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.
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.
Pattern: McCalls 6893
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!
My friend chose a stunning ivory Chantilly lace with a soft floral pattern and scalloped edge.
We also purchased Silk charmeuse and silk chiffon, lining (nude), silk covered buttons and looping by the yard, and notions.
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.
The bride was in need of “something blue”, so I also stitched their wedding date into the waistband.
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.
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.
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.
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!