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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Making a custom wedding gown part 2

The first prototype I used was a Burda pattern. It turned out the neckline was all wrong and the sleeves weren't right as well. Come to think of it, the whole thing was wrong, but since I didn't have any photos yet to study it was a learning experience about not starting a project without the proper research. I was too anxious to get started. Since I am charging for my time I didn't add this to Marias' bill because it was actually my mistake. I came to realize you that the only way you can  have a straight skirt that drapes the body the way Maria wants  is to make that  skirt on the bias.
Below is the Oscar De La Renta  lace dress which is Marias' inspiration for her dress. With a 20,000 dollar price tag we are choosing to replicate a work of art.

 The new sweetheart neckline. This prototype had a waist seam and a straight skirt which still was somehow wrong from the picture. What I did get right was the back scoop below. After spending alot of time studying the Oscar De La Renta dress I figured out I would have to go back to an empire waist seam but I would need to add a bias skirt to the bottom to get the right drape which is slinky and flowing. Back to the drawing board!

I bought this Vogue pattern during one of Joanns'  four dollar pattern sales. The bodice is close to the design Maria likes but I would have to draft the skirt from scratch

For the skirt I made a paper pattern for a bias skirt and then slashed and spread it to create flare at the bottom.
Draping the bias skirt. 

More adjustments for the skirt.

 Adding a train to my skirt pattern.
After our last fitting we decided not to use a train after
 all because a bias skirt looks odd bustled.

After cutting out the Vogue pattern I was to learn it didn't have a sweetheart neckline even though the photo on the pattern looks like it, don't you think? Patterns can be so annoying! I had to redraft the pattern with the new neckline and change the square back opening to a scooped one.

The pattern pinned together above . My sewing machine needed to be repaired so I could only pin the prototype together. You might be wondering about my choice in using bright orange. I had run out of muslin and I was at the thrift shop and I found this orange poplin for a dollar. There were four yards so I couldn't pass it up. Muslin can actually be more expensive than other fabrics, especially if you buy it a at a local shop or online. The dress will have three layers ; a silk charmeuse underdress with a China silk lining with a lace overdress.

One of the choices for the overdress. A beautiful silk chiffon embellished with embroidered flowers.

I think this Alencon lace would be lovely since I will be draping the lace on the bias as well.

This was Marias' pick but unfortunately the shop in Downtown LA ran out of it. That was actually a good thing since I have since realized I need to make the overskirt on the bias to match the underskirt and this lace is only 36" wide so that would have been impossible. It's the same lace I made the Baptismal gown from in one of my earlier postings.


  1. Wow the lace is sooo beautiful too.

  2. This dress is going to be exquisite. Your skills are amazing!!

  3. You are a wonderful woman to be taking this challenge upon yourself!

    (I came upon your blog/these posts about Maria's gown when I was searching for a technique for a wedding gown I'm working on)

    Good luck with process - do not give up!
    And as the Couture Sewing book says, the hand finished detailing makes all the difference. Enjoy it!

  4. i like this orange wedding dress it so pretty and simple.


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