I dislike the frills and lace and bling of ready-to-wear wedding dresses. And the forced mermaid-or-princess-or-bohemian looks. If I’m to be an old bride, at least with some dignity…I hope. Designing my own is the only option! Yippeee!
Instant crush on Dessy’s Lela Rose 177! Elegant, simple, a bit sexy, perfect! Alas only available in polyester. I already imagine it clinging to my nervous damp skin on a hot day. Could I try to copy it, in a natural (cotton/bamboo/silk) fabric? No similar pattern to be found anywhere, not even at Marfy. So I stumble, step-by-step:
Prototype 1. Lekala 4400 to test the almost-off-the shoulder. So far so good.
Prototype 2. Cotton satin: first draping then cutting: bulky heavy blah!
Prototype 3 white cotton satin: first cutting the neck, then draping. Not bad, but the cotton is still stiff, and drapes like a bath towel and Prototype 4 a cheap green polyester lining, lined with a thin cotton bedsheet (getting desperate here): it’s better, but still not quite it. Getting really desperate.
So off I go to consult my own Tim Gunn, aka the fiancé. I show him the photo of original by Lela Rose, and NOT my weird toga. His candid reply: “It looks like it’s about to fall off the shoulders! And those curtain folds on the hip are weird. It’s alright but it’s definitely not a wedding dress.” Aouch. There goes my idea of stunning him with a wow dress on the big day. So I ask what would be a pretty wedding dress in his eyes. “Something like this” and he sketches the cutest, cliché wedding dress. Thin waist, wide ballgown skirt. Princess Sissi…
Complete change of tack, because through the horrors of a princess
Sofia dress, I can envision a classy 1960’s dress, with a touch of Rosa Clara, but less bombastic.
Weeks and weeks of pattern hunting bring me to StudioMariLaura on Etsy with this lovely pattern, McCall’s 7076. Also my mom is on a quick visit, we go into Brussels and she buys me 5 meters of beautiful silk! ♥
Prototype 5: McCall’s 7076 in cotton (short version > bonus summer dress). Not bad, but the bust has fit issues, and the stitched skirt pleats are too flat. Beautiful silk in mind. Also the opening of back is a bit too high/small, compared to the illustration.
Prototype 6: June dress by La Maison Victor from old cotton satin curtains. The bust fits better. But the waist is much too high, and the skirt folds too boxy. The neck line is too high too.
After some meticulous blending and adaptation of the patterns: Prototype 7. From a cheap cotton bed sheet. Almost there! Just wondering if the skirt part would look better not cut in the bias, and less circular a pattern.Prototype 8, same but with a rectangular-cut skirt, on the grain. No, bum looks weird. Let’s stick with prototype 7.
So off I went with my 5m of silk to Elena Couture, a friendly and patient seamstress in our village. I outsourced the actual sewing of the Dress. I would have botched the pretty silk with bad choice of needles and tension and such. She did a marvellous job!!!
The happy ending of the saga:
Link to the post about sewing the children’s outfits.
…and as we leave, the flash from the camera is reflected on the amazing pearlescent silk!