.

The obligatory fashion shoot!

Oops, showing off the wrinkly back!

Finally at the entryway of the house while we awaited wedding guests.

Coming soon, "The Wedding Project: Bridal Gown"!


  1. Absolutely beautiful and stunning! Love, love, love the applique you added to your TNT!

  2. I am so impressed with you and your many fabulous creations, that I can best sum up my admiration by saying that I wish we lived near each other, and could be girlfriends! You are amazing, as is this gorgeous dress.

    1. Aww that's the sweetest comment! Thanks so much!

  3. Oh my gosh, your dress is gorgeous. The lace overlays are stunning. Absolutely amazing.

  4. Your patience is amazing and it certainly paid off in the end. What an amazing dress! Nothing like it on the planet. I hope you have ample opportunity to wear it again.

    1. Thanks Barbara! I do hope I get to wear it again and when the opportunity arises, I hope it will still fit me!

  5. This is so beautiful! I can see your amazing talent displayed in the thoughtfulness of this dress. You look lovely, and all of the handstitching is so carefully done.

    1. Thanks so much Vanessa! Even though I was in a bit of panic about being able to finish in time, there was something oddly calming about handstitching.

  6. Stunning!!!! Such gorgeous fabrics and beautiful sewing. I can see why it is your favourite look so lovely. It is a joy to read blog posts like this one.

    1. Thanks so much Katherine! I really appreciate your taking time to read my post and comment!

  7. Maria, this is just breath taking! The appliqué makes it so special. Now I am in the edge of my seat waiting for the bridal gown!

    1. Aww thanks so much Kathy! I hope you won't get disappointed!

  8. This dress is stunning, amazing, & inspiring, as are you. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Truly a work of art! You are so inspiring, Maria!

    1. I truly appreciate your taking time to share your kind words!