Thursday, September 22, 2011

Back with Wedding Bells On...

I thought that the best way to get back into the swing of sewing after returning from my time in Italy was to help one of my very good friends with her upcoming wedding dress. Have I ever made a wedding dress? No. Have I ever worked with lace? Have I ever made a boned bodice? Still no. But, am I hopeful and ready for this challenge? Absolutely, Yes! And is my friend a forgiving, easy-going person? Yes, thank god.

Here is the skinny: the dress we are making is going to be created out of her mother's wedding dress from 1970. It was a fully lined Chantilly lace with a long bell sleeves, high neckline, empire waist with fuller a-line skirt with train. No crazy Renaissance rope-belt like my mother's from the same year, but still a very distinctive style from the period. Let's just say, we knew it needed to be updated.

We (well not we, so much as her patient mother) have deconstructed the dress to see what we have to work with. The game plan now is to take all the lace and reconstruct the bodice from the sleeve material and give it a more modern neckline, have cap sleeves instead of full and an under-bodice (if that is a real word) with a sweetheart neckline. The bodice lace will no longer be fully lined as before, except for the sweetheart neckline bodice to the floor. Does that make sense? It will when I have pictures.

At the start of this journey we went to the local wedding dress boutique to see if perhaps there was something she would find without having to rip apart and reconstruct said 70's dress. And there was — with a ridiculous price tag to match. Apparently when you add lace (and I think a certain recent Princess) then the price tag goes through the roof. We did take the opportunity to inspect and investigate the pricier dresses to get a better idea of what we should be doing. We checked how the horsehair braid was attached. Was there a waist-stay and so forth. Any of you fellow seamstresses who dissect a dress in a fitting room will know what I mean. Just imagine doing it with full wedding gowns and a store employee watching over you. Much discretion and creativity was needed :)

I don't have any pictures right now of the muslin stage, but those will come soon. Most of the pics we have are the bride in her undergarments and lace or muslin pinned to her. Needless to say, they are pictures that I don't want (nor does she) floating around the internets! I will be back with more of ongoing construction.

I am tempted to take Gertie's online bombshell dress to help with the bodice. Anyone taken it? Either way, here we go!!


  1. Yay! Maggie is blogging again!!!

  2. Great - you're back!! You've been missed. Good luck with the dress and looking forward to seeing the progress.

  3. So happy to have you back!! Can't wait to see pics!