WOWZERS!! I’ve been M.I.A. on here for 2 months!! Not TOTALLY without good reason, however. One of the reasons is simply that my stinkin’ WordPress app has not been working on my phone! Has anyone else had this issue? My phone is my main source for updating, simply because it’s so handy. I’ve already tried deleting and re-downloading the app, updating my software, etc., but nothing works.
More importantly, I’m sure you can tell from the title image what the main reason for my absence has been…
No, I didn’t get married lol.
I did however, have the exciting privilege of creating the wedding gown, bridal veil, and bridesmaid’s dresses for my younger sister’s wedding! Although I’ve sewn some apparel in the past, this project was so completely out of my comfort zone. I really hadn’t sewn many fitted garments, and if so, they were primarily from a manufacturer’s pattern. It was really exciting (and at times overwhelming) to drape and draft all of the patterns myself. I was pleased that I could figure out the order of make for the dresses with surprising ease. At the end of it all, when you see it come to life, it’s such an amazing sense of accomplishment to know you did it on your own!
The Bridesmaid’s Dresses
When I first began the project, I originally assumed the bridesmaid’s dresses would naturally be the easier of the two. WRONG! In a sense, they were. Since the material used was stretchy and the style was very drapey, the fit didn’t have to be perfect. However, figuring out how the material draped best on the dress form was at the least, time consuming. Another big difficulty I encountered was trying to fit the bust area, while maintaining the loose soft drape of both the front and back. Ultimately, we just had to pin and sticky tape ourselves in. Aside from some fit issues, I loved the feel of the fabric. It was also fully lined so it was more forgiving and didn’t feel too thin or see-through.
The bridesmaid’s dresses were inspired by the Kotahi Gown by Gemeli Power:
The Bridal Gown & Veil
For the star of the show, the bride had some VERY specific requests, which is the main reason why I was making the gown in the first place. We just knew it was going to be so difficult and/or expensive to find everything she wanted.
The silhouette she wanted was actually quite simple (thankfully!). I can’t imagine trying to create something more elaborate with my limited experience! She opted for a strapless trumpet style gown with a sweetheart bodice The difficulty was going to be creating the right fit, and finding the perfect fabric. We both searched everywhere, and ordered some swatches online. Finding the perfect shade of a burgundy/marsala wine damask jacquard is no easy task…especially when the majority of the available options are either shiny and cheap, or carpet thick. Fabric.com came through with the win! I found this home dec/upholstery fabric which was 100% the idea she had in her head. The picture doesn’t even do it justice:
There were so many elements to her gown that I had never attempted before. In addition to being fully lined, the bodice portion had a duck canvas underlining, rigilene boning, and a waist stay for added support. I had also never inserted an invisible zipper in a lined dress, and it was nice to learn how to use the blind hem feature on my machine! I’m secretly kind of addicted to it now!
We had to do about three different muslin mock ups because her measurements kept changing so drastically. I was starting to get worried that I would never be able to get the fit right! On our last one, I was soooo excited to see it FINALLY work out! Her main request was to be super fitted throughout the bodice and hips, and then gradually flow into a trumpet style gown. The front was darting out a little too sharply (in a more mermaid style), but it still worked out great. The flow of the train is my favorite!
Finding the right veil fabric proved to be waaay more difficult than finding the gown fabric. I found a stretchy knit lace from JoAnn Fabric. The color was not a complete match, but the little bit of contrast gave a nice element to the look. It was also quite heavy, so it’s a good thing she decided to go for a shorter veil.
I can’t wait to see the photographer’s photos because these cell pics just don’t capture how great the entire wedding and wedding party looked!
Although each dress had it’s own areas that needed refinement, I’m so proud of what I created, and so happy that I could bring her visions to life!
As much fun as it was creating FOUR dresses, I’m so happy to get back to sleeping and eating on a regular schedule LOL!