Ahh, sweet, sweet love!
I was SO honored and excited to have been asked by a friendly acquaintance of mine to custom make his fiance’s wedding gown. We are friends on Facebook and had seen and admired some of the garments that I sew and post on my Love, Stephanie page.
I gleefully met up with the bride-to-be Terri and we started to plan the project right away as we only had three months until the wedding.
She wanted a vintage style look, and had an original idea of 1935’s-era inspired separates of a gown, an over-blouse and a long-line jacket all in silk. It was a beautiful and wonderful look that she showed me, an actual Vogue Pattern that I happened to also have in my pattern library-how about that!
After mulling over this idea for a few days, we decided that this pattern would be a lot of pieces for me to make, take up quite a lot of fabric, and that we really didn’t have enough time to make it all work.
Idea # 2 was the perfect vision! It combined a vintage look, simplicity, and I knew it was absolutely do-able in the time that we had. I just love this look!
Plus, when she said she wanted a solid color, I rejoiced because those chevron stripes meeting perfectly down the center front of this dress in insanely slippery silk charmeuse-yikes!!!
I got started researching a decent sewing pattern to base her dress off of in order to make the whole process a little easier and not have to make a pattern from scratch. I found this Simplicity pattern which is a vintage one, but from 1972:
The dress had the V-Neckline with the center front seam and angled seams under the bust and a floor length semi-flared skirt. I would lower the neckline, turn the bust darts into gathers, and make a new sleeve to resemble design lines of the inspiration gown as closely as I could.
She wanted the dress to be in a beautiful color, one that was vibrant, memorable and looked great on her warm brown skin tone. She ordered this gorgeous and lustrous silk charmeuse in a color called Citronelle from NY Designer Fabrics:
Of course, I took a few minutes to sketch out the vision of the dress, adding to it over the time and finishing it off with the look that she executed for her wedding day:
Meanwhile, I got started modifying the pattern and creating a muslin. I chose to make the first muslin out if an inexpensive polyester satin to mimic the silk, but I really should have made the first mock-up out of actual muslin and saved the satin for mockup # 2, but oh well, they both served their purposes:
I added to the sides where she need more room, lowered the neckline, and checked to see if she liked the sleeve.
Then back to flat pattern adjustments and cutting muslin #2:
She was actively loosing weight, so now the dress was TOO big! But, that’s just fine, better to have more to work with than a too-tight fit. We wanted drop the under-bust seam a little more and obviously take in more fabric in the back. Overall, the 2nd fitting went really well, I knew what I needed to do next and it was looking good and she was starting to really get excited about her gown!
We had two more fittings before the final delivery. The next was in the dress sewn up most of the way in the actual silk fabric with the changes from the last fitting, but before the zipper was put in, before the hem was cut and sewn, and with generous seam allowances on the sides and back just in case we needed more room. The last fitting, the dress was done, but she wanted to take in the sides a tad more, and there were a few seam tweakings to perfect the dress.
I added finishing touches to the dress using a beige silk lining for the bodice and sleeves:
As an added little luxe touch, I sewed in satin ribbon hanging loops at the top of the sleeves so that the dress did not just slip off the hanger when stored:
I made a tiny narrow hem to finish off the dress:
Here is the dress, all complete, steamed and ready to roll, hanging in my sewing room (not the best hanger-appeal on this dress: it really needs a body and boobs to fill it out to perfection in my opinion):
The wedding day was upon us! I was nervous about the dress and hoped and prayed that she was happy and loved her gown. It turned out to be really lovely and it looked so beautiful on her! The silk was just SO lustrous and flowed beautifully as she walked and danced with her new husband.
I had the idea to make him a little matching pocket square out of scraps of her dress fabric which she was delighted to give to him during the ceremony. So cute!
I am so in love with their love and simply honored to have such a big part of their wedding ceremony. Thank you Terri and David! Congratulations!!!!