Saturday 30 October 2010

Creating a Wedding Dress

I usually work on bespoke dresses where the bride has a very individual idea and then I design her dress specifically for her, instead of picking from a collection of set dresses. I now have quite a few designs I've been dying to create so it's time to release my own collection which should be ready early next year.    

This dress was a first sample trial run so I thought I would share the process of creating a wedding gown from start to finish.  I haven't included everything as we would be here forever!

We start with a basic block for the bodice to make the foundation of the dress and make a muslin toile to make sure the bodice design will work and fit correctly. We next cut out the foundation bodice in the silk once the pattern has been cut correctly.

Next the foundation bodice is made up and then boning is inserted where needed whilst checking the fit all round.

The next stage is to build the lining of the bodice, this is the inside of the dress pictured down to the hips and again it's checking the fit and how it lies with the foundation bodice. 

This dress has so many full circles for the base lining, the lining and the tulle skirt which is made up of metres and metres and metres of full circles, all layered and draped to create the full skirt. 

The best way to cut a full circle is with a tape measure and a pin, measuring the same distance all around to make a perfect circle.

The the base lining is attached in silk and I start to build up the layers of the skirt carefully hand stitching each piece in place and checking the fall all the way around. 
I always check the dress in the mirror as I'm working, it's something I picked up from art lessons at school and I think it gives you a new perspective so you can see if anythings not quite right. It's definitely needed after working on the same dress for 10 hours a day!

(please excuse my messy studio, I'm a hoarder!)

Then the bodice is draped onto the foundation in stages constantly adjusting the folds in this particular design until I've got then just in the right place and then hand stitching in place.  Then it's time for the finishing touches in the way of details, sashes, beading, etc. The total time amounts to over fifty hours but the finished piece is always worth it.

The most exciting part is being able to walk into my studio the morning after I've finished the dress to see the design I sketched weeks or months before in real life. xxx