So the big day is 13 March 2011 and the dress is done. What a relief! It all came together very easily, I just had to plug away a little bit at a time, stop and think about what I was doing and modify as I went along. I was going to make a mock-up but in the end it was working out pretty nicely so I decided to turn it into the real thing. Yes, there are things that could have been a little neater, but they're all on the inside so no one will know except me. And yes, I could have used more expensive fabric, but I just fell in love with the shinny fabric in the end. I guess I was lucky in that I didn't have a "perfect-dress-i-must-have/copy" in my head, I knew I wanted something fitted and formal but I wasn't on a quest to copy a "perfect" dress. When I did go dress shopping the myth that there is one perfect dress was shattered when I walked out in one and my girls oohed and aaahed and then the girl next to me walked out in the same one and got the same reaction!
Dress shopping helped me figure out the shape and style I wanted: a strapless fitted to the knees dress with a flairy lower skirt and little bit of a train, but not so much that I couldn't turn around. To make the dress I altered 2 patterns together for the body and hand sewed and designed the bodice. I used two patterns from Burda Style Magazine Edition 3/2010 (which came out at exactly the right time for me):
Dress 108 and Dress 112.
In the end I bought a bustier and fitted and sewed the dress to that so that:
a) the dress would never fall down and reveal my bra (if it falls down, it's nothing but boob for everyone!)
b) all the nicest wedding dresses (read: most expensive) have bustiers built into them so they fit snugly and comfortably.
This was also a really easy way for me to get a perfect fit for the bodice and allowed me to make up the bodice of my own design and hand sew it in place.
My friend Brooke made me a body cast out of gaffa tape that really helped with the fitting and now I can use it for everything!
I feel like I started with a pattern and ended up with my own design and this is going to sound corny but I know my grandmother who has passed away but was a brilliant sewer and sewed everything we wore as kids was helping me along, she would've sewed it if she were here and she would be so proud that I did it for myself.
Here's a sneak peak for you I promise I'll post more after the big day: