So, I mentioned I’m working on a wedding dress.
It has been a fun process…and quite a process. Eliot was only three weeks old when I accepted the request to custom design and sew this gown by an old friend, Katie. I think Dave thought I was a little off my rocker, but it has been the most fabulous experience (sans the whole finger issue
I loved the chance to start from scratch, and will be finishing it up this week. I realized it would make one REALLY long post, so I’ve decided to divide it into pieces and post them separately. Here’s the first installment: design and sketch.
Katie and I went back and forth about design ideas. I found my desktop covered with snipped screen shots of the many things I saw that could be incorporated into a dress that felt like Katie. There were a few elements she knew she wanted for sure: tea length, pin tucks, and lace. Other than that, she wanted simple, comfortable, and fun.
Finally, we had assembled some great ideas, so I sketched out a couple to visualize as a whole dress. Mind you, I’m no artist. I used these cool fashion body forms as templates on which to draw the dress ideas. We toyed with a possible gathered side seam. I thought a butterflied sleeve might be cool.
I tried puffed sleeves, straight sleeves. We looked at a little shorter or a little longer. I thought a knot at the waistband could be a fun detail.
There was a fleeting thought of a faux wrap bodice. Then there was the question of side or back zipper. All just details. Fun, important details.
After reviewing all of the ideas, Katie and I chatted about those that felt like they worked best together, and THE DRESS was born. It would be a cream silk de chine dress with three quarter sleeves and tea length hemline, both finished with two layers of vintage cotton lace. A simple, smooth v-neckline in front and back, with diagonal flaring darts at the bust and a side zip would complete the bodice. Beige piping would line the fitted waistband, upon which a second, skinny piped band would lie, tied into a knot to one side. And, of course, the length of the skirt would be detailed with pin tucks.
Stay tuned for the next phase: pattern making…