We Got Married - The Dress
"The problem is, the dress. From the very beginning, the dress was the thing that stressed me out. I don't like wedding dresses. Pretty much full stop. I've never dreamt of wearing one, of being on a pedestal for a day, and have spent months and months trying to figure this all out. I've been making a dress on and off since the new year, making toiles, changing my mind. People have asked to see it and then struggled to comment on it - because it isn't a wedding dress. Well, at the moment it's still not even finished, but still, it's just a dress. So then I flit back and forth - I'm trying to make something that I love and feel comfortable in, but find myself worrying because it's so simple, so not bridal. It's so stupid!"
Hopefully that gives you a bit of an insight, as well as showcasing some of my finest drama queen behaviour ;)
Things all went wrong about a month and a half before the wedding - I'd planned to have finished the dress by then. I was using antique silk from an old wedding dress for the underdress and I just couldn't get it to work. Like I said above, I made so many toiles, but when it came down to the actual dress things just didn't work out and I had to buy one. Man did I feel like a failure.
Luckily, the lace I was using for the main dress behaved itself beautifully, and as it was the first fabric I chose and based my whole design around, I'm super thankful for that. I am so grateful to have worked with White Tree Fabrics over the last year, and this lace is still one of my favourite fabrics of all time.
I made a simple pattern for the top of the dress based on an old dress that I cut up, and modified it to have an open back. The skirt was a super simple rectangle that I gathered to fit the top - if you hadn't already guessed, simplicity was the goal for me! The lace is so beautiful that it does all the talking :)
This was my first time working with lace, and I actually really enjoyed it. I spent hours planning out the pattern repeat for the top, and there is something so satisfying in slow sewing; I took my time with every single step. I hand rolled the hems of the arms, neckline and back opening and am really pleased with the finish. I made and covered small buttons with the lace to use at the top and bottom of the back opening so that I could get in and out of the dress easily, and those tiny details are some of my favourites.
Once I'd gotten over the trauma (and self pitying) of not using the antique silk, I decided to salvage some to make a belt for the dress - it really helped to cinch in my waist a little and made the dress slightly more fitted. I covered the belt in lace but I like that you can still see the colour of the silk through it - oh and I also made the belt adjustable because, well, food! I also made myself a little clutch with the leftover silk, but somehow there isn't a single photograph of it from the day! Whoops.
Even though I love my dress and it will always mean a lot to me, because I didn't have a perfect wedding dress story or even an ambitious design to share here, I've been so scared to write this post. Now that I'm on the other side of all this however, I can see how badly I was sucked in to the whole dream wedding scenario. And damn, I really thought I'd done well to steer clear. Basically, when I think back to any moments of doubt or worry about the dress, it all came back to what other people thought/would think. So in case there is anyone out there like me, who isn't into bridal wear - don't sweat it. Don't let other people influence your decisions (just because it's pretty standard to make/wear a corset, doesn't mean you have to!) and you'll be fine. Whatever you wear becomes irrelevant - I could have been walking down that aisle in my pyjamas and the smile on my face still would have rivalled that of the Cheshire Cat. I'm totally serious.
Side note: Super huge thanks to the following for supporting me, putting up with me, and snapping some sense into me: Lisa @ White Tree Fabrics, Laura, my sister T, Bing, and of course, J.