Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Wedding Dress that Never Happened

It was with great excitement and anticipation that I began the planning of my wedding dress, several months ago. After hours of trawling pinterest, pattern review and endless google searches, I decided I really wanted to stretch my sewing skills and create a very special dress for such a special event.

I took advantage of the pattern sales on at the time and purchased several contenders. 




Initially, I was set on making Vogue 1030. After I ordered the pattern, but before it arrived, this post from Poppykettle popped up. She had used this very pattern for her bridesmaids dresses. This post was quite enlightening as she shared the whole process of creating this dress twice, and it wasn't without considerable drama along the way...I think she scared me off using this pattern, even though her dresses turned out beautifully in the end.

So I went on to plan B, consulting my mother for advice. The next pattern I considered was Simplicity 1909 view C. When I showed my mother she so tactfully pointed out that it did look lovely on the very slim model (but maybe not on so good on a middle aged woman with a thickening waist) Don't you just love Mothers...but she was right.

Finally I settled on Simplicity 2253, a Jessica McClintock design.



I loved the seamlines in the bodice and the elegant skirt with a slight train. I decided to make a muslin to try it out and get the fit right. I used a cheap poly suiting that I had in the stash, which had a lovely drape, and I underlined it with an old flannelette sheet.

Tuck pinned out at neckline, ready to transfer to the paper pattern.

Roughly pinned on the dress form after being shoved aside for weeks.

I only needed to make a few minor tweaks to get the fit right. The next drama was sourcing suitable fabric. I agonised over what colour to get. I had something pastel in mind in cool green/aqua like tones. I live in an area that is a complete dressmaking fabric void. Therefore, I had to resort to online shopping, and from experience, this is always a bit of a gamble. 

After having no success in Australia, I decided I would be brave and try Mood Fabrics. I love their website. It is so easy to navigate with great pictures of so many beautiful fabrics. I decided on a beautiful Silk Crepe Back satin called Dewkist, with a matching China Silk lining. I ordered it and my credit card was debited almost immediately. I stipulated on my order that I required it three weeks from the time of order. And so began the wait. Well to cut a long story short, after several emails were exchanged and almost five weeks had passed since I had placed the order, my fabric had still not been shipped. I was getting extremely stressed as my sewing time was disappearing fast, as our Wedding date was approaching quickly. I suddenly realised this was ridiculous. This was supposed to be a happy and exciting time leading up to our marriage, and it was turning into a nightmare. That's when I decided I was not going to let it ruin my special day. I cancelled my fabric order and was reimbursed in full, no questions asked.

Then, I am sad to say, I broke my RTW fast. I went on a wedding shopping day trip to Canberra, taking my mother with me for her invaluable advice. We had a great day and I found a suitable dress and got a bargain as it was half price. In fact, it cost less than half of what I was paying for the fabric from Mood. As soon as I had settled on the dress, everything else just fell into place.

I did do a little wedding related sewing. I made my own wedding garter which was a bit of fun. There are loads of tutorials on the internet with various ways of going about doing this. I got the general idea and then adapted it to suit the lace and ribbon that I had.



I ordered silk flowers from Bloom Room Designs as we were travelling away to get married, and it was difficult to organise fresh flowers where we were going. So I had to work out how to pack the flowers for our trip. The box they came in was too big for the suitcase, so I decided to make a large tote bag that the box would fit into. They were very lightweight, so carrying them wasn't a problem. I was able to take the tote on our flight as carry on luggage and it just fitted into the overhead compartment in the plane perfectly. The fabric I used to make the tote was actually a lovely brocade bed valance that had been sitting in my linen cupboard for the past ten years, unused. I was very pleased that I had finally found a use for it, and the colours toned in beautifully with our wedding theme. I even lined it with the cotton fabric part of the valance that is usually sandwiched between the mattress and the bed base.

Brocade fabric from unused bed valance.

Handles made from purchased cotton webbing.

This is how the box containing our silk wedding bouquet and buttonniere fitted in the bag.

I will leave you with a few wedding photos, even though the dress was purchased from Events Clothing, not made by me. 






