Ten years ago this week, I published my first blog post!
After making my (now)husband’s sister’s wedding dress and then his other sister’s wedding dress, I made my own wedding dress. My friend Jonathan brought a woman named Leah as his date to my wedding and they got engaged not long afterwards. Leah remembered that I made my dress and wondered if I might make her a custom wedding dress too.
At the time, I had left my career in theatrical costuming to move back to North Carolina. I’m grateful for my time working on Broadway shows in New York City, sooo glad I did it, but am even more glad that I am not still doing it. I’ve discovered that I need a slower pace than New York and theatre, so I left them both and haven’t looked back.
When Leah asked if I’d make her wedding dress, I was working as a custom museum-quality picture frame artisan but I had a home sewing room and I had a blast making those 3 custom wedding dresses. Her request made me wonder… could a custom wedding dress side-hustle be a thing for me?…
I decided to agree to create a custom wedding dress for Leah IF, along the way, she would help me figure out how the process could become a business. Though I did not know Leah well at all (which is funny to think about since I now consider her a dear friend!), I had a feeling she would be a really smart and savvy collaborator (and I was right!). Also- Jonathan’s parents were both lawyers in my county and offered to help me with contracts etc…
…so we all happily said yes to me making the dress and my small business was born!
Early on in our dressmaking and business-creating process, Leah (who is a writer) suggested that I start a blog.
I barely knew what I blog was! But it sounded like fun (I love writing and taking photos almost as much as sewing!) so Leah’s 2009 dress was the feature of my first bridal blog series, and I’m still blogging ten years later. Each bridal blog series shares the behind-the-seams journey as each dress was custom-made from the bride-to-be’s first inquiry, through the design and custom sewing process, all the way to the wedding day. I detail the birth of the blog in more detail in my post Retrospective: The Making of a Dress, A Blog, & A Business.
In this post you are reading now (which is my 287th post!), I’m going to share links to each bridal blog series (+ a link to each completed dress in my Portfolio)! In pt. 2 (post #288! Coming soon!), I’ll share my most popular non-bridal blog posts!
Bridal Blog Retrospectives by Brooks Ann
The 3 dresses I made before Leah’s suggestion of starting a blog did not get their own bridal blog series, but I did manage to pull together enough progress shots to do a single “Retrospective” post for each:
Bridal Blog Series by Brooks Ann
Then, starting with Leah back in 2009, I blogged the custom process slowly bit by bit! Following along with each bridal blog series, you’ll see a clear evolution in my business, my skills, my writing, and my photography. Pick and choose your favorites, or binge them all!
Mary & Margaret
Sneak Peek: Tiffany
Back in the beginning, I thought having a blog would attract potential custom brides (and maybe it does) but I never imagined that it would attract ‘sewing people’. I didn’t know there were ‘sewing people’! As someone who first learned to sew as my profession, I have been thrilled and delighted to discover that there are amazing people in this world who sew their own clothing as a hobby. It has been an unexpected true pleasure to meet and geek-out with sewing nerds via my blog posts and social media… Which inspired me to start teaching classes and creating online courses…
I wonder where I’d be today if Leah had gone shopping for her wedding dress…
NEXT POST: Not all of my blog posts follow a dress’s progress! In “My Ten Year Blogiversary pt. 2”, I’ll share a round-up of my most popular posts on other topics! Thanks for following along!
ALSO: The last 2019 session of Skirt Skills, my intro to custom sewing online workshop, opens for registration soon! Learn more at SkirtSkills.com