Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Wedding Dress

The most exciting project I have ever work on was my wedding dress. I had less than a month to have it completely finished. The thought of buying a dress did not even enter my mind. After about fifteen days I had a wonderful, one of a kind dress. (Completely one of a kind with no pattern in existence.)

I started off with a couple of pictures I found in Sposa. Then I returned to the only decent fabric store in my area. (Which coming from Los Angeles, it was difficult to find a place with a selection.) For what I was looking for, I found no options. My only choice was a silver silk shantung.

So that was settled, now I had to find steel boning for my corset. The only place I could find steel boning was in the UK. I did not have enough time to wait, and I did not want to risk something happening to it on the way to Italy. I searched high and low in my area, all I found was Rigilene. At this point I had not choice but to use two layers of Rigilene. (Which in the end I was not satisfied with it, I wish I would have had enough time to wait for the steel boning.)

Using my dressform I draped a muslin for my pattern and constructed my corset. Then using a base fabric I draped the front base of the dress and stitched it together. I then placed it on the form, at this point with the corset attached to it, then draped the actual fabric. I had never constructed and item in this manner. But being the time constraint and the fact that the dress would never need to be reproduced, this was the ideal process.
For the top piece, which includes the short tail and the center back closure, I draped it using the base fabric. I then removed it and flat-lined it to the actual fabric. So in this step I flat patterned the top outer piece. (That is using the draped base as my patten, and also the interior flat-lined layer.)

I felt structure was still necessary so I constructed a softly full, petticoat out of tulle. After minimal lining ( I made sure my interiors were finished nicely to eleminate using an all interior lining ), and a zipper my wedding dress was ready!

So now being that the wedding was in Italy and that it was in October, I had to have some sort of cover or shawl. I had a piece of ivory silk organza in mind. But when I started placing it on the dress form with the dress, it was a different look. That is the dress looked elegant and the silk organza look too, I guess old. (It was actually a veil which had been used, it looked like many, many, years ago.)

Now one more day was left before my deadline. I did have a little more then a yard left from the lining of the dress. I draped a base shaw type thing, then just starting ramdomly rushing the fabric onto it. I stitched it all down, and finished it entirely. So now I needed some type of center front closure.
The following morning I walking into a small business in town. I saw a pair of earrings which would go perfectly with the entire outfit. Once I arrived home I made a base out of a few pieces of fabric machine quilted together. I covered it with a scrap of the dress fabric. After having taken apart the earrings I placed them on the base, and stitch them. I then stitched it entirely to the shrug, shawl creation. I stitched three snaps, and I had the perfect closure!

After two fittings , less than two weeks I had an amazing wedding dress which included so much satisfaction, being that it had been constructed entirely by my hands.

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