Project: The Tassie Wedding Dress

9 May , 2014 Fashion

Project: The Tassie Wedding Dress

Yes, that’s right.

In the last few months and countless hours, I have completed crafting my friend’s wedding dress.

I haven’t picked up my trusty pattern making ruler, pens and measuring tape for a long while but I am very excited to be getting into it and creating something beautiful for my friend’s wedding in May. I am a little nervous because this will be the first wedding dress everrrrrr that I’ve made but I’m positive that it will turn out to be beautiful.

Great thing about this dress is that I get to play with beautiful lace and create a beautiful collage or intricate pattern on the back of this dress. I love the design and the bride has picked something that is so perfect for her. Absolutely stunning and gorgeous! Especially that she has such beautiful fair skin – this antique-like masterpiece is going to be stunning.

Here are some inspirational pics:

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This is a 1930s reference photo to set the mood.

We referred to this dress very regularly. There's something about the lace and the way everything sat in the back that is just so beautiful.

We referred to this dress very regularly. There’s something about the lace and the way everything sat in the back that is just so beautiful.

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Other lace on the back designs

This photo had the same lace we used.

This photo had the same lace we used.

What worried me initially was how was I going to get the lace to work. I could easily sew a seam at the front, sides and back, but the lace was beautiful and have visible seams was not going to do the dress any justice.

So I spent a long time investigating how to do this and what is the best way. Eventually, I found, “Lace Applique Seam” or “Lace Overlap Seam”, which is overlapping the motif along the seam with the motif of the next piece and sewing it around the motifs. The technique calls for a zig-zag machine, which I don’t have (I only have an industrial sewing machine and a domestic overlocker), so the only way that was possible was sewing by hand. Yup, by hand, all the way around the lace motifs, from the bottom of the dress all the way to the top.

I set off by cutting the pattern pieces and then came across my first problem – the meterage of the lace was not long enough. Fuck. What this means is that I cannot cut the pattern from the top to the bottom out of the fabric. What this meant was that I had to cut off the pattern at some point and cut the patterns in two pieces AND THEN sew them back together on the dress. This scared the shit outta me. Realistically, what I was looking at on the stand was random lace pieces.

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If you can see, bits of fabric overlapping on top of each other.

In hindsight, I have learnt that I should have cut the lace in a different way and pieced it together differently, OR cut the dress differently. I truly understand now, why some wedding dresses have seams in funny areas, or have been cut in a certain way. Very much understand now.

The other thing was that I had to cut the pieces so that I could preserve the scalloped edging on the bottom of the lace. What was the point of have this beautiful lace with this beautiful scalloping without using it? This scallop was the hero of the dress.

Scalloped hem with the satin train pushed back to show the lace hem.

Scalloped hem with the satin train pushed back to show the lace hem.

After the bottom lace bits were sewn into the dress, I set out to cut the top bits. The top bits weren’t too hard to cut and not to hard to construct either. I only did a little bit of sewing with my machine around the bust area to give it a little bit more shape.

Next was sewing down the lace motifs at the back of the dress. This part, in my mind, was the hardest and most time consuming. After doing it, this bit was not hard at all and didn’t take that much time. Not as long as those 3 – 6 hour side seams. I actually enjoyed sewing lace onto tulle and the end result was beautiful.

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The back of the dress

Then I pretty much put the bits and pieces together – scallop at the back, zip, extra scallop at the side seams to enhance the scallop train, floral lace on the front straps, snap buttons and hemming of the rest of the dress.

The end result. One beautifully crafted dress that I have to say, I am proud of. Simple, lightweight and was not overly puffy. The bride did a great job picking out something to accentuate her body but it was something that highlighted her style as well as being practical about movement. What I’m proud of is cut. I did a great job with the cut of the dress to accentuate her features, hide her features and most importantly, make everything fit. I was very happy with the way the tulle sat on her back. This wasn’t just a simple pattern – it took a little bit of crafting and fitting.

The front of the dress

The front of the dress

The back of the wedding dress

The back of the wedding dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both the bride and groom scrubbed up well and looked gorgeous in front of their picturesque autumn country backdrop at their wedding. Their professional photos will look stunning. Here’s some of my happy snaps, won’t be as great as the pro photographers.

country wedding in geeveston tasmania

Congratulations Sam & Nick!

Here’s to the next project!

Karen x

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