Category Archives: Heirloom

Two-Piece Lace Wedding Dress

I have a friend with a heart of gold. She is beautiful inside and out, is kind and generous, just an amazing person all around.  When she asked if 2 months would be enough time to make her wedding dress, I said, “We’d better get started!”

Inspiration: Lace topped two-piece dresses from Pinterest. Full length gathered skirt with a cropped, lace top. Scalloped lace at the bodice hem, and ivory fabrics were the priorities.

Lauren's Inspirations

Sketch: After trying on different styles, she had an even clearer idea of what she wanted, so I sketched this to make sure that was the vision in her mind’s eye.

 

Sketches for Lauren

Pattern: McCalls 6893

McCalls 6893 (skirt and bandeau)McCalls 6893 (lace bodice)

This pattern had the long gathered skirt with a sheer over-layer, a waistband, a sweetheart neckline underneath, and a sheer bodice over layer. By separating the skirt from the bodice at the waistband, we had a two-piece look.

 

Fabrics: Haberman Fabrics has the most amazing and complete wedding fabrics, supplies, and accessories in Michigan. This is the bridal fabrics room and the wall of laces to choose from!

 

Haberman's

My friend chose a stunning ivory Chantilly lace with a soft floral pattern and scalloped edge.

Chantilly Lace

 

We also purchased Silk charmeuse and silk chiffon, lining (nude), silk covered buttons and looping by the yard, and notions.

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Construction: I started with the skirt, since that would be the fastest, easiest, and most straight-forward of the ensemble pieces to make.  The only issue I had was the static cling between the chiffon and the charmeuse, making the skirt appear to have a single layer of fabric, rather than two. Careful application (by spraying on my hands and spreading, not directly on the fabric) of sizing/starch seemed to help.

Skirt

The bride was in need of “something blue”, so I also stitched their wedding date into the waistband.

Date

The sweetheart bandeau was constructed next, and made of silk charmeuse. I shortened the bodice pattern pieces, didn’t use any boning, and used bra closure hooks and eyes for the center back closure.

Silk Bandeau

The lace bodice top was the most detailed and required the most thought and care. The lace alone was too sheer, so by underlining it with chiffon, it still remained sheer but gave the top a much softer look. I was very careful in the placement of the lace motif, using the scalloped edge at the hem and placing the “floral spray” woven into the lace at center front. I hand-stitched the chiffon at the scalloped edge, trimming the excess away, and hand-stitched the neckline, armscye, and all 21 satin buttons at the center back.

Bodice

 

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The cap sleeve was the last addition, as the bride was really on the fence about having sleeves or not. I drafted them by using the top of the sleeve pattern piece, but only using about 4″ from the cap and leaving the underarm area open. By not adding the chiffon underneath, the sleeves were more sheer, and the scalloped edge gave the top an added soft and feminine touch.

Vows

 

Full Length Front

Full Length Back

Conclusion: The bride said it was “perfect, exactly what I had in my mind!”, and the groom said it’s the “most beautiful dress, it took my breathe away”.  I’m so glad and honored that I was able to help make their wedding day more perfect!

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Wedding Dress Remake

FullSizeRender_1I’ve always loved the legacy of heirloom garments. I know that many young ladies don’t want to wear their mother or grandmother’s dress, as the style may no longer be in fashion. The garment is still important though, and I’ve always loved the idea of remaking it into something a little bit different, perhaps for another special occasion.

I was given this extraordinary honor recently, as a friend has always known that her mother wanted her wedding dress turned into baptismal garments for her grandchildren. The grandchildren don’t exist yet, but this will be a great gift for her 50th birthday in April.

FullSizeRender_2The dress is in excellent condition, with a skirt of white taffeta and the bodice covered in sequined lace made of leaves, flowers, and roses. It was cleaned and stored in a large cardboard dress box by the dry cleaner, and aside from being wrinkled, is in gorgeous shape.

FullSizeRenderThere is plenty of fabric in the train and skirt for the 2 ensembles, as one will be a gown for a girl and one will be a romper for a boy. I’ll be using the Butterick pattern 6045, and will also make the bonnet and slippers.

B6045The only material to purchase will be the lining, and I was thrilled to find a row of buttons from the bustle of the skirt that can even be reused! I’m going to play with the leaves of lace to embellish the romper, as the flowers and roses will be easily placed on the bodice and hem of the gown.FullSizeRender_1I’m quite excited to get started and will post my progress soon!

 

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