r/sewing Jun 19 '22 Silver 2 Wholesome 2 Helpful 1 Bravo! 1

My work was having a ball, so I designed and made my wife a ball gown [self drafted/draped] Project: FO

7.4k Upvotes

412

u/Puchaopopper Jun 19 '22

I’m just imaging you being an oil field worker and telling your coworkers you sewed a ball gown for your wife

404

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

I love it.

Not quite. I'm a mechanical engineer, but I'm the kind that's based in an office.

I used to be a carpenter though, and those guys would definitely have guffawed.

191

u/LOC_damn Jun 19 '22

Lol

Same thing. Creating things that fit. Lots of math. A little blood. Noise. 😅

My question is: where do all the sewing guys who aren’t in the fashion industry hang out? I’m trying to see something…

123

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Haha.

I think there are a fair few lurking in this subreddit. I only know of a couple of others in the flesh, but they don't live where I live, so I don't know where they hang out.

36

u/The_Canadian Jun 19 '22

A little blood.

If you don't get shanked by a needle or pin, is it even a sewing project?

7

u/sewcranky Jun 19 '22

Check out r/myog for some sewing that's not fashion related, but folks who make their own gear.

3

u/LOC_damn Jun 19 '22

Oh this is interesting! Thank you!

3

u/ismaithliombia Jun 19 '22

That's amazing!!! Do you know of any other sub that's similar but not outdoor related?

3

u/sewcranky Jun 19 '22

Well, r/upholstery is kind of interesting?

2

u/ismaithliombia Jun 20 '22

Yes, love it! Thanks

3

u/RedVamp2020 Jun 19 '22

Thank you! I’ve been trying to get the motivation to sew up some work gear that actually fits, maybe this might help…🤔

2

u/sewcranky Jun 19 '22

They're a nice group of people who like to share sources, too!

44

u/nuancedthinking Jun 19 '22

I think carpentry and sewing have a lot in common. I was not allowed to take shop in school but I learned to sew. Later when I was designing and framing a house I found what I learned about constructing garments to crossover and be helping when I was framing the house.

45

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

I totally agree. My experience in carpentry gave me an edge while studying to be an engineer too. The mental capacity to transition between a 2D representation and a 3D reality, plus understanding how things go together, is a very transferable skill.

11

u/Crafty_Rogue Jun 19 '22

What a fantastic job! I have a background in art and drafting and design. I find those skills extremely helpful in my sewing projects.

12

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

I love that we've all come at it from slightly different places and arrived at the same conclusion.

9

u/Big-Contribution-676 Jun 19 '22

if your brain and hands enjoy doing stuff like that, you might like shoe making. It uses all of that stuff, plus there's fire and knives.

2

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 20 '22

Haha, I think you are probably right. I'll almost certainly have a go at some point.

8

u/SecondaryLawnWreckin Jun 19 '22

I'm also a ME that loves to sew.

I've grown to understand that Engineering = craftsmanship.

2

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Awesome! I agree.

7

u/Spritemaster33 Jun 19 '22

I found similarities between using a band saw and using a sewing machine. I learnt both at school. Likewise, technical drawing and working with patterns.

I don't get why some people still see sewing as a "women's thing". My wife is just happy that I understand what repairs/alterations she needs without getting technical. And that's the same whether it's a dress that looks a bit baggy, or a door that won't close properly.

Anyway, nice job, OP. You do you.

6

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

I can certainly see the similarities between the band saw and the sewing machine.

Hopefully these outdated gender norms will rapidly become a thing of the past. If nothing else, we are contributing to that transition.

Thank you for the compliments.

362

u/anjschuyler Jun 19 '22

Oh my god! Oh my god!!! She looks amazing! You can see the love & care you have for your wife! Of course she win best dressed, look at her!

122

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you! I will pass on your compliments.

84

u/anjschuyler Jun 19 '22

Also please compliment yourself bc this is a++ dress making!

139

u/RickardHenryLee Jun 19 '22

Amazing work, and I love that you just jumped in to such a huge project and just figured it all out as you went along. I love the fearlessness! The pleats on the bodice are amazing, and the hand stitched zipper is gorgeous. Well done on all the darts, and making all that hand stitching look good in poly satin!

You are totally ready for silk satin for the next ball (it'll probably be easier!), I hope you'll share with us again 😍

78

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you very much! I figured worst comes to worst, we just have to buy a dress at the last minute. It was worth having a go.

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131

u/Any-Guest3014 Jun 19 '22

Beautiful and what a lucky wife!

116

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you! She agrees, but I say that I'm the lucky one.

51

u/CulturedSnail35 Jun 19 '22

That’s the right answer!

