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Gown for a very English wedding

Shantung silk wedding dress, basic pattern Vogue2788. The allover bodice decoration is made from vintage (at least 40 years old!) guipure lace, trimmed apart, hand-dyed, then applied to the bodice in a 'crowded' way, to give a 3-dimensional effect.

This is my most recent project, and also the one I am most proud of! I was flattered to be asked to make the wedding dress for a friend. The theme of the wedding was ‘hydrangeas’ and Vicky had chosen the Vogue pattern. It was a pleasure to make and fit, due to her natural elegance, height and fitness. The guipure lace motifs attached to the bodice where in my stash, which had come from my mother’s stash, which had in turn come from my great-aunt’s stash – approximately 40 years ago! I hand-dyed the broadloom lace with silk paints to the appropriate hydrangea colours, then snipped them apart and applied them to the bodice so that they gave a 3-dimensional effect to represent the flowers. The dress itself was made of shantung silk, underlined in tricot and lined in habutai silk.

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  1. User avater
    thepkl | | #1

    I love it. Did you really travel to your wedding on a double decker?

  2. User avater
    Suze | | #2

    The wedding itself was in a gorgeous old country church, the reception about 1/2 hour away, so they hired 2 ex-London buses to transport all the guests. It certainly made for some great photos!

  3. LeonaRhyolite | | #3

    Lovely dress, Suze. Did you have any problems with the sleeves falling down the bride's shoulders? I just completed my prototype of the same pattern for a friend, and the bodice fits perfectly but the straps fall down off her shoulders. The shoulder straps are VERY widely spaced on this pattern and not easy to move as they are integrated into the bodice pieces. Adding the cap sleeves might make the problem worse. Did you have this problem fitting your bride?

  4. User avater
    Suze | | #4

    Re the 'falling off the shoulders' problem; firstly I was very lucky that the bride has done a lot of rowing (I mean in a boat, not falling out with folk!), so she has good upright shoulders. Secondly, the dress needed to be very secure as the dancing at the reception was to be country dancing, so she needed to be comfortable, therefore no boning. In this pattern, the bodice back cuts away at the sides, so bra straps would show. So, I got her to buy a well-fitting white bra, which I snipped the straps off at the back, re-sewed them to the bra a couple of inches further out, so that the straps were just inside the line of the back cut-away. Then I got 4 (2 sets) of those little looped bra holders which are normally pinned or sewn into shoulders of strappy dresses (they have press studs on the loops - you could easily make your own. I stitched one pair into the shoulders and the other pair at the lower back inside the cutaway. So she was able to put on the bra, then the dress, then her helper clipped the bra straps into the loops. This held the bra and the dress together very firmly and prevented the shoulders falling off (and she certainly tested them!!). Hope this explains enough and I apologise for the delay, I didn't know your question was here!

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