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Julia’s wedding dress

mimi | Posted in Photo Gallery on

Thanks to all who offered advice and support to me while I was working on my daughter’s wedding dress!  The wedding was in September 2005, but I just figured out how to post photos.

The dress was made of silk charmeuse topped by two layers of silk chiffon.  The top layer was embroidered with silk ribbons across the bodice and down the back alongside the zipper.  There were also flowers embroidered at the points of all the godet panels on the bottom third of the dress.  That was the most creative part of the dress; I had only done silk ribbon embroidery once before.

Julia found the clasps at the front of the straps on e-bay, along with her headdress and her husbands black tie and tails!  They were period appropriate, which was very important to her.

The wedding was held at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.  The flower basket was arranged by the groom’s Aunt Peggy, who also acted as the wedding coordinator.  It was a small wedding in the best possible way, everyone had a hand in making it happen.


“Every child can learn, just not all on the same day in the same way.”


  1. NansiM | | #1

    Hi Mimi,

    I'm in and out of these discussions based on whether or not we have our computer working, so I missed the construction portion.

    All I can say is:  How truly LOVELY!  I love the simple styling, the color and how nicely the embroidery complements the gown.  Love the ribbon detail? down the back. Is that where the zipper is?  What a nice accent!  I'm filing that one away for "creative disguise" when you sometimes need one.

    What I love the most is how the whole dress complements your daughter.  So many times I feel that we see the dress first and the bride as an afterthought.  NOT so in your case!  She looks beautiful and  your work enhances that!

    And for only having done a bit of ribbon embroidery prior to this, You did a great job !  I id some of my first embroidery of any kind when my daughter made her First Communion more than 10 years ago.  LOVE IS THE BEST MOTIVATOR!  You should be SO Proud!  Well Done!


    Edited 2/19/2007 8:31 am ET by NansiM

    1. mimi | | #3

      NansiM and Josefly, thank you for your kind words!  Love truly is a great motivator, as you said. 

      I have a friend who was my go-to person locally.  Aileen has been sewing, smocking and quilting for close to sixty years.  She laughingly told me that I would be working on the dress until seconds before Julia walked down the aisle.  Wouldn't you know it, the day before the wedding I was taking up the hem of the dress two and a half inches!  Each layer of the dress had a circumference of five feet, so with three layers I hemmed 15 feet by hand.  I kept all the scraps of fabric and leftover cuttings.  Some day they will turn into a Christening Gown if I am every lucky enough to have grandchildren <he he, no pressure!>.

      The best part of the wedding is that we now have a lovely extended family.  The groom, Lachlan, is a true sweetheart and he came with three siblings, parents, aunts and uncles and even a grandfather!  My daughter is an only, so this is really nice.


      1. fabricholic | | #4

        Mimi,Beautiful! The roses on the godets are so pretty. She looks wonderful in her unique gown. How special to say that your mother made your dress.Marcy

        1. User avater
          blondie2sew | | #5

          Mimi,Wow my first reaction was "She is floating" What a dream. She looked like a dream. Your work is so captivating and I so agree when it was said to you that most of the time it is so about the dress but The Bride and the dress became one!!! Amazing....So do you live here by me by chance I want you to sew with!! I am just in Awe!! Many Many Thanks for sharing you workBlondie aka Connie

          1. mimi | | #6

            Blondie:  I'm in Delaware, if you live near here I would love to have a sewing buddy!


          2. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #8

            Well we couldn't be further apart here in the states now can we!! I live in WA State. Oh well...I gleamed so much from sewing with someone but that has been years ago. Big SighBlondie

          3. mimi | | #9

            Is sewing more acceptable out in the Pacific Northwest than it is here back east?  I know very few people who sew and the fabric stores have almost all converted to craft stores.

            I know what you mean about sewing with someone.  The closest I can get to that is HGTV and the DIY channel!


          4. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #12

            We have a lot of sewers around here! Alot of Quilters and I am still seeking those who have the passion for garments like myself! And other stuff..I am really not into quilting If I do make something I refer to it as a blanket!! Alot of our Fabric stores have the wonderful crafts as well in them and home dec stuff..I think that is the trend now!! I now wish we were closer. I am still hoping for a resurgence in the Cool Factor with Sewing..I think we are on the verge of it!! I am doing my best to pave the way for the younger generationBlondie

          5. mimi | | #14

            Blondie2sew:  I wish the younger generation would get on the sewing bandwagon!  Once they realize they can recreate designer outfits for a fraction of the cost, maybe...!

            I taught my daugher to sew when she was a teenager, right now she is into repurposing thrift store garments.  She does have my old sewing machine.


  2. Josefly | | #2

    What a beautiful job! A wonderful, unique dress for your daughter, who looked as pretty as every bride wishes to look. Thank you for the photos.

  3. suesew | | #7

    What a sweet simple dress. And what a beautiful bride. She looks lovely. Thanks for the pictures.

    1. mimi | | #10

      Thanks to all for your kind words.  I certainly could not have made some of the decisions that made the dress so beautiful without the forum here at threads.  At one time I was contemplating painting the dress instead of embroidering it and my friends here at the Threads site talked me out of it!


      1. Cherrypops | | #11

        I'm so glad they talked you out of painting the dress. It is stunning! I know how she feels having her mum make her wedding dress.

        My mum does not sew but she was so happy my mum-in-law sews. She didn't make my dress, but she made hers, my sister's (chief bridesmaid) and my mum's dress and the cake. She is my second mum! She calls me her daughter not daughter-in-law because she was unable to have a daughter. She's sweet. I married her only son.

        It is wonderful you are able to provide this for your daughter. A lot of love care and attention to detail and taking the advice from the members really proved worthwhile for all.

        I'm pleased for you that everything went well.


        1. mimi | | #13

          I only considered painting because it was the only thing I have used to embellish garments.  I am now an embroidery convert!


          1. Cherrypops | | #15

            I'm glad you have converted. You have done so well.

  4. JanF | | #16

    This looks lovely! I love the colour too!
    Was the embroidery by machine or hand?
    After making my own daughters wedding dress 18 months ago - I can appreciate the hard work, panic,desire to make a good job of it, the pride ---and relief when everything comes together so well!!
    Well done!
    And yes - I too have kept the "odd bit" of fabric in case of the need to produce a Christening robe....but I haven't told her that!

    Oooh - also I was still sewing on the morning of the wedding!! - you'd think I knew better after shouting at my exam students for leaving their work till the last minute!!
    A case of "Do what I say...and not what I do, I feel!"

    Edited 2/21/2007 5:34 am ET by JanF

    1. mimi | | #19

      Thank you for your kind words!  Have you posted any pictures yet of the dress?


  5. Marionc032 | | #17

    Wow! It looks like you did a wonderful job on that dress. Doing that embroidery on such a sheer fabric could not have been easy. I've been thinking of taking some classes in hand embroidery and I think your example may have given me the inspiration to finally go and do it!


    1. mimi | | #18

      There are some great websites that can help:  http://www.threadart.com has wonderful ribbons and embroidery threads.  I had to order mine and this website was invaluable [no one in the WHOLE STATE OF DELAWARE sold silk ribbon for embroidery].  Also, http://www.heritageshoppe.com was a great tutorial, with closeup instructions of different stitches.  I know I have handstitching/embroidery books around here somewhere, I will look for them and post them later.

      My advice is to get some scraps of lightweight fabric, ribbons or floss and just go for it.  Follow your instincts!  Hoops definately help but if your fabric is too sheer it will just stretch out of shape.  I found that out by using left over scraps of the chiffon first:)


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