As I mentioned in the previous posts, I decided that since I had saved money on my main wedding dress, and because it was hard/near impossible to bustle, I would have a go at making a fun and flirty evening/reception dress for my wedding day.
I based the dress on the gorgeous Cambie pattern by Sewaholic, but adjusted it to be strapless. This meant that I had to introduce inner construction details such as boning and a waist stay. I used skills that I had learnt from Gerties Craftsy Bombshell Dress course as well as the Susan Khalje Couture Dress course.
Because Gertie is an advocate for the spiral steel boning and I had previously used it in my Bombshell dress (which I still haven't blogged!!) I thought I should stick with what I knew and use it for this dress. It takes a fair bit of force and fiddling to cut the strips…and I had to raid my husbands tools box:
…but it's totally worth it as the freedom of movement you get from them is great.
I decided to bring in the blue theme and used a navy blue grosgrain ribbon for my waist stay. I probably should have sewed it in with matching thread - but I was actually working on this until the day before and I think by that time I was just like "I DON'T CARE JUST GET IT DONE"!!! But that aside, the waist stay was an absolute necessity to get the dress zipped up - it holds the dress in place and takes the weight off the zip.
The main dress was made up of a beautiful ivory silk dupion that my mum picked up at a market in Spain for €5/m - yes you read that right, €5 PER METER for real silk dupion!!! The english lady who ran the stall at the market is a retired bridal dressmaker and was selling off all her stash. I think I got my mum to buy about 5m of the ivory for me because at the time I still thought I might be making my main wedding dress, which would have been full-length. So I have quite a bit left in my stash…what to do with it??!!! I'm contemplating trying to dye some and see what it's like. Anyway, I'm getting off track here.
I added in some couture techniques to this dress, such as underlining the silk dupion with silk organza and also basting on all the sewing lines. This was the first time I had worked with silk organza and I loved it. It's such a lovely fabric to work with and gave a little bit extra body to the dupion, which was quite a thin fabric. The dress was lined in the most gorgeously soft and flow-y lining that I bought online at Truro Fabrics. It was more than I normally spend on lining, but em...I recon you can afford to splurge when it's your wedding dress!
This is a close up shot of the zip guard that I sewed in with a pick stitch. Again, just another little couture feature. The zip itself was actually an invisible zip which I thought would suit the style of dress better due to the tulle overlay I was doing.
I had a lot of deliberation about how I was going to do the asymmetrical polka dot tulle detail. I initially wanted to build it into the dress, but I obviously didn't have a pattern piece for the tulle and would have had to drape it on me, before the bodice was attached to the skirt - and physically it was impossible. So I decided to make a sort of sash/belt with the tulle attached to it. The draping for this took AGES and was really difficult to get right. It also didn't help that I was doing this the week before the wedding - talk about pressure!!!
I also decided to make the sash out of the same coral silk that the bridesmaids sashes were made from. I realised this erred on the side of bridesmaid in itself, but as soon as draped the coral silk around the dress I fell in love and it just had to be! Plus I asked my florist to give me a Coral Charm peony to pin into my hair - so it tied together with the sash colour perfectly.
The skirt was made by cutting the full style Cambie skirt (minus pockets - I was tempted, but due to the tulle, decided against it…but I do love Wedding dresses with pockets!) out of both the dupion and the tulle and treating as one layer. Under this I had another layer of very fine plain tulle and then to the lining I sewed two rows of stiff gathered tulle to create volume. This is also how I made the flower girl's dresses.
The dress was a lot of fun to wear and to dance in and it was great seeing people's reactions when I came downstairs in a new dress for the evening! The added bonus was that it really showed off my beautiful Jimmy Choo shoes, which up until then had been rather hidden!
I'll leave you with a few professional photos from our mini couples session once I changed dresses (we snuck out during dessert to take these in an abandoned greenhouse/yard at our wedding location) and some of the dancing: