And also fitting that Lindsay was talking about wedding dresses and asked if anyone had made theirs. She asked about posting them so that is what I worked on today. Here is my wedding dress I made circa 1986.
My wedding dress was indeed a labor of love. A year to be exact. I spent two months looking through Bride and Modern Bride in 1985/86. Lots of very oppulent, Mermaid styles with tons of beading and sequins. Long, flowing veils with fancy headpieces. I wanted that. It was the '80's, you know. Excessive everything. Even the price. I couldn't afford an $8,000 gown on a poor college student's budget. DH was still in college, too, while I was making it. I didn't make the veil. It was loaned to me by my boss who made it for her daughter's wedding two years before. However, the headpiece is mine. I bought it at a fabric store, probably no longer in existence. $68 I think. I had to attach it to the veil.
The silhouette (sp?):
Who knows where I purchased my fabric, maybe SoFro in our local mall? The lace overlay on the bodice and sleeves...I really have no idea. That might have been SoFro too. Or maybe a long-gone independent. The beads and sequins were purchased from a long-defunct craft store in our area. I bought $200 worth of them for the gown. Each painstakingly handstitched one by one.
The pattern was a Butterick. It was heavily altered. My sister who can drape and do pattern design helped me redesign the gown to the pics in the magazines. It originally was a boatneck with not-so-big sleeves. I told my sister, "Low V-neck, big sleeves...They have to be REALLY big just like the magazine!" So we redesigned it together because at the time I didn't do anything besides lengthen/shorten. I made two muslins from some cheap pink taffeta-like fabric until the fit and design was right. The bridesmaids dresses were the original pattern design and were made by independent seamstresses, not me. I had no time.
Here are two of my bridesmaids in the original pattern design. My mom and dad got fancy in the tux and mermaid style too :) .
The bodice was a lace overlay with the fabric too. I'd try it it on, add more here, more there. The dress was not lined as per the pattern. It just had a facing which was fine by me. I couldn't use a cheapo zipper and used a very sturdy, kind of metal-looking on the inside one. The dress was ultimately somewhat heavy.
I didn't know about couture techniques back then. Whatever books I could get my hands on is what I used for info, along with asking my sister. She wasn't a whole lot of help other than the redesign in the summer time because she was away at college. So basically it was "Make it work any way I can."
The night before the wedding she helped me with one last issue--the button/loop for the train. I couldn't do that by myself and didn't trust anyone but her because she knows how things are supposed to hang and cascade just the right way. Here are two pics of the train up and "hooked".
These are the closeup pics of the piece of wearable art that I am most proud of, in the days when I was an absolutely fearless sewer. Yes, I took them out today to take the pics. I never had it preserved and now it's a lovely cream shade.
Closeup of front detail:
Closeup of the back and sleeve. I had a devil of a time putting on those big beads going down the lower half of the sleeve.
I hate being afraid. It has been one of my resolutions to "feel the fear and do it anyways", a quote from a knowledgeable PR member. Something I never used to feel, but with the wealth of knowledge given to us via the Internet also comes fear that maybe we should be afraid. But...fear NOT! Pick up the scissors and just do it. Even if it's a wedding dress.