Next week it’s our 8th wedding anniversary, it doesn’t seem like eight years since I married the best man in the whole wide world! We had a wonderful day surrounded by thirty of our closest family and friends. Our wedding was what I would describe as a handmade wedding, if I could make it, I did! It made it a very special and unique day. I thought it would be fun this week to write about a different item I made each day, the inspiration behind it and how I made it, hope you enjoy the build up to the big day…
He proposed in June and we set the date for the following March so I had just nine months to make everything, I set myself a strict timetable to get most things made by Christmas, I knew that once Christmas and the New Year were over the day would suddenly be on us!
The first thing to make was of course THE DRESS, to be completed by the end of August!! I spent a lovely day with my friends trying all sorts of dresses on and finally found the style I wanted. It was a strapless lace dress with a small train…very elegant. All I needed was a pattern, I found a New Look pattern, which on the face of it didn’t look very exciting but it had all the elements I needed, princess line, straight skirt. I ‘borrowed’ the train off another pattern and shaped the neckline to get the design I wanted.
I bought the lace at Bombay Stores in Bradford. It is stunning, I still love it! Bombay Stores is an amazing shop, it’s a huge Asian department store and their fabric department is wonderful. The lace was locked in a glass cabinet, at £50 a metre it’s the most expensive fabric I’ve ever bought, luckily I only needed 3 metres to make the dress. I would call it guipure lace, it is embellished with hundreds of seed pearls and pearl sequins.
I made the lining first as a toile to check the fit. I wanted the lace and the satin underdress to ‘hang’ from the top edge, in that I didn’t want boning and interlinings attached to the outer layers. To achieve this I made a ‘corset’ from cotton (cooler to wear) interlined with pelmet Vilene and boned, I fastened it with bra hook and eye tape so it fitted really snug. The main dress was then stitched to the top edge so it hung free. The only hassle stitching the lace was removing the pearls and sequins from all the seams!
I love rouleaux loop buttons on wedding dresses, I bought the loops ready made and found some gorgeous pearl buttons at Duttons for Buttons in Ilkley. Having the corset underneath worked really well as it meant there was no pressure on the buttons, so no worry of them coming undone!
The satin underdress was hemmed to floor length so just the lace continued on to make the train. I hand stitched the lace-edging to finish the hem. I then hand stitched lots of Swarovski crystals around the top of bodice to give extra sparkle.
One thing I hadn’t considered before the big day was the weight of the dress, for a strapless, slim fitting dress, it was actually quite heavy due to all the pearls and crystals! Having said that, it was wonderful to wear, comfortable, I felt a million dollars!