Monday, May 9, 2022

Making a Wedding Dress: Part 1


How it started...

The story begins on June 8, 2021. After trying on dresses at a popular salon, Laura and I had lunch and went over the options. She really liked one dress in particular, but just wasn't ready to commit to spending over $1400. I suggested that, if she wanted me to, we could probably create a beautiful gown for around $500. I wanted her to be sure, but the wedding was in October, so we would need to get started ASAP!

She said yes to the dressmaker, me, also known as mother of the bride and grandmother of the flower girl... there was going to be more sewing than just a bridal gown!

Getting just the right fit and style...

So off we went! She found a knock off pattern on Etsy, and I mashed together some patterns for the first muslin. No pictures of this because after the first try on (with pictures taken on her phone), she sent said pictures to her friends and it was a big NO. Back to square one.

She had a second choice dress from the try on session. Square neckline, deep scoop back, princess seams, full circle skirt with train. Simple enough, right?

So I made a second muslin.

Not too bad. Definitely had some issues. Then I started thinking. Not always a good idea in hindsight. 

I was concerned that where the center bodice met the side bodice/strap area at the square neckline, the satin, lining, potential lace would just be too much fabric. Of course I didn't decide to make any changes right away, but tinkered with this fit at least one (maybe two?) more time before going with a design that had the princess seams curve and end at the armholes instead of the neckline.

I bought real muslin! Things were getting serious now. A princess-seamed fitted bodice combined with a bride that (rightly) wanted it just so meant I really needed to get to work. 


More muslins, more fittings. She worked from home, so popping in for a quick try-on was easy enough.

The straps in the back seemed to be the hardest thing to get right.

Eventually, you just have to say... this is it! We can work with this one!

And so it was on to the buying of the fabric! Coming up in Part 2.

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