A Big Project


There's something that's been taking up a lot of David and my energy lately, but I've hesitated to blog about it. I like to keep a little buffer between my personal life and the internet, and this feels like a sort of gray zone that I wasn't sure about entering. But then I realized how bizarre it was going to feel NOT to blog about it, given that there is a huge, intimidating fiber arts project involved about which I will want to post updates. How could I not share that on the Family Trunk Project blog?


So here's the deal: David and I are planning an event we're calling a Partnership Celebration. It has certain things in common with a wedding: it's our declaration of our intention to spend the rest of our lives together, and will be an opportunity to honor our dearest friends and family for all their support. It will involve food and music, poetry, ritual elements, and lots of storytelling. It's happening on our tenth anniversary of coupledom (March 13), which is pretty cool. There are other things about it that are different than a wedding: no government involvement, no religious element, no transformative symbolism where a third party joins us together.* It's going to be all about honoring and committing to the slow evolution of growing relationships, in the past, present and future. We're excited!

And of course, for any big event like this, there are the aesthetic questions: what are we going to wear? Which is where the sewing project comes in. We've decided to go with a vintage feel (no surprise there): specifically, our clothes will be 1930s-inspired. David's having a custom suit made, and I am making myself this dress:


I have wanted an excuse to make this ever since I first clapped eyes on it lo these many years ago, and here's my chance. My final version will be in the luscious oceanic silk you see above; it's some of the most beautiful fabric I've ever touched, and moves like liquid. Let's have another look, shall we?


Pretty gorgeous stuff. This is also, though, one of the most ambitious sewing projects I've ever attempted, and I want it to look great for our special occasion. So I'm being diligent and doing a full dry-run with a less expensive polyester lining material that more or less imitates the behavior of the silk:


Primarily, what I'll need to practice is edge-stitching (ALL of those diagonal seams are edge-stitched!), and working with such a light, slippery fabric on the bias. I'm about halfway done with the cutting-out on my test fabric, so I'll keep you updated about how it's going. I've got a little over four months, and I figure if I work on it a little bit each day that should be plenty of time. Wish me luck!

Oh, and for a sampling of gorgeous, PRO photographs of the both of us, check out the lovely Heather Espana's blog entry. We had a blast working with her - I think it's especially fun and relaxing to work with a professional when you're used to being the one in charge of the shoot!

*For those who might be concerned about our legal rights, we've hired a lawyer and are safeguarding them through non-marital channels.


  • WOW! You are going to be one stunning alternabride!!!

  • Not that you need the recommendation, but I do highly commend this whole doing-the-thing-your-way approach. My partner and I had a wonderful time at our 'thing' (we never came up with a better name for it except IT'S NOT A WEDDING which we had to say a great many times), and many people said they enjoyed it more than most of the classic 'celebrations they'd been to.

    Love the dress style and the fabric; it will suit you beautifully, I think (from all the pictures). Thanks for sharing this with us all to some extent.

  • Your photos are *wonderful* -- so evocative and telling!

  • Congratulations! Your dress will be as beautiful as your celebration.

  • i love the back of this!
    and can't wait to see the suit . . .

  • i should have waited to comment until after viewing your AMAZING photos! wow, they are just great, i especially like the last one.

  • Mazel tov! ...but why not marry if you can? (I'm sure you'll have a thoughtful and politically engaged answer.)

  • Congratulations! I hope your day is everything you hope. That dress is going to be beautiful. Any occasion that lets you wear a pretty dress is bound to be a good idea!

  • Congratulations! I must admit I'm envious of you; I got married this year, but I really wanted to do something like a Civil Union instead, because, you know, of politics. However, that isn't an option here in California, and it never occurred to me to look any further. Maybe I just had it too easy.

    You totally look like a girl sleuth in the photo where you've just seen a hawk. Not Nancy Drew, but rather, Judy Bolton. ^_^

  • I have made that dress! I made it for myself, the occation was a friend's wedding. Mine is also blue, but more greyish blue. I really don't have any good pictures of it and unfortunately I haven't really had an opportunity to wear it again since.

    It's such a stunning dress, you will look absolutely beautiful in it!

  • Congratulations! I thought you were already married?

  • Emily, I love the photos! Especially the hawk one. You two are so lucky.

  • That dress is unbelievably stunning. It's long slinky line is beautiful. Aaaah to have my time over and do it in such a unique way as you two are :) Best of luck with all the planning and the whole event. Love Camille's term alternabride! :)

  • Amazing post. I am so impressed. Could never think of such a thing is possible with it...I think you have a great knowledge especially while dealings with such subjects.

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