Thursday, January 10, 2013

Brenna's Wedding Dress

I'm writing this as a retrospective, since it's already 2013! (Whoa! How did that happen?!) Brenna's custom wedding gown was the largest undertaking of my sewing career, let alone 2012! And the wedding was in July!  Yeesh.

Having been a sewer since I was 7, my sister and I always knew that I would make her wedding dress. It was a part of the story from the beginning.  "...and then Shelby's going to make my dress...."  And then when she and her fiance got engaged, it struck me that, "Shit! I'm going to make a wedding dress!" It was all of the sudden real and felt like a sort of scary-big deal.

My education at Apparel Arts in San Francisco provided me with all of the skills I needed to make B's pattern.  Take her measurements, draft her sloper and draft her dress pattern from the sloper.  Still with me?  Then fittings with mock-ups 1 & 2, and a Skype fitting for mock-up #3.

Meanwhile... I ordered a bolt of silk from the manufacturer because it was a lot cheaper that way.  It was a 100% silk double sided satin in ivory.  Gorgeous fabric with a lovely weight.  I also ordered a roll of 100% silk organza for the flounce, Habutoi silk for the lining, and a roll of crinoline for the, uh, crinoline.
And I cleaned my sewing space since I was about to convert it to white silk land. And that is a scary clean place.
By the time I cut and assembled the dress, it was actually the 4th time I had done so because of all the mock-ups.  It went together really smoothly, and as always it looks so much better in silk than in muslin!

I mailed the dress to her, and we didn't open it until a few days before the wedding.  It was a bit of a wrinkled mess, and I had only a small hand steamer to try and hang/steam the wrinkles out!  But where there's a will there's a way.


think she looked gorgeous on her wedding day. It's true that a seamstress's job is never done. I felt like there were always more things I could have done or worked on, but at a certain point it's done and it's beautiful.  And she loved it!

Oh Yeah, and I made my dress, too!