Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Wedding Dress

When my daughter asked me to make her wedding dress, what other answer could there possibly be but YES!!!? Never mind that I'd never made a wedding dress before, or that she and I live on different continents.

The process:

  • 19 months Before Wedding: Em tries on dresses from bridal stores and picks the various features she likes.
  • 12 months BW: I draw a new pattern, combining features from four different commercial patterns.
  • 8 months BW: the muslin version fits!
  • 7 months BW: the first silk version doesn't fit, but no problem, because Em moves in with us while working out visa issues.
  • 5 months BW: sewing machine breaks; new part has to be ordered from Switzerland. Can't wait for that, so I buy a whole new machine.
  • 4 months BW: learning to use the new machine.
  • 3 months BW: despair sets in somewhere around the fifth silk version that still doesn't fit, but in different places. I get a tip from a costume designer friend about the wonders of fabric glue.
  • 1 month BW: we consider buying a dress off the rack but reject that idea because I'd have to alter it, since it's now too late to hire anyone else.
  • 2 weeks BW: the eighth version fits!

Biggest challenge:
Combining a size 14 bodice with a size 8 skirt in a smooth seam.

How I fixed it:
I trimmed the sides of the bodice and added a chiffon band that connected to the back waist.