In showing you this dress, I am reminded of Lorelei Vashti's coming of age memoir Dress, memory. It recounts the dresses worn for significant events over a decade, every dress with a memory stitched into it of the events and people involved.
This dress was made for a happy occasion, my niece's wedding. However, etched into its stitches are both happiness and sadness. Tragically, my much loved brother-in-law passed away the night before the wedding. He had been gravely ill for three years. In Jewish tradition, the wedding went ahead and was a beautiful celebration of his life and the positive hopes for the future for his daughter and new son-in-law.
The dress is also a reminder of the wonderful holiday I had in Italy with my daughter. The silk panels were bought for many Euros in Rome.
I've used Burda Style 9/2012 134 - A Matthew Williamson design. The only change I made was to raise the v-shaped back as the original was not bra friendly.
While I've employed couture techniques, including silk organza underlining and hand stitched bemberg rayon lining, I'm not sure I can bear to wear it again.
It will hang in the back of my closet, and every now and again I'll touch it and remember my brother-in-law and close friend.