(Greg and I took all the wedding photos ourselves using a tripod, remote control and the 30 second timer. Not too bad for selfies!!!)


All's well that ends well.

Happy Sewing

46 comments:

  1. Congratulations to you both! You and your dress look absolutely gorgeous. I think you were very wise to do what you did in the circumstances - seriously, who needs to be a stressed out bride? Again, congratulations.

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    1. Thank you Paola. I'm glad I was able to avoid the stress and enjoy our special day.

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  2. Congratulations! Beautiful wedding pictures.

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    1. Thank you Donna W. We are very happy with our wedding pictures too.

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  3. Congratulations!! You look beautiful. Gorgeous dress and extreme happiness is always the best accessory! I love you selfie photo shoot, grounded in strong roots, awesome beginning for a marriage!

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    1. Thank you Kelly. We are extremely happy and have had a wonderful start to our marriage.

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  4. Congrats. I know making your own wedding dress is a huge and stressful task. I knew it when I made my own. I wished I could have just bought one after the wedding. So you did the right. Thanks for share your experience with mood. I used to think buy fabric online from the US, but I don't think I will do so. Maybe have a trip to the US for your honeymoon and buy fabric direct from there...

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    1. Thank you Cosy Cotton. It's such a shame to let sewing your wedding dress take the gloss off the happiness of such an occasion. In hind site, I'm glad it turned out the way it did. I have no regrets.

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  5. Congratulations to a handsome couple! I was wondering what you'd been up to:) You look lovely, and I'm impressed with your self-timed photos.

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    1. Thank you Angela. The organising of the wedding has certainly kept me away from my blog. Hopefully I will be doing a bit of catching up soon. Greg is actually a part time wedding photographer, so he did know what he was doing...but this is the first time he has photographed his own wedding.

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  6. Thank you for sharing your lovely day. Shame you didn't get to make your own dress however the one you chose is gorgeous. Congratulations

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    1. Thank you BeaJay. I was very happy with my Wedding Dress despite not making it myself, and in this case I saved myself a fortune.

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  7. Congratulations you look gorgeous and so happy with Greg. Very impressed with your self timed photos.

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    1. Thank you Sharon and yes, I am very happy with Greg. We are both very happy with our photos too.

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  8. Good decision! You looked beautiful and it's a lovely dress. Happy days to you and your husband.

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    1. Thank you onedabbles. I have not regretted my decision to buy my Wedding dress at all. It saved me so much stress and I was able to fully enjoy our special day. I'm sure we have many happy days ahead.

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  9. Many congratulations! You did the right thing it should be a time of happiness and joy, not stress and hassle. You look absolutely lovely (so does greg)

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    1. Thank you Ruth. It was a time of happiness and joy which we will treasure forever. So glad I didn't let the fabric issue get the better of me. Greg did scrub up pretty well!!!

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  10. Congratulations! You make a beautiful bride, and the dress was the perfect choice.

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  11. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    You two look amazing! Your dress is beautiful! Everything looks absolutely fantastic!

    So glad you didn't talk yourself into *having* to make the dress and then being a big ball of stress.

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    1. Thanks so much Nakisha. I am very happy with how everything turned out with very little stress.

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  12. Congratulations to you both--you two look wonderful and so happy!

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  13. How gorgeous you both look! Excellent decision to enjoy this event, rather than putting all that stress on yourself!

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    1. Thank you Anne. I have not regretted my decision for a minute. We have created many wonderful memories of our special day to treasure forever. I'm sure there will be more occasions to make a special dress coming up.

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  14. Congratulations!! You two look beautiful and incredibly happy - as you should be!

    The dress is GORGEOUS and well worth not worrying waiting for fabric. I've had issues with Mood in the past before with slow shipping as well BTW.

    Close-up pictures of the dress please?? It looks like sequins, yes? The color is so flattering on you.

