Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Dress - Part One

Last year my best friend Emma told me she was getting married. I was excited. Not just because my best friend of 15 (yikes!) and her wonderful partner were celebrating their love or each other, but I knew their wedding would be fun! When she also suggested that we could make her wedding dress I knew it would be super fun! Emma's wedding dress is the most important garment I have made. It was an adventure and a challenge and I learned a fair bit in the process. We started looking at styles and patterns straight away, focusing on narrow waists and full skirts. We browsed vintage patterns, vintage repro patterns and my personal pattern stash for something with a 1950s-60s feel. Emma chose a pattern I already had on my shelf! Every year Burda Magazine features a range of wedding dresses and in edition 3/2008 the dresses were all inspired by celebrity wedding dresses from the last several decades. The one that caught our eye is fashioned after Grace Kelly's wedding gown from 1956. In September we traced out the pattern and I made a muslin for both the lace and satin bodices. Usually when I'm doing these things the only other person at home is Coen, who has not quite mastered photography, so it is quite a novelty to see myself at work in the pics Em took to commemorate the occasion. I don't usually bother with muslins for my own garments. To be honest, I rush things and adjust as I go with varying degrees of success. As this was a Very Important Dress, I did it properly! I knew that the pattern would have to be altered to fit as Em's measurements covered a couple of sizes. The main alteration needed was to shorten the bodice by a couple of inches as Em has a reasonably high waistline. A demonstration of poor posture as I sew! One day I'll get around to getting a decent chair for my machine. After making the alterations to the muslin and the pattern we waited until January to get the dress fabric.

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