79

u/TheOrganizingWonder Jun 19 '22

Amazing! What do you usually sew? Gorgeous dress, you are very talented. I wish all of my first attempts were as good as yours!

97

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you! So far I've just made clothes for myself; a shirt and a few pairs of trousers.

10

u/TorssdetilSTJ Jun 20 '22

You’ve got hella skills, man! AND CREATIVITY! Would you like costuming?

280

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22 edited Jun 19 '22

Last night we had a ball for my work place, which of course meant that my wife needed a ball gown. Somehow, providing said ball gown became my job. In order to get the level of fit I felt she deserved, I decided (rightly or wrongly) to design and draft/drape a dress of my own. My darling wife was very patient with me through this process.

This is the first dress I've ever made, so it was very much a learning experience. Plenty of mistakes were made (and very effectively hidden). Even so, I'm very happy with how it turned out, and she won a "best dressed" award!

I used the navy blue polyester satin from Minerva, which is a very unforgiving fabric and frays to nothing if you look at it funny. I bought a cheap walking foot to see if it would help. Learn from my mistakes, don't buy a cheap one.

Plenty of firsts in this one. First making something for someone else. First garment for a woman. First dress of any kind. First concealed zip. First circle skirt. First rolled hem. First time using polyester satin. First time using a walking foot.

All in all, quite chuffed.

Edit in response to mod: I did not use any particular system to draft the dress. I just took body measurements and figured it out as I went along. I'm sorry that I can't give a more useful response than that.

86

u/goldenhawkes Jun 19 '22

Your first dress!? Self drafted!? In satin! What an undertaking! It’s fab!

48

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Haha, yeah... I don't tend to take the easy path...

Thank you

42

u/phanfare Jun 19 '22

I want to see the reactions when asked where she got the dress. "My husband made it" is probably the last answer they'd expect

32

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

There was a fair bit of that.

20

u/CactusBiszh2019 Jun 19 '22

How long did this process take you, approximately?

55

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Honestly couldn't say. I've been working on it as and when I could during evenings and weekends, but we're also in the process of moving house, so it's all kind of blurred into one.

20

u/CactusBiszh2019 Jun 19 '22

Love your dedication to seeing the project through, even in your spare time. Did you start months beforehand?

31

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

In terms of the design and toile, I probably started about three months ago. The finished dress I probably started about two months ago. If memory serves.

10

u/MadMadamDax Jun 19 '22

GORGEOUS! She looks stunning, you did an amazing job.

3

u/Lalalalolawants Jun 19 '22

Great job on this! Fray away or a lighter can help with the fraying edges (as can french seams)

3

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 20 '22

Thank you! Yes, part-way through, when I realised how bad the fraying was, I used a product called fray stop. It would've been far better to use it at the beginning, but it made it possible to finish.

8

u/lostknight0727 Jun 19 '22

I didn't see any pockets, why does no one put pockets?(more of a meme than a question) How hard is it to put a hidden pocket in the folds of the skirt/dress?(legit question)

32

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

I thought about adding pockets, but I decided not to add to the challenge. I only just finished sewing it together three hours before the ball, even without pockets.

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44

u/FamiliarWin4833 Jun 19 '22

Your wife is gorgeous, the dress is gorgeous & you have nice hands sir.

23

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you, on all three counts.

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u/ruddsix Jun 19 '22

Sir you’re setting husband bar very high. I really hope I can find a guy willing to Olympic pole jump for me

13

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Aww, thank you. There are pole vaulters out there.

Happy cake day!

25

u/Fraise49 Jun 19 '22

Such a sweet gesture for your wife. It came out amazing!

24

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you! I'm happy with it and she totally deserves all of the sweet gestures.

12

u/ConsiderationHot9518 Jun 19 '22

YOU are a keeper!!! Great job! It’s flattering and well done!

9

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Hopefully she agrees with you! Thank you for the compliments.

10

u/Charming-Series5166 Jun 19 '22

That is such a wonderful fit! I'm so impressed. Great dress!

5

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you! I appreciate the compliments. I tried hard to get a good fit.

13

u/-E-Cross Jun 19 '22

The smile on her face says it all. Fantastic work

7

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Haha! That tickled both of us. Thanks.

2

u/-E-Cross Jun 19 '22

NP frendo, Happy Father's day if that's applicable to you

11

u/anotterloveswater Jun 19 '22

no wonder she married you!! <3

9

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Haha. She married me before I learned to sew, but I'll take it

7

u/ItsNotSherbert Jun 19 '22

Love it. Question: did you ever consider pockets?

13

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

I always consider pockets. On this occasion, I chose not to add them. I barely finished in time as it was.

