Memory dress

A very dear friend passed away recently and I wanted to make a dress for her funeral as a way of honouring her, but also to give me an opportunity to spend some time in quiet contemplation of our friendship.

I had a look in my stash and found a wonderful merino knit that I bought in Dunedin many moons ago. I decided that I would make Vogue 1338V1338

I laid the pattern on the fabric but no matter what I did I couldn’t fit it all in. The top pattern pieces are enormous as the front and back are each cut in one piece. I gave up, but had a midnight lightbulb moment that I could have cut the sleeves out separately and joined them. However, it was too late, I was working to a timeline, so had already moved on to Butterick 5559.

B5559 (1)


I’ve made this before and it worked well, so I felt fairly safe.


This dress does present some challenges – lining up all those tucks being one of them. Looking at these photos, I think I should cut the armscye deeper next time I make this dress.


The fabric is interesting to say the least. It has the consistency of foam rubber which makes getting sharp creases impossible.


The photos are a bit grainy – sorry. I was posing in front of the only blank wall in the house, except it’s no longer blank, Archie has put a chin up bar on it; not that I will ever be doing a chin up as I can’t even reach it!


Although the dress was made for a sad occasion, I did focus on our friend the whole time I was making it, and know that I will forever associate it with a warm, witty, vibrant and generous person who greatly enriched our lives.

Details: Pattern is Butterick 5559 made from a smoky blue merino knit bought at Global Fabrics, Dunedin, NZ. Shoes are Arche, and the rather fabulous Keishi pearl necklace is courtesy of Heaven Wrapped, Claremont.

In loving memory of our dear friend Pauline who died on a Kimberley cruise on 18 July, 2014. She will be forever missed.




15 thoughts on “Memory dress

  1. Gosh, it’s hard to hold on to the bar while holding the remote shutter control, LOL! Put it down and jump up, you can do it Sue! Your dress is da BOMB! It’s a great way to honour somebody by sewing in their memory. My grandma just passed last week, and I know this is what I want to do in her honour. And lastly, I finally finished the Liebster Award post, thanks again for nominating me!

    1. Sorry for the loss of your grandma, and I think making a dress in her honour will prove therapeutic with the added benefit of you will think of her every time you wear it.

  2. Sue, this style is so flattering on you. I think the dress turned out wonderfully. Somber, with a bit of sass.

  3. Hi Sue,
    I love this dress. To be honest, just looking at the photos above, I prefer the Butterick pattern to the Vogue pattern. The Butterick is very flattering and taliored which looks fantatstic. a really lovely tribute.

    You look fabulous in this.

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