Dress in front window before ceremony.
As a sewer, you get asked to do all sorts of things... "can you make curtains for my living room?", "can you hem my jeans?", "help me with Halloween costumes?", "will you make my dress for the big dance?" and the biggest request ever, "would you make my wedding dress?". No question brings such mixed emotions like honor, fear, joy and even a little nausea! This came from my husband's niece and my immediate reaction was "Yes, of course!".... then the brain kicked in to remember to say "as long as it's simple"! As I know really there's no such thing as simple when it comes to this topic!
So we get started trying on tons of dresses with the family so we can get a sense of what works on her hourglass shape. Magazines are browsed through, sketches are created and fabric is purchased without a plan in mind (couldn't help myself, I was in NYC!). We tried on tons of dresses and finally narrowed down that high waisted halters are very flattering on her. I would have loved to make the pattern but the clock was ticking so we found a Vogue pattern (V8556) to reference (but in the end was altered so much I probally should have made that pattern!). After 3 unglamourous fittings in scrap purple taffeta I thought we were ready so I cut into that dutchess satin from Mood and got to the sewing just 3 weeks before the wedding.
All went well so we had our final fitting 2 weeks before and I'm not sure how the bust was a little big (no problem; taken out at side seams and blended to waist) and she was no happy with the skirt shape. It was bias cut and very clingy on the hips. So a last minute layer of tulle was added to the lining. And I had a silk chiffon waistband that was not working for me. I tried to had stich it down to lay nice but finally ended up taking scissors to it and making a self fabric belt with the last remaining scrap of fabric (I was kind of regretting making a wrap and a pruse out of the same fabric at that moment!). Purse is Vogue V8628, wrap a simple double layer rectangle. Both have beaded lace applique from a beautiful fabric I found at Mood in Los Angeles.
Purse and Wrap made from dress fabric and beaded lace from Mood, Los Angeles.
At the final fitting the Monday before the wedding, I was so nervous but all changes looked great! It fit well, and I only had about 1/2" to turn up to hem. We added some finishing touches with pearl chain I had leftover from making her jewelry to the center front of the belt and added some borrowed vintage pins I inherited from my Great Grandma. And she needed something blue so I stitched a message to her in the hem.
The dress made it and she looked great in it! The last wedding dress I made was my own and this time around I was way more nervous for some reason. I even had a minor nervous breakdown over setting the zipper! But in the end I was honored to make this for her special day and am ready to takle any other big project for a loved one that might come my way! I haven't sewn much in the past year (just a few necessary alterations) and this inspired me that I have been back at my machine just about every other day. I'm grateful to have had this opportunity and have a renewed sense of inspiration!
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