Special Feature: The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle by Jennifer Ryan

It’s funny how war changes so much about society in unexpected ways. I loved that this book really wanted to tell the story of how war changed life for these three very different war brides. Sewing really used to be such a bonding experience for women not to mention a point of pride. I can remember my my grandma telling me about sewing with her friends and sisters and the pride she took in the fact that she sewed her own wedding dress (in the 1930s!).

In the age of everything including wedding dresses being at the tip of our fingers, it’s pretty amazing to think about women sitting around making their own wedding dresses. One of the reasons that I wanted to feature this book (and will later read) is for this reason! It just sounded so charming and really a way to nightlight a bygone era. I cannot wait to dig into this one a little later this year. It sounds like a wonderful work of historical fiction and one that historical fiction fans won’t want to miss!

When I got married in 2004, I actually had my grandma help me make my wedding veil. It was an experience and item that I will forever cherish. I am so excited to read this book because I understand how meaningful working on a project like this with someone can be. I can’t wait to check this book out. Plus Jennifer Ryan has a couple other successful novels under her belt and I can’t wait to see what magic she weaves with this one!


Three plucky women lift the spirits of home-front brides in wartime Britain, where clothes rationing leaves little opportunity for pomp or celebration–even at weddings–in this heartwarming novel based on true events, from the bestselling author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.

After renowned fashion designer Cressida Westcott loses both her home and her design house in the London Blitz, she has nowhere to go but the family manor house she fled decades ago. Praying that her niece and nephew will be more hospitable than her brother had been, she arrives with nothing but the clothes she stands in, at a loss as to how to rebuild her business while staying in a quaint country village.

Her niece, Violet Westcott, is thrilled that her famous aunt is coming to stay–the village has been interminably dull with all the men off fighting. But just as Cressida arrives, so does Violet’s conscription letter. It couldn’t have come at a worse time; how will she ever find a suitably aristocratic husband if she has to spend her days wearing a frumpy uniform and doing war work?

Meanwhile, the local vicar’s daughter, Grace Carlisle, is trying in vain to repair her mother’s gown, her only chance of a white wedding. When Cressida Westcott appears at the local Sewing Circle meeting, Grace asks for her help–but Cressida has much more to teach the ladies than just simple sewing skills.

Before long, Cressida’s spirit and ambition galvanizes the village group into action, and they find themselves mending wedding dresses not only for local brides, but for brides across the country. And as the women dedicate themselves to helping others celebrate love, they might even manage to find it for themselves. (summary from Goodreads)


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