Thursday, 2 August 2012

Bridal books and wedding dresses

Since about mid last year I think it is now, perhaps even earlier I have been working with a lovely young lady in making her first and also my first wedding dress!

She approached me at work, over lunch in our cafeteria one day. I was pretty reluctant to say yes at first, as I could hear everything my teacher had said to me during our Custom Clothing for a Client course running through my head…..

Suit Jacket, pants and t-shirt I made during my 'Custom Clothing for a Client' course
She talked about how much of a work load a wedding dress can be, how emotional not just the bride, but the mother, and bridesmaids can all get. How the bride can continuously endeavor to lose weight, making all prior fittings useless each time she had lost a few kilos. She explained to us the importance of a very early contract, agreeing on rates, and especially agreeing on a design.

Agreeing on the design was something that she placed of very high importance, because as a dress maker, you need it in writing, an agreement that this is what the bride wanted and signed for, and therefore avoiding a crazy ‘bridezila’ situation, where she turns around halfway through the final dress screaming, “NO! This isn’t what I wanted”, hysterically in tears....  

I wasn't expecting an invite! But one popped up in the mail one day, so i'll be going to Adelaide for it! Can't wait to wear something I've made at a wedding where I've made the dress also!!

It took me a while to decide, she had already told me that she had found a picture of the back of a lovely 1950’s wedding dress, but could not source a picture of the front. The thing that I found the most stressful was that she said that she had seen other things I had made and therefore had enough confidence in me to make her dress. Scary thought really. Where is this unjustified faith in my sewing abilities coming from?

Eventually I said yes, and since then have been having fittings and little meetings every so often. Last night we ordered the fabric for the final dress. How exciting, and scary. I won’t want to even touch it, let alone, cut into it. AHHHHHhhhhhhh!!!!
For 'Something Blue' I will be using my lovely machine to fancily embroid their names and date on the inside of the bodice :)
Buttons taken from her mothers wedding dress on the final toile - pretty!

The hardest thing I’m finding is having any form of confidence in my own abilities. Doing something like is this a lot of responsibility and daunting to say the least. When I go and have meetings and fittings with her, I get super excited and she shows me all her plans and like last night, she showed me the mantilla veil she bought. Beautiful and so much fun, and I feel so excited to go and work on it. But then I go home, and I procrastinate because I don’t have enough faith in my own abilities. I wish I had a mentor to kind of guide me through it the first time….

A great tool in helping  me overcome this has been with the fantastic purchase of Susan Khalje’s ‘Bridal Couture’. I would highlight recommend it to anyone who has any interest in dressmaking at all. I am learning so so much, and taking notes, and have been putting together a very detailed order of assembly. I am determined to do this to the best of my abilities, and make it a truly beautiful gown, inside and out. I am about half way through and have been reading it at work when there is little to do.
Best book in the world, I don't read much, but I can't put this baby down. Clearly im not reading the right books! Oh and some notes!
Also, as it is quite an expensive book, (I would say it is actually worth buying in its paperback form now that ive started), but I bought it on a disc. It took a while to come, and when it came…..I perhaps…..abused my printing privileges a little bit, and printed and bound it at work while no one was looking…..

The dress design itself is a secret from her fiancé, so I’ve posted a picture which we found inspiration in for the front…. I’ll reveal some more sneak peaks in the weeks to come....
Inspiration have taken inspiration from the lace on the bodice..... She looks well hot here!
On to something completely unrelated.... 
I went to go to this exhibition opening below last night....and when I got there at 8:15pm it was already closed. It did start at 6, however, everytime I have been to the place it was held, there has always been alot of people, a lot of cheap wine, and alot of free cheese. Made me very sad, although, someone leaving said it was well worth coming to see. So Saturday, after the beginning my second gregorian sewing weekend, where I will be making a stay/corset, I will pop over and induldge in some Japanese Otaku culture ^__^


  1. Good luck! Making a wedding dress is HUGE!! and I am sure you will really enjoy the process. The inspiration dress is absolutely stunning :)


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