9

u/electricbluecedar Jun 19 '22

This was an absolute delight of a post. Love the behind the scenes looks and your commentary on them. Great job - it looks like it fits her beautifully!

2

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you. I do like to show at least some of the process. There's so much that goes into a finished garment.

I am very happy with how well it fit.

7

u/BuddhistNudist987 Jun 19 '22

Beautiful, and such a pretty color! I bet she was so happy, I would be!

6

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you! She was very happy, and therefore so was I.

6

u/the_argonath Jun 19 '22

What's the math under the dress?

7

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Nothing special. Just practising various methods of analysis for variable loading on a surface.

1

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

The same stuff as last time.

5

u/[deleted] Jun 19 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

9

u/fabricwench Jun 19 '22

Your comment was removed for the following reason:

  • Don't be inappropriate We like our users to feel comfortable sharing their images/projects without getting hit on or judged. They are here to talk about their sewing-related projects, not about their general looks or attractiveness. Complimenting OP on their project is fine, but commenting on other aspects of their appearance or making sexualized comments, no matter how well-intentioned, is considered inappropriate in this subreddit.

5

u/Austiny1 Jun 19 '22

So jealous of people with these types of skills and patience…great job

6

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

I think I have more persistence than patience... As for the skills, I think anyone is capable of learning, if they want to.

8

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Many a curse word was uttered

4

u/TexasGROMMY Jun 19 '22

As an engineer you know the Cardinal rule is NEVER buy cheap tools. Even walking feet.

3

u/plainoverplight Jun 19 '22

that best dressed award must’ve felt super satisfying for you!!! awesome job!

1

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

It was very satisfying.

3

u/DiscombobulatedBabu Jun 19 '22

Wow!! Such a perfect fit! 12/10 spouse

3

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Haha, thank you.

3

u/Pennysews Jun 19 '22

Wow, she looks beautiful! Great job, I bet she loved it so much. I’m really enjoying these male-perspective sewing posts, we have some talented fellows on here.

2

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you! She loved it very much. She says she felt elegantly beautiful.

3

u/Iamareddirtgirl Jun 19 '22

Wow, she looks amazing. You are your wife’s Prince Charming and fairy godmother rolled into one. Wishing you the best happily ever after.

3

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

That is a wonderful comment, thank you very much.

3

u/rumbellina Jun 19 '22

Very well executed!! That’s a challenging fabric to work with and you did it very well!

5

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you! I agree, it was very challenging (much swearing). I did not choose the fabric.

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u/kayceeplusplus Jun 19 '22

Awww! Talented king

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u/Melardhoniel Jun 19 '22

Amazing fit and such a great job on the gown! I really dont want to be offend you since you did such an amzing job and maybe its a taste thing but a V shaped back rather than a full coverage back would be more flattering to the beautiful front. Please post more creations, id love to see it!

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u/theyreall_throwaways Jun 19 '22

Wow, she def deserves best dressed! That dress is amazing; but I'm sure having a beautiful model helps.

I couldn't imagine takin on this project, but everything turned out so perfect. I hope she gets to wear it many more times, even if it's just to the grocery store. She looks too amazing in it too leave it hanging. Congrats to both of you.

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Aww thanks. She said it's her new go to wedding outfit.

2

u/Ok_Yogurtcloset9728 Jun 19 '22

Wow, just lovely. The draping of the fabric is beautiful. Well done!

2

u/For_The_Sail_Of_It Jun 19 '22

Amazing job! Especially for all those firsts. The dress and your wife look flawless.

I’m stumped about what the pattern piece is in the last few photos. Are there seems at the shoulder or not?

3

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you!

No there aren't any seams at the shoulder. It's double layered, by which I mean it's lined with the same fabric. After stay stitching everything, I sewed the two layers together along the edge from centre back to centre front and around the armhole.

Then I fed everything through the shoulder, kind of like bagging it out. That way there's no seam at the shoulder and it sits smoothly.

That's why I had to drape it, so that the fit was good enough that it wouldn't require adjusting at the shoulder. I had to adjust the pattern a couple of times.

2

u/Timthemedic Jun 19 '22

I admire people who can sew, nice job.

2

u/hdmx539 Jun 19 '22

Lovely! Tell her it looks gorgeous on her.

2

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

She had been told. She says thank you.

2

u/Large-Calligrapher98 Jun 19 '22

Beautiful gown and your wife is equally beautiful!!

1

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you. She is, I agree. She has a beautiful smile.

2

u/[deleted] Jun 19 '22

She looks incredible!

2

u/TinyMexicanJew Jun 19 '22

If this were her post, I’d tell her to ‘marry you again!’

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Aww, that's sweet. Thank you.

