My Dress

comments: 387


Andy and I got engaged on March 16, 1996. I was 28 years old and Andy was 25. We'd been dating for three and a half years, and had already known each other for close to seven. We're slow. I told you the story of our engagement a couple of years ago. I love engagement stories, especially ones where someone's acting badly (and I really was [often am] ). I'm fond, too, of the memory of the day we took our "engagement" picture, which is totally incongruous with the photo of us at the church on the wedding day itself. For Stitched in Time I took the picture above, and told the story of what it was like to make my own wedding dress.

You'll have to just buy the book to read that one. I can't give away the farm here, people!!! [Kidding. I'm really just too lazy today to retype it.]

*Update: An idea [bounces on chair]: How about a free copy of Stitched in Time for the funniest engagement story! Doesn't even have to be your own story. Andy and I will judge. Just leave it in the comments on this post and we'll decide on Friday!


I have the book, and I have read it and was utterly charmed!


Sandy Shirley says: March 16, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Happy {Engagement} Anniversary to you and Andy. You seem like a GREAT couple. I've just finished a marathon FOUR DAY stretch of reading your entire blog from today back to the beginning!! WOW. Amazing. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

It was that story in your book that prompted me to sew my daughter's First Communion dress this winter. It was crazy difficult and probably not quite as polished as a store bought dress but I made it with love.

I just went back to read your engagement story (i'm a newish reader of your blog) and I have to tell you that one line in the story made me burst into tears. "I don't think I'd ever been picked first for anything, ever, ever. I felt utterly, thoroughly chosen." Wow. what a feeling. This is how I need to explain myself to my The Boy. thanks for the words. And the really funny/beautiful story.

That dress looks absolutely charming! I love the kind with buttons or ties up the back, they're so romantic!

I have your book and I have read your wonderful story.

The entire book is full of wonderful stories.

Thank you for your blog and the book. I look forward to your new book.

Engagements are wonderful times, aren't they? The day my husband proposed to me was the 4th anniversary of our meeting. Our dog, Winston, was outside and the door to the backyard was open. Don asked me to marry him (on one knee) and after I said Yes! we hugged each other and Winston came running in from outside and jumped up and hugged us, too. He knew!

Today is my actual wedding anniversary. 18 years. I can remember the pastor who married us was filling out the fancy marriage certificate I had bought and he asked me how to spell "Sixteenth". I was beyond tired by then and had a bad backache and had to ask my Mom if even I was spelling it right, heehe!
Blessings- LillySue

I'll just go and re-read that story in honor of your engagement :) I woke up thinking of you today and of that yummy Thai lunch you, me and Hannah shared. What a fun afternoon. xoxo.


Your book is on my wish list but I might not be able to wait until my birthday!

Here's to many more happy years for you two.

dear god woman, that engagement picture kills me in the BEST possible way.

Your dress is AMAZING! Wow, to be able to make something that beautiful! I loved your engagement story, too! I've had days like that too, where I just don't shut up and stop my complaining, and then something good happens and I feel like a total fool and so embarrassed! Oh well, it's all good and the days end up better than they started, and especially better than the middles!

Have a lovely anniversary!
Margie :)

Oh Alicia, I had one of those tangled up moments where I thought you were referring to your "new book". You know, the one you've just finished but we have to wait many moon cycles for. The one that I'm filling with imaginings and your temptations from Posie. So, I'm thinking Wow that's so weird, I'm sure I know that story. Like we're connected somehow. And I'm about to tell you, you're getting forgetful, then I realise we are connected but in a completely sensible "Stitched in time" kind of way. Hahha. Blurry boundaries and threads that connect. Happy anniversary. Tim and I got married on March 2, 1996. He calls it our march to happiness. Sweet guy. Still love him everyday.

ha! i went back and read your engagement story... i must confess, i was in a really bad mood when my husband proposed! he said he wanted to wait for my birthday (which was a week later) but in an effort to make me happy, dropped to one knee w/ a ring while we were getting ready for bed. it worked...i wasn't mad at him anymore;)

Gorgeous! My sister made my dress for me -I loved it and loved that she made it for me! Glad Ididn't have to deal with the stress of making it though!

It's getting harder and harder to wait for this book!!!! :~)

Oh wait a minute, I have that book! I got momentarily confused. I thought I already knew that story somehow, and that you were writing more about it in the new book. :~)

A friend of mine ended up getting engaged in a multi-storey car park because she had refused the romantic dinner, refused the canal walk and was generally very crabby about why they couldn't just go home.....her now husband was so determined that he was going to carry out his plan that he pulled her over to the side to see the limited view and proposed then and there! They are very happy so I think crabby engagements are a good start!

Lovely story and lovely dress!

Oh I have to go search for your story ....
the dress is beatifull!

I got turned on to your blog by my mortgage broker. we tried your tikka masala and naan recipes and we're hooked. My husband asked, has that posie cozy lady posted any more indian awesome lately?
love your blog and engagement story. Since you said you liked stories- here's ours. 3/25/05 was good friday and my family (in NY) goes to this rustic buckwheat pancake house every good friday. it's my favorite tradition. ben flew from CO to NY to surprise me, and stayed with a family friend who is disabled. I was really confused because we got priority seating because of our disabled friend. We've always had to wait 1-3 hours for pancakes and never got priority seating. I thought my dad was cheating (because he often does)and I yelled at him as we were being seated. Then my dad handed me 6 plastic easter eggs. While drinking my maple milkshake (and later choking on it), each egg included a note from Ben which got progressively sweeter. The last egg said to turn around for my real easter gift and he was there! hiding in the kitchen! I didn't know he was proposing, and bent down at his level when he got on his knee, giving him the wrong hand. Everyone cheered and we got heart-shaped pancakes and they remember us and have a picture hanging in the restaurant- it was a great day.

Celebrate! enjoy your day :)

aw, I love that story - I'm gonna go read it again!

You know, my fella and I have been together nigh-on eight years, and known each other more than ten, so here's to taking it slowly!

(although this weekend we did look at some estate jewelry websites together because, when the time finally comes, I would like an Edwardian ring. It was actually really, really exciting ... I think, maybe, we're almost ready - not quite! but almost.)

it's so nice to know that i wasn't the only bratty just-about-to-be-engaged girl... :)

cupcake 61 says: March 16, 2009 at 02:19 PM

I found your blog after being bedridden (flu) and going through old magazine articles I had saved. I saved the Romantic Home issue of your office and home, etc....
I have been so hooked that I have read all of your blog...going back as far as I can. What an enjoyment! I ordered your book also...even though I don't crochet or knit and can barely embroidery. I took a felting class once and had to go to bed with a tremendous migraine after I got home. I love your blog and plan to become a faithful follower! You are an inspiration to even noncrafters.

Congratulations on the anniversary of your engagement! My husband and I were engaged on the evening of my parents' 25th anniverary surprise party. He had the ring in his pocket the entire day, and just couldn't find the right moment to give it to me. He waited until after the party and a 30-minute drive to my parents' house before giving it to me as I stepped out of the bathroom, fixated on adjusting my panty hose, skirt hiked up rather immodestly and not paying attention to the smiling man with the ring box. Charming image, to say the least! We called my parents who were staying late at the party, and they made us drive back to celebrate in a second wave of festivities that lasted until the early hours of the morning. Just celebrated 26 years!

Ha! I read it in the book! I also made my own wedding dress in 1981, and recently was in Oregon watching my niece try on wedding dresses after they announced their engagement. We were at David's Bridal with about 3 billion other people, and she would come out of the dressing room and stand on a circular stage where the 3 of us would watch from chairs (like spectators). It was like a circus. and not a good one.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.