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    1. Thank you Carrie. We are incredibly happy, as you and you husband must be too. Glad to hear that I'm not the only one to have had issues with Mood. Such a shame because they have such a great website. The dress fabric was a heavy lace with sequins. Fabric I never would have picked myself, but it really worked well with the simple design of the dress. Funny how things turned out for the best after all. Looking forward to seeing your wedding photos.

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  15. I have just found your lovely blog :).

    You did exactly the right thing buying the dress in this situation - it suits you and you look stunning in it. What a pity that the Mood fabrics could not communicate with you about this - it would appear that the order had not even been despatched. To boot, you had a lovely day shopping with your mother. Wishing you many years of happiness.

    Love your white CoCo dress as well .

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    1. Thank you Sarah Liz. Glad you are enjoying my blog.

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  16. Congratulations Jean. You were a beautiful bride!
    Great job on the selfies btw! :)

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Meigan. We were pretty happy with the photos too.

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  17. I have had issues with Mood's slowness and I live in the next state over. I have learned to always, always ask for samples from the store because the colors of the various fabrics shown on my monitor are not anywhere close to the actual fabric colors. I have ordered solid black fabrics and have been pleased with the quality but I never order from them if I am in a hurry.

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    1. It's such a shame about their service. They have such a lovely website. I wish we had something like that in Australia. I have bought some lovely fabrics online from other sites, but I have had a few disappointments too. It's always a gamble when you can't see or touch the fabric.

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  18. Ohhh, congratulations Jean Margaret! you look absolutely beautiful and so happy. The dress you chose looks lovely and so elegant on you. Thanks for the helpful information on Mood too, that's very interesting. I'm pretty sure Tessuti Australia offers a mailing service actually, and they have loads of really beautiful fabrics.

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    1. Thanks so much Carolyn. I have looked at the Tessuti website. Their fabrics are very expensive and I suspect very good quality. I would love to visit their store one day and check them out before risking an online purchase.

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  19. Even though the handmade dress never happened, the story of it was entertaining and the final dress looked beautiful. I love your photos and the setting is lovely, you both look very relaxed (maybe more so than if you'd made the dress!). I wonder if the dress might still work for another special occasion, perhaps a shorter version.

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    1. Thanks Megan. I did feel relaxed and in hind site I'm glad I didn't have the drama of making the dress as well as everything else that goes with organising a wedding.

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  20. Congratulations Jean! You look stunning - what gorgeous wedding photos, and you've still got some handmade in there too. Your dress is perfect.

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    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment Lara.

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  21. Congratulations on your wedding, Jean!!!! Sometimes a fast has to be broken and you did the right thing in buying this beautiful dress!!
    You can hop back on the RTW wagon anytime :)
    I can identify with your stress as I experienced stress, doubt and insecurity while sewing my clothes for my daughter's wedding. I almost broke the fast myself but managed to successfully make my clothes. It was NOT easy. Had it been MY wedding I would have cracked up!
    But now you have a great muslin that you can turn into a beautiful dress at your leisure :)

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    1. Thank you so much Sarah. I really appreciate your comments and don't worry, I have already hopped straight back on the RTW fast bandwagon.

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  22. How did I miss this post?! Belated congrats you look BEAUTIFUL. And I think you totally did the right thing not stressing out more and making your dress.

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    1. Thank you Manju. I have no regrets and my special day was stress free.

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  23. Oh Margaret you look so beautiful! I'm sure it seems obvious now, but it must have been hard to make that decision to can the order and go shopping instead? I love the fabric of your dress - very flattering on you. The last photo of you both in this post is just so lovely - brought a big smile to my face. I think you potentially dodged a big bullet with Vogue 1030 - it's a gorgeous dress though, and I do feel a little guilty for affecting your decision regardless!
    Big congratulations to you both :) Here's to a very happy life together! x

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    1. Thanks Melanie. Your wedding posts were truly inspirational. The fabric on my dress was quite unusual. It was a heavy lace with gold sequins which were falling off at an alarming rate. I haven't been game to get it cleaned in case it disintegrates. Don't feel guilty...your very informative post was most helpful. Thanks again for your congratulations and I hope you and your new husband have settled into married life well.

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