Jillian & Dax’s Romantic Handmade Everything California Mountain Elopement

05 | 27 | 2010


Seeing two of your beloved friends marry is its own particular joy, and although I might be (therefore) biased in saying so, Jillian & Dax’s super-secret informal mountain wedding celebration was just about perfect: romantic, personal, and really laid-back.  Everything was handmade. Everything. And everyone who came pitched in to make the wedding happen.  One friend made the cake, another painted the wooden cake-toppers.  One friend did Jillian’s makeup (actually, the same friend who painted the cake toppers); another did Jillian’s hair.  Of course, I took the photographs.  My husband Matt was making fruit salad until just before he started taking pictures himself. Their friend, Kelly, who married them also barbequed the meat for dinner.  Lots of folks pitched in to make dinner … and the tissue paper pom poms you can just barely see in the few reception photos.  I was “off-duty” at the reception; we just set up a photo booth and let people snap pictures of themselves which are too, too hilarious to share on this blog.

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Jillian made her own wedding gown, including the pattern for it.  She deconstructed a vintage dress to make the pattern for the bodice, sewed it, and then began to work on the doilies.  It took three weeks and over two miles of crochet yarn to complete the effect.  I am still marveling at all the detail.  Nobody I know can envision a wildly ambitious project and then pull it off like Jillian can.

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If you look closely at those little cake-toppers, you’ll see that they’re “dressed” just as Jillian, Dax, and their daughter Phi were, right down to the tiniest details (even Dax’s ascot—Jillian made the real life version from the lining of her dress!).  After the cake-cutting, Jillian changed into a custom-made safari suit to match Dax’s. How cute is that?

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photographs: Gia Canali; hair, Angelina Yuge, 562.686.6200 (she is actually a makeup artist!); makeup, Nicole Burg, 818.970.9582; cake topper forms, Goose Grease Undone (she also makes custom-painted ones, here); Dax and Jillian’s custom safari suits, safarisuits.biz; flowers, LA Flower Mart, arranged by the bride.  We’re thrilled and honored that Jillian & Dax’s wedding is being featured over on {100 Layer Cake} today!


91 Notes on “Jillian & Dax’s Romantic Handmade Everything California Mountain Elopement

  1. Enric

    Hi, I am a pattern maker, and a student of tayloring in Barcelona specialised in men. I have to say this is a fabulous dress. With the minimum, the maximum. This is really art. We don’t need to expend a big ammount of dollars in suits or dresses. Here there is a marvelous example. Congratulations for your dress a for the wedding.

    Best regards from Barcelona.


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    Simply wish to say your article is as surprising. The clearness to your publish is simply excellent and i could assume you are an expert in this subject. Well together with your permission let me to grasp your RSS feed to stay updated with drawing close post. Thanks one million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  6. Gessica

    Hello, how are you?
    First congratulations to the couple for marriage.
    I am Brazilian, I am organizing my wedding and loved seeing the dress Jillian sites. I really want to get married in a dress like that, my mother and mother will help me make one, but wondered how it was done.
    I saw you friend Jillian, could she help me with this? Please. *.*

    Sorry for my english, I’m using a translator. ^^

  7. Gia Post author

    Gessica — Jillian wrote the name of the book she used in one of the comments! That’s a good place to start looking. Congrats on your engagement and good luck making your dress. I’m sure it will be beautiful.

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  9. Lu Ann P

    I came to your site via Knit and Crochet Now’s post on Facebook about this beautiful dress. Reading your blog about the entire wedding, however, makes me tear up with it’s perfection.

    Utter perfection.

  10. Sammy

    Hi congrats from the UK, your dress is beautiful, just love the idea and the execution, stunning. Which pattern did you deconstruct it from, would love to have a go myself, suggestions please when the honeymoon is over.

    Sammy x

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  12. Kristine

    Your wife’s dress is absolutely stunning. I have a crochet blog, and was wondering… Would be ok to post a couple of pics? I will gladly link back to your blog. Thanks.


  13. Kristine

    Jillian’s dress is absolutely stunning. I have a crochet blog, and was wondering… Would be ok to post a couple of pics? I will gladly link back to your blog. Thanks.


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  16. Cath

    Where can I find the pattern to make a dress like this? It is just wonderful.
    Thanks in advance.


  17. Nat

    Love this dress ! Congratulations !
    It’s is a fairytale dress !
    I didn’t find Jillian’s comments about the dress ? (about the book, and the pattern) ? Where are they exactly ? Does Jillian have a blog or a website, can I have the link, thank you very much !

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  19. Gia Post author

    Sorry! I didn’t realize this wasn’t visible anymore, so here it is again:

    Okay, for all the folks who have been looking for a pattern … this is what Jillian shared on Ravelry and she is happy to share with all of you, too:

    Hi All!

    A friend told me that you were all talking about me on Ravelry and I thought I would chime in to answer some questions/clarify some things about my massive wedding dress project.

    I first got the idea from Nikki Epstein’s book “Knitting in Tuscany”. There was a pattern for a doily dress in there that was super cute, but I had my heart set on a vintage inspired Grace Kelly/Audrey Hepburn type dress.

    I then made a dressform of my body out of duct tape and made the pattern for the green dress. For the bodice, I deconstructed a vintage Magy London drop waist dress and sized it to my body. For the skirt, I took 3 1/2 yards of fabric and sent it though my ruffler foot on my Singer Slantomatic.

    Once the green dress was made I started crocheting like crazy. Most of the patterns came from Patricia Kristofferson’s “99 Little Doilies” I was hoping to make all the doilies between 2” and 6”, but under my time constraints, I had to make larger ones to fill up the huge circle skirt. I LITERALLY did nothing but crochet for 3 weeks straight. I averaged about 2 1/2 hours of sleep at night. After careful piecing and pinning (which was more difficult then I expected), I enlisted the help of my mother to sew the doilies together/to the dress (I too hate that part). If it were not for her sewing, I would not have finished in time.

    It came down to the wire – I was still crocheting the night before the wedding. The reason I was sewn into the dress was to hide the zipper, so the doilies looked seamless.

    It came out exactly as I wanted and I’m so pleased that it got picked up on some wedding blogs so that others can appreciate all the work that went into it. My big challenge now is, how do I preserve it?

    Thanks for the love!


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