Thursday, January 2, 2014

Project from the Past – Wedding Dress (2003)

10 years (and a couple months) ago, I married my best friend.  There was little doubt that I wanted to make my wedding dress.  (I also wanted to make the bridesmaid dresses, but knowing my procrastinating tendencies, my dad put the kibosh on that.)

I wanted to share my dress with you.  It was actually 2 pieces, a separate top and skirt.
As I prepared for the big day, I tried on many dresses, but I had a hard time getting a decent fit due to my long torso.  I found that the 2-piece wedding dresses were better, but the tops were still not long enough for me.  My inspiration was a Maggie Sottero dress that I can not find a picture, but had some of the same features as this one.  It was a two piece gown with blue beading on the corset top.  It did have the one-shoulder tulle detail.

I started with McCalls 3853 (now OOP).  I used the pleated skirt pattern with zero alterations.  For the top, I first made a muslin from the corset pattern, getting a perfect fit.  Then I added a seam under my bust to all the front pieces so that I could attach my tulle along that seam on the final top.  I also adjust the bottom front of the bodice so that it had a smooth curve rather than the sharp “V” of the pattern.

The purchased my fabric from Ginny’s in Rochester, Minnesota.  The majority of the dress is 100% silk dupioni in an off-white color.  The bottom portion of the front of the bodice, along with the fill bodice back was the same silk, but all-over embroidery. 
I lined the skirt with black-out drapery lining for 2 reasons.  I loved the heavy weight of the lining to keep the pleats looking full.  The second reason was because I made my crinoline using dark maroon netting, which I wanted to peek out when I walked or danced, but not show through the silk skirt in pictures. 

The top was lined and then I added an interior bodice made from power net.  Even though the top had a strap over one shoulder, I really did not want there to be any stress on this detail, so the bodice was made to fit me as if it were strapless. 
It was a huge accomplishment for me to complete this dress.
Maybe you have noticed that I speak of my wedding dress in the past tense.  The reason is because my dress was taken to the dry cleaners and they shrunk my dress.  The outer skirt was 2 inches shorter than the lining and the bodice barely covered my midriff.  This was not noticed until I visited my parents’ home where the dress was stored several months later.  Since the dress had served its purpose, I really had no qualms about just trashing it.  So, it is buried in some landfill in Northern Illinois at this time.
Maybe I also did not have any issues about disposing of the dress because I still had some significant yardage leftover.  Someday I will finally get around to making something more versatile with the fabric.  I’ve even considered dyeing it another color.  Nothing has called to me yet, so it sits for now.  But when I decide to make something, it will even better.  I promise.   

1 comment:

  1. Great job with making your dress to reflect your style!!! I too have used this pattern as a base to create the dress that my daughter dreams of. Thanks for the post.