Most already know this but sometimes I make dresses. Last weekend there were 6 bridesmaids dresses and the weekend before, a good friend got married in a dress I made for her... and I got some pictures!
One of the biggest parts of making a custom dress is finding the right look to match the person wearing the dress. I've know the bride 'H' for a few years now and she is one of the most casual people I know. She will almost always show up in denim shorts and a tee (unless I yell at her... don't be my friend, I'm a bully). That's why I love the picture above, she looks so relaxed and happy; the perfect way to look on a wedding day.
Seeing the pictures, the dress looks deceptively simple and I almost forget the stress that crumb catcher added to my life. That's the thing with custom dresses, all of your learning curve is in that one dress. If I had to make the dress again, it wouldn't take me as long and I probably would have chosen different material to work with. The material had bounce instead of stiffness (does that make sense to anyone or does it sound like crazy talk?) but when we were picking out fabric, we were more concerned with getting the right colour and avoiding the slimy looking satins that the lady kept taking off the bolts for us. I feel stupid for not fore-seeing the issues but the colour was nice, the hand was heavy enough and the price was right, so we had our fabric. And for the most part it was fine but that crumb catcher nearly ruined me. It's really not that hard to make but because the fabric was kinda jumpy and not stiff it wouldn't hold the angle of the crumb catcher. I literally made 5 versions of the crumb catcher.... I tried every weight fusing and crinoline but it was either way too heavy, so the fabric lost it's drape and looked like cardboard (really sexy), or too light to stay up. Frustrated, I asked my patient and handsome husband to go to the hardware store and pick up assorted metal wires. It took two tries but I hand sewed some wire up centre front and along the top edge and it worked. Like a charm... heck yes. I sewed some rows of beads across the top for a tiny bit of sparkle. Apparently not everyone likes their sparkle in obnoxious doses like I do.
The dress did change a bit from its original conception to its present form. That's the fun of creative work, it can mold and change as you go along. One important last minute change were the pockets... the bride needed her Burt's Bees and wasn't going to carry a purse. Done and done. The headpiece pretty much happened by accident. She came over for a fitting and we were discussing hair and politics (ok, just hair) and I had a piece of bird cage netting for another bride that I just tied it in a bow and threw it in her hair to give her an idea of what she might want. And it looked perfect, so it stuck. It almost made it out with the garbage when her dad was tidying up and decided to get rid of 'the scrap of fabric'. But what's a wedding without some drama?
The kindest words came from the bride's mother who thanked me for making a dress that was just right for her daughter. She has two daughters (both are my homeslices) and they have very different styles. I made a wedding dress for the eldest daughter two years ago and it couldn't have been more opposite. It was a totally unique experience this time around. And even though it got crazy busy around here, it's pretty special to be part of such a big deal in some one's life.
And big thanks to Kara Lodder for the pictures. I don't know what I would have to show you guys if it wasn't for her. My pictures were bad news bears... which is why we hire the professionals, right? Check out her blog for more wedding shots, including a good looking wedding party and some awesome, moody storm clouds....