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u/lclassyfun Jun 19 '22

simply and elegantly fabulous😻👗🏆

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Aww, thank you

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u/KidsSeeRainbows Jun 19 '22

She looks great in the dress!

Her smile looks lovely too :)

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you, haha. I agree, it's her best feature.

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u/amodelmannequin Jun 19 '22

Your username is cool, OP

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Haha, thanks. I'm happy with it.

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u/[deleted] Jun 19 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

2

u/sunshinenwaves1 Jun 19 '22

BEAUTIFUL 💖

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

She is, isn't she. Such a winning smile.

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u/Disney_Plus_Axolotls Jun 19 '22

This is gorgeous! It fits so nicely on her! You deserve an award for doing something your wife didn’t ask you to do. Bravo👏🏼👏🏼

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you. I was very happy with the fit, and so was she.

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u/7thousand777 Jun 19 '22

Yea. Best dress

2

u/planit82 Jun 19 '22

Wow. That's great.

2

u/ItsHuji Jun 19 '22

That's incredible!! It looks so professional and well-fitted, rightfully won best dressed, well done!

1

u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you very much!

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u/itsJeth Jun 19 '22

Jaw dropper for sure!

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you from both of us.

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u/5nitch Jun 19 '22

Wow

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thanks!

3

u/5nitch Jun 19 '22

I’m not surprised I read in your comments you did some carpentry, your pattern making and attention to detail is something to be very admired. I hope you and your wife are proud of this beautiful dress, you are very skilled with your hands and patient!

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u/huffcat Jun 19 '22

“All in all, quite chuffed “ Have you ever been a contestant on the Great British sewing bee? (You should apply😊)

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

I have not been. Thank you for the compliment. I have no intention of applying, I don't think my blood pressure would survive the time pressure.

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u/bestdays12 Jun 19 '22

How perfect!! Great job!

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u/guacamoletango Jun 19 '22

Amazing sewing! Were your colleagues surprised that you sewed her dress yourself?

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you very much. They were indeed.

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u/MamasSweetPickels Jun 19 '22

The dress is gorgeous. You wife is a lucky woman to have a talented spouse.

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u/sierralz Jun 19 '22

That is red carpet gorgeous. The color and fit is amazing, beautiful work!

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 20 '22

Wow, that's quite the compliment. Thank you!

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u/night-readers Jun 19 '22

OP, this is so awesome!! Beautiful work and your wife looks so lovely!

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u/Hancock708 Jun 19 '22

Beautiful!!!!!

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 20 '22

Thank you from both of us

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u/AggressivelyNice_MN Jun 19 '22

Absolutely stunning dress for your beautiful wife!

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u/ancfm95 Jun 19 '22

Woah, mad props 🔥

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u/Active_Recording_789 Jun 19 '22

Awwwwwesome job and husband of the year!!

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u/celeloriel Jun 20 '22

This is amazing. What beautiful & detailed work. I too just made my first circle skirt (cotton, not satin) and hemming it was one heck of a learning experience, for sure.

Thank you so much for posting this - she looks lovely, and it’s so encouraging to my own sewing journey.

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u/ccc2801 Jun 20 '22

I hear they’re looking for new applicants for The Great British Sewing Bee for next season; you should definitely sign up! Amazing dress and your wife looks both classy and sexy in it.

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 20 '22

Haha, thank you. I won't be applying, but I thank you for the compliment.

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u/nyleveper Jun 20 '22

There aren’t many dresses with that much cleavage and a full back. I love it!!! 🤩

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u/Metalbasher324 Jun 20 '22

Nicely done. Like the fit and finish.

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u/maryalmaelizabeth Jun 20 '22

This is an amazing thing you did.

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u/Maguffin42 Jun 20 '22

Elegant! Suits her so well.

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u/reddituser6213 Jun 19 '22

She looks so happy

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

She does, doesn't she

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u/Snoo33903 Jun 19 '22

That is gorgeous! And fits her perfectly. It is so flattering to her figure.

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

Thank you! I really wanted to give her something that finally fit her in a way that's flattering. I'm really glad I managed to hit the mark.

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1

u/TexasGROMMY Jun 19 '22

Wow. Beautiful color. Beautiful gown. Well done.

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u/BasicReference4903 Jun 19 '22

Stunning!

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u/little_so_and_sew Jun 19 '22

She is, isn't she. I'm a lucky man.

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u/wesleepallday Jun 19 '22

This is lovely. The fit is very nice.

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u/lockmama Jun 19 '22

Holy cow you rock!

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u/TheWholePenetrator Jun 19 '22

Did she spin when she entered the ball? Or was that just a seinfeld thing.

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u/tjamos8694 Jun 19 '22

This is the kind of husband I want to be

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