Saturday, 17 June 2017

Wedding dress: Inspiration, design, and fabric

Today I'm beginning to share the details of the dress in full. It'll take a few posts to get to the reveal as I wanted to share the process of constructing it. Thankfully, I had a fairly strong idea of the style of dress I wanted from the beginning. I wanted it to be full length, all the lace, fitted to the hips followed by a gradual A line skirt to allow for a elegant, flowing look. I also knew that I wanted something different from the traditional full white or ivory wedding dress - I wanted a little pop of colour but I wasn't sure what that looked like. 

From the extensive internet searching, I fell in love with the Adele dress by Amelia Sposa with its beautiful illusion cap sleeves, vintage lace and buttons all the way down the centre back. I also loved the illusion back although I knew this wouldn't be something I could replicate as I wouldn't be comfortable with that much of my skin on show! 


Source for both photos here

Before committing to replicating the style, I decided to visit a bridal shop to try on some actual wedding dresses. I wanted to be certain that I had the right design from the beginning as I didn't have time to start again if I got it wrong. In addition I wanted the experience of trying on dresses of all styles and many with a price tag I would never be able to afford! In 90 minutes I tried on about six different styles. The experience confirmed that I wanted a full lace dress. It also told me that I needed a fair amount of structure and support in the bodice, that I wanted a longer train that I originally anticipated and that the dress needed to be fairly lightweight - I really struggled to carry the heavy dresses in heels. 

I did find a dress that I would have bought if I hadn't already decided to make my own. That dress is Carolyn by Augusta Jones. I loved the boat neck with the scallops and the gathered lace to one side was lovely and extremely flattering. The picture below is in ivory but I tried on a blush version. Perhaps the most important part of trying on this dress was that it reassured me that my instinct to include some colour was absolutely right. I took my mum, Adam's mum, and my bridesmaids with me to the shop and it was interesting to hear their differing opinions on the styles and colours - there was a strong preference for the traditional white or ivory. Ultimately I wanted the dress to reflect me - and I needed to go for something a little different to the classic traditional colours.

Source here

A day or so later, I still couldn't get some of the features of the Carolyn dress out of my mind so I drew up the design which incorporated elements of both Adele and Carolyn. As you can see from the sketch below, it includes illusion lace at front and back, cap sleeves, a sweetheart neckline, and buttons the full length of the dress. The bodice is very fitted and the skirt flows gently to the floor ending with a train at the back which is perfectly curved. I wanted to achieve a simple, elegant, almost flawless look with some key details. I was sure that I would be able to make this in the allocated time and quickly started ordering samples. 



The trickiest part would be finding the lace as I'm sure picky with the designs. At the recommendation of Twitter, I ordered several samples from Platinum Bridal Fabrics. They have some exquisite designs throughout their site and it would be so easy to convince yourself you need the more expensive laces! At the same time, I ordered multiple samples of the medium weight silk crepe backed satin from Beckford Silk. I've ordered from Beckford before and was impressed with their fabrics. All of the samples from them were subtle colours. I then lost hours to comparing the different colours with the different laces, seeking different opinions. Eventually I paired the rosewater silk satin with the Shelley lace and knew I had my combination. 

I purchased the following fabrics to complete the dress:

1m Cotton Twill (Whalley)
4m Silk Organza (Whalley)
4m Crepe back silk satin in Rosewater (Beckford Silk)
3m Pink Bremsilk (McCulloch & Wallis)
4m Shelley lace (Platinum Bridal)

Stay tuned for the next post which provides detail of the pattern and constructing the bodice. 

2 comments:

  1. Wow, that gathered lace of the Augusta dress looks quite original.
    Well done on going to a bridal shop; I think it is a great tip for those who are on the fence about making their own dress!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's also super helpful for those who know they are making it. It certainly changed my mind on a couple of points.

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