Thanks everyone for the awesome response to the post I did about making my wedding dress! It is great to know that people enjoy what I do, I often feel like what is the point of making clothes (lots of people do it far better than me!) It sounds weird but I can't help it. Even when I am not enjoying it I still feel driven to make. A big thank you to those people who buy EDITION and Aussie made and thank you for coming on this strange journey with me.
Making Mum's dress for the wedding was the most difficult by far of all the pieces I did for the day!! But I think and I hope you agree my most successful!
I began by thinking about what Mum often wears, black and white, prints and fitted around the bust. I thought I would go down a few different paths and see what she liked. I began with this black cotton print which was sheer in parts like lace. This fabric suited itself to a wrap dress.
While playing with the black fabric I loved the shapes it was creating, especially as a wrap dress. But the dress was becoming a little 'witchy' (which I usually love!) but I think a little harsh for a 'mother of the bride dress'. I decide that maybe navy would be a good alternative to this and started to explore fabrics.
I found this thick cotton navy fabric. It had a beautiful weight and I thought I would start experimenting with it. As I use a lot of jersey fabrics in viscose and wool I often get people saying that the fabric clings to their thighs. With this thick cotton I thought I might be able to avoid this for Mum but I found that it didn't fall in the way I wanted. Mum felt that it left her looking a bit boxy and not what either of us had imagined for the dress.
This was a shape that I have worked with for a while since my first collection with the 'Peel back' dress. I loved working with this shape and how it fell when worn but I couldn't work out a way to finish the raw seams and not become too structured.
Even though I was experimenting for Mum's dress, the dress above ended up being a great starting point for the dress I made my sister. When I made it in viscose I could leave the seams raw and therefore keep the dress looking slinky and beautiful.
Below is Mum in the viscose navy version of the dress. I think she looks really elegant but again it is quite clingy and I wanted Mum to feel super comfortable all day and night. She liked the longer length of the dress and thought maybe sleeves would be a good option.
I then started looking at a viscose dress with a small sleeve but I think would still be quite clingy.
A little while later I went up to Sydney and found this great print. I would have ideally loved for the fabric to be 100% silk but this poly blend was beautiful and would also mean a little easier for me to sew! I loved that this print was feminine but cool and black and white was perfect for a 'mother of the bride' dress.
The whole wedding thing got me a little hung up on making Mum's dress more traditional and I started looking at darts and using the mannequin.
I finally realised that I never work like that and that I should just do what comes naturally so I used some of my own blocks and started playing with shapes. The below dress is obviously way too short! This was just to test that the bust and neckline of the dress would work for Mum with this print. We thought it looked great, very flattering and elegant yet not a typical 'mother of the bride dress'.
Mum had said she wanted sleeves to cover her arms and I thought about trying something sheer over the top of the dress if it got too hot it could be taken off. In the end I thought an interesting sleeve would work better.
I decided to cut out Mum's dress extra long so that there was lots of room to play with the length.
Starting to look at sleeves, something a little oversized I thought would look great but I think needed to be a little tighter for a wedding/formal setting.
Once I decided that a slit would look the best for the sleeve I then began looking at what binding to use. I decided to cut it from the same print fabric to be as subtle as possible. This was very time consuming making my own binding but I think it was worth it for the sleeves to keep them as delicate as possible.
Once the dress was almost finished I put it on Mum and we started looking at what length she would like. While I was playing around the hem I sort of scrunched it up and it created some pleats and Mum loved it. We decided to go with the extra detail at the bottom to make the dress more formal and I loved the floaty look of it. The floaty base of the dress was the perfect contrast with the thick black heels Mum wore.
Mum and I on the day, she looked absolutely stunning!
Sleeve detail of Mum's dress, perfect for a Summer wedding or event to cover arms and look elegant at the same time!
Mum and Dad looking very beautiful. So happy with how the dress turned out and I know Mum was too! Again get in touch if you would like a custom made dress for any special event!