Monday 17 October 2011

Katie and Her Forties Hollywood Dress - Part 1

This year is nowhere near over nor is my career (hopefully) but this dress is my dress of the year and the dress I am really most proud of. I love all my other dresses too but after nearly a year with this one it became very important to me.

I first had a call from Katie in September 2010  (OK, I just checked my emails it was actually June 2010, Sorry Katie! No wonder I am so clingy to this dress!) as she was looking for a Forties inspired wartime bridal gown to be made. I instantly jumped at this, anything with a vintage reference and theme makes me very inspired and Katie sounded like she had lots of wonderful ideas. We eventually met in September 2010 (this is right) and we had a chat about designs, Katie was excellent and had lots of inspiration pictures, and I sketched up a few rough ideas to start with.

Over the following months we decided on fabrics, Katie hunted down the perfect lace from the Cloth House , we tested toiles, and the dress along with the bridesmaids and the mother of the bride dresses developed. Katie came to visit her dress quite often and a real attachment grew on my part with this dress over the year. It really was becoming something very special. When it came to September the 30th  2011, watching my dress worn by Katie so beautifully walk down the aisle, It was like watching my child get married, I was so proud of this dress.  I was completely blown away and I still well up just thinking about it!

I spent every day with it in my studio over the last year and at times had to lock it away, It would make me cry, it hurt me but most of the time it made me so happy I would have to give it clap! Is it possible to have a relationship with a garment you make?

Anyway, enough with the emotions, here are are first stages of making the dress .....

The initial sketches and designs

Taking apart the toile, making the pattern and cutting the base fabric
The first bodice

Draping the lace skirt
Sewing the finest seams in the lace for the godets in the skirt
Stitching the seams of the lace

Placing the added lace motifs on the hem of the skirt

A little lace seam

stitching the lining of the bodice and ribbon waist stay in place

 I have a wonderful photo of my face whilst sewing the lining of the dress, it's not a pretty picture. These were some of the many stages that the dress went through as it became the final wedding gown. The best parts are the seams in the lace which were carefully hand stitched around each motif to give a seamless pattern to the hem. It's the little things like this that strangely make me very pleased.

Next to show you will be the corset which went under the dress in a matching cream silk .........