Wednesday, October 24, 2012

First Adventure With a Wedding Gown

I can't put into words how excited and honored I felt having been asked to make a wedding dress!! And by one of my dearest friends - no less. It was *such* a privilege! I'd been dreaming of making one for along time. So as you can imagine I was beyond thrilled when my darling friend, Lauren, asked me to make hers!  

She did a bunch of searching in the couple months following her engagement and decided on this dress as the basic design idea.

As you can see its a bit 1950's inspired.
Source: via Lauren on Pinterest

Source: via Lauren on Pinterest
Less than a month before the wedding we began the actual creating process. We spent a 5 hours fitting session together one afternoon. Where we draped the bodice, measured for the skirt length, went over different options, etc.
The very beginning...forming the shoulder and side seams.
For safety reason we shaped the neckline on the dressform... ;)

So much pinning and tweaking...
Do you ever wonder how we make heads or tails out of these things??? Yeah so do I... lol

The final mockup. We did 4 all together I do believe.

We decided on this gorgeous silk chiffon for the material. Fully lined bodice and skirt, as well as 3 layers of chiffon for the skirt. Frankly I was a bit nervous. :D Close-ish time limits and having never worked with chiffon before. But I couldn't have asked for a better or more patient bride!
Getting ready to cut. A wee bit nerve wracking...

20+ yards of silk chiffon! So lovely.

We hand gathered all the layers of the skirt. Each one was 170" around... thus equalling 1360" of gathering threads and approximately 19,040 stitches. The bodice went together very quickly. I hemmed the 'sleeves' by hand, as well as over casting all the seams and whipping the armscye "hems"...only catching the lining. Easier said then done. ;) Oh and I just have to say the zipper went in perfectly on the first try! I think that could be a new record for me. lol They are one of the reasons I prefer pre-1920's sewing. ;) We did a very narrow serged stitch to hem the skirt. It worked okay and looked fine, but I think next time I'll do it by hand. Once again my historical sewing side coming out. Me and sergers don't get along.
Me and Michelle hand gathering on the shirts.
I think this shows how fun silk chiffon is to work with... lol
After getting the dress itself finished we had another fitting. Everything was looking quite nice, but we decided to add a sash to set it off.
The first try on of the actual dress.

Experimenting with different sash ideas.
Overcasting the waist seam - after I was sure I wouldn't need to be tearing anything apart. :).
The sash
Tiny little sleeves. Super fluttery and sheer. :)
Finally finished!
Just really liked this shot. ;)

The back....
All in all I think it took about 2 weeks to make it.
A couple sneek peaks of the day...

Keep your eyes open for a post in the next few days about the actual wedding where you'll get to see more pictures of the dress, complete, on the gorgeous bride, with the sash properly placed, as well as a fluffy skirt. ;)



Anonymous said...

Lovely! You did a beautiful job, and the bride looks stunning.

Sarah Jane said...

What a beautiful, beautiful dress and beautiful bride! I can't wait for the post about the wedding!

Sarah said...

Beautiful work! I love the style. : )

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Brooke said...

Thanks so much, ladies, for the lovely comments. :)