Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Anatomy of a Wedding Dress

Long time, no blog.
I have been plying the needle unceasingly for the past year, too weary and drained to blog. Now that things have settled down a bit, I am ready to get back in the blogging saddle, starting with this custom wedding dress.

The bride fell in love with Carolina Herrera's Monet inspired Water Lily Dress from her 2010 Spring Bridal collection. You can see the runway show here.

The only problem was the time element- I had 6 weeks to make, fit, and deliver the dress. I decided that I was up for the challenge.

We designed her dress to be very much like its inspiration. The waterlily fabric of the original was hand painted especially for the collection and was not available to us, but she found another spectacular Herrera fabric to take it's place.

The biggest challenge was the 500 miles separating the seamstress and the bride. Good measurements are always essential, especially in a closely fitted strapless bodice. The bride found a local seamstress to take measurements and to do fittings on her end. I made a pattern and fitting muslin based on her measurements and mailed it to her. Once it had been fitted I made the lining, which was then shipped out for a fitting. 

 Next came the outside of the bodice.  The organza over bridal satin base was overlaid with a layer of hand pleated organza. Fun fact: there is a total of 64 pieces in the bodice, not counting the boning and cups.
Last but definitely not least came the skirt. One of the unique features of this dress is the blue underskirt that peeks through three layers of organza. They are all attached to the outer bodice.

To save time, I purchased a lightly used petticoat instead of building one. After cutting it to the right length, I attached it to the bodice lining.

After that came the lining, zipper, and putting it all together. I shipped it to the bride, and it arrived 3 days before the wedding. She was stunning in it!