Two of my favourite things are weddings and dresses... so when my best mate asked if I would make her wedding dress I was so excited! Dee and I have been mates since year 7, and collaborating with her to make her dress was a fantastic process. Dee is an artist and art teacher, follow the link here for dianalawrenceart on Facebook. As you can see from her illustrations and beautiful wedding invites below she has a very clear aesthetic and style, so I wanted that to come through in her dress.
To start I decided to look at the photos of the fittings I did with Dee when she was bridesmaid at my wedding. To see what shapes worked best on her body and what she felt most comfortable wearing.
It was hard to know where to start as Dee had never tried on wedding dresses before. Dee booked us in for a session at a boutique in Sydney. It was a nice starting point for Dee to think about what she wanted out of her wedding dress. It made her realise she didn't want a white dress and lots of lace. While in Sydney for the try on session we went into the Fabric store and Dee was drawn to a beautiful yellow, honeycomb pattern silk. She decided it was a great starting point for the dress and tied perfectly into her yellow, grey and green colour palette. Perfect for her Love of gumtrees and would fit with all the wattle around Canberra for her Spring wedding.
The dress above was the best shape for Dee's body so I started looking at the bodice and what panelling would work.
We decided to go with thinner straps to make the dress look more elegant.
Once Dee was happy with the shape of the bodice I wanted to test out how I would cut the honeycomb lace and have the panelling fit beautifully together.
I also wanted to test the skirt out. We decided a stiffer fabric would work best so I could put some pleats into the dress. The pleats would help to create the right amount of volume in the skirt to flatter the hips and bum.
Testing the toile on Dee to see how the shape worked. I needed to alter the bodice shape as it wasn't quite right and we decided to take out the pleats in the back as the dresses didn't need them. I decided to keep the centre seam in the skirt as I often do that in my garments as it draws the eye in and also makes it easier to fit large panel pieces together when cutting out.
I decided to do another test of the bodice to make sure that it was perfect before I cut out the final garment. I also wanted to test using binding and making sure it would look great in the final garment.
Dee and I took another trip to Sydney and decided to go with a light grey Cotton shirting fabric for the base of the dress. The fabric was a little lighter than we had hoped so I decided I would do a double layer of the fabric for the skirt.
Once Dee had decided on the shoes she was going to wear I tried the bodice and part of the skirt on her. I wanted to check the length and how much she wanted it hemmed. Dee and Chris had their ceremony at the Red Hill lookout and the terrain was quite rocky and uneven, so we decided to hem the dress just above the floor so it wouldn't be a trip hazard when walking down the aisle.
I was getting a little concerned about how easily the Cotton was crushing. I am so used to working in jerseys that hardly crush at all. But after a really good iron and steam the dress was perfect. I decided that I would bring my own iron and steamer on the day of the wedding just to make sure the dress was completely crease free.
Dee was the coolest, most chilled out bride I have come in contact with. Loved working on this dress with her, I think you can agree she looked absolutely stunning! The Aussie setting on Red Hill and all the gums and wattle worked perfectly with her dress and the highlight of yellow in the lace.
Dee had a really nice idea to create some pocket squares for the boys. It was a very little job for me to create the pocket squares but helped to make the boys feel connected to the whole process. I did one for the groom, best man, father of the bride and father of the groom.
Professional photos by Alexandra Orme Photography