Wedding Gowns

Follow the Birth of a Custom Wedding Gown

I have an exciting project in the works and finally have enough pics to share it. I’m creating a gown for a July wedding and will be posting the progress, both as a record for myself as well as a memento for the bride.

The focal point of this gown is absolutely spectacular handmade Point de Venise lace which has spent the last couple of months in Connecticut being cleaned. Hard to believe this lace was created with a single needle and sewn entirely by hand. We were told by the restorers that the lace was likely made during the 1820’s!DSC_0572
Closeup of the detail
There are two matching pieces. One is rectangular with a scalloped border and the other this shape.
The dress will be a simple strapless gown with train which will be bustled up for the reception. The lace will be a separate top hemmed at the midriff with short sleeves. Buttons covered with dress fabric will close the top at center back. The fitting muslin with lace draped to approximate the top.
A gown with no embellishment calls for luxury fabrics. I met the bride and her mom at B&J Fabrics in NYC and set up a work station at one of the long tables overlooking 7th Ave. The window provided loads of natural light for color matching. Antique lace is never white and and we needed a LARGE selection of fabrics to choose from. The staff at B&J were incredibly helpful, pulling roll after roll of various shades of ivories. We finally decided on a wonderfully drapey 4 ply ivory silk crepe which will be underlined with white double faced silk charmeuse. The white underlining brightened up the ivory just enough to compliment the lace.
Fabrics 1
The lace will be backed with ivory silk tulle which will provide just enough stability for it to hold its shape nicely. The same silk tulle will be used for a short veil.
Fabrics 2
Veil 2
The first step is now to create the gown’s under structure of a boned corset and attached petticoat. I’ll tackle that in the next installment.

30 thoughts on “Follow the Birth of a Custom Wedding Gown”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful project with us al, and thanks to the Bride to be too. What a lovely adventure for us all to follow.

  2. Mary,
    I so look forward to following your journey of creating this beautiful gown! Thank you for posting about this endeavor – I know if will be beautiful and educational to your readers. Thank you!!

  3. Have loads of planning with this one. I’m already thinking about how to handle the lace. I want it to look like one unbroken piece except for the sleeve seams. Should be fun.

  4. Wow! Exciting project and quite nerve wracking! The thought of even cutting into 1820s lace makes me feel queasy. I know you will create an unforgettable ensemble, and like everyone else I so look forward to reading about how it progresses. Lovely!

  5. I am a sewing newbie and novice with so much to learn it is embarrassing. Your garments are always amazing. I am really interested to see the gown’s under structure. For some reason I cannot explain I am finding these couture elements of inner construction astonishing. Best of luck!

    1. I’m happy to see that a sewing newbie isn’t frightened away by my sometimes quite detailed posts. You are so right; it’s the inner construction that distinguishes a couture garment. My next post will show the construction of the foundation layer which is the key to a well fitting and comfortable gown. Enjoy and please ask questions if something isn’t clear.

  6. Beyond the… words fail me in regard to that lace, but I’ll settle for exquisite 🙂 , I love the modesty of the ensemble. I can’t wait to see it unfold. Even the muslin is beautiful!

    1. I’ve had brides mistake the muslin for the gown. Some even say they would wear the muslin. Doing a trial run with construction and fitting makes cutting into expensive fabric less traumatic.

  7. Oh goodness me I had to wipe the drool off my keyboard! That lace is really something. Thank you and the bride for sharing and can’t wait to follow the process.

    (I have just come across your blog via Fit For A Queen and am greedily reading through all your archives!)

    1. Thank you so much. It really is satisfying to work with such exquisite fabrics, not to mention how much better they handle than polyester imitations. I love Mrs. Mole’s tales; she frequently has me rolling on the floor! I thank her for the referral.

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