Creating the dress for my first wedding at The Old Luxters Barn, Henley, was unique and wonderful at the same time because the dress once belonged to the brides mama some 30 years previously (gosh the same age as my daughter too) – which touched my heart as I felt her sentimental attachment to the dress.
Remodelling the dress
Choosing a design using the material and my clients ideas
I fully understand how nerve racking it can be for a bride wanting to embrace the ‘something old something new something borrowed’ theme and not knowing how things are going to turn out and whether she will still be in love with the idea when the project ends.
THE dress design?
After looking at the ideas presented by my lovely bride and listening to her story, I had to decide on whether this project would work, and also if, the finished product would meet the expectations of my client on every level. There were a few minor things, but once explained and solutions provided, my bride client was totally happy with my suggestions – making the job a whole lot easier. One thing I need to add for any bride about to go down this route, is that you need to be calm and be open minded for this approach because fabric/textiles has its own character and some things cannot be forced. You also need to open to trusting my judgement and experience along the way.
The first thing to look for is the condition of the fabric to establish if dirt, stains, discoloration, rips and tears will still be visible. The second is the slow process of dismantling the original dress to preserve and reuse as much as possible. The process took a few days because after unpicking, I then had to stabilize the silk fabric that had become somewhat distorted. But once all the headaches were resolved it was all fine.
Popular styles among younger brides has to be the ultra glam fit and flare with sheer lacy panels. And even though re-using a vintage silk with a dark creamy colouring was questionable, it worked so well on this occasion against the skin tone of the bride and the off white ivory lace.
At the very first dress fitting, I knew by her facial expression, that this was even better than she had imagined! The smile, followed by the gasp! was pure emotion… from a girl who had achieved a personal goal along with desire to keep her mommas dress alive.
Another happy Bride!. ..Oh my