Formals & More

Posts Tagged ‘bridal gowns

The “Pearls & Lace” gown (official name) is almost finished. All that remains is the draped beading cross the back. Maybe this weekend . . .  I will show a couple bits and pieces, but until I have it done, that is all you get!

OK  – that’s it for now! Keep checking back – should have more pics up soon!

I will say that I LOVE this dress! Very light weight, feminine, elegant. Everything a bridal gown should be. Pearls & Lace . . .

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I got the dress cut out last Tuesday evening. Took about 3 -4 hours and a sore back. I didn’t have a chance to work on it til early Thursday a.m.   I was leaving Thursday for a trip over the holiday weekend to St Louis with my husband, and I woke up about 4:00 a.m thinking about how I really needed to altleast get started on the dress. So,  at 5a.m., I finally got up and went upstairs to get some sewing done. Ofcourse, the dogs and Emma Grace all thought that because I was up, surely it must be time to eat. I made them wait. They weren’t very happy with me. But I got the bodice put together by 7:00 a.m. I meant to include a pic of the back of the bodice, but it didn’t turn out AT ALL! Will try to get another to post later. It is a lowered scooped back. Love this fabric – ivory silk charmuese – yum!

bodice front

I also got the lace sleeves cut out, but didn’t get them sewn together until this afternoon.

lace sleeve

 Here is the sleeve pinned to the bodice, one pleat and lace trim pinned on.

Here, I’ve put 2 pleats in it ( I think this looks better), and I slipped the button trim on.

Here is a closer view. I do think I will shorten the under-part of the sleeve. I think it just looks a little ‘bottom – heavy’. 

A close -up of the gorgeous buttons I found! The small ones are for the sleeves, the larger ones will go on the pleats on the skirt.

Will keep you posted!

Well, it doesn’t look like much yet; as a matter of fact, when my husband walked into my sewing room and saw it, he had some unpleasant words about it. I told him that it just a muslin at this point, and you must use your creative imagination. Take away the wrinkles, the seam allowances, replace the fabric you see with a lovely soft silky drapey  ivory silk charmuese, then over lay the skirt with a crisp white lace. Pearl and crystal beaded buttons at the pleats that sit low on the left side of the skirt.  A layer of stiff tulle under the slight mermaid skirt to dd a bit of poof. And cross the back of the back of the shoulders and hanging down the low back – a double row of pearls and crystals.

My inspiration for this gown came from a vintage cocktail dress I am altering for one of my brides.  similar in that it has a silk bodice and a lace skirt. But that is where the similarities end. I want to have it ready for a bridal show I am doing the first weekend in August. Tuesday I will run up to Gail K Fabrics and pick up the silk charmuese. I have the lace (a bolt I purchased on wholesale last year) and a lining (extra in the stash). I will see if they have any really special buttons, also. While I am there I will need to get fabric for a drum majorette outfit I m doing, also. 

What did I ever do with myself before I had this sewing business?

Recently, I have had the immense pleasure to do some alteration work on some of the most beautiful wedding gowns I have ever seen! If you are not familiar with Matthew Christopher Wedding Gowns, check him out here – http://matthewchristopher.com/

The most recent gown I have worked on, I fortunately only had to do a bustle on. I say fortunately, because this is one dress I really wouldn’t want to have to tear apart and put back together. Even the bustle was a challenge. We ended up having to call Matthew  up and get his suggestion on the best way to bustle it. Ofcourse, his suggestion worked like  charm. The difficulty was in the weight of the train.

The gown is composed of bias strips of satin and organza, wrapped around diagonally, and hand sewn to the dress. The strips are what adds so much weight to the dress – it’s like quilting strips! Between the sections of strips, the gown is beautifully embroidered and beaded, which adds additional weight to an already heavy dress.

Here, you can see the back of this exquisite gown; although it is difficult to see the beading or the hand sewn bias strips that make up the train.

You can see it a little better here. The embroidery is so amazing because, in most wedding gowns I have worked on, any embroidery is done on the fabric before it is sewn together into the dress – usually to be appliqued onto the dress after construction. But not on Matthew Christopher’s gowns! If you look closely, you will see that the embroidery in done directly on the dress – after construction.

Finally, here you can see the bustle – lousy picture though it is! It would look much better if  the dress were on a dress form that was taller, and would let the dress fall more naturally. Because of the position and weight of the bias strips on the train, it could not be drawn up directly in the center of the back, but needed to be drawn up at an angle, to the left side. It is held in place with 3 sets of color-coordinated gross-grain ribbons that are an inch apart. If you look closely, you will see that the bustle is not centered. I was also concerned that (because of the weight) the 3 gross-grain ribbons may not hold, so I also added a 1″wide satin wrist hold, which I padded lightly with flannel. I figured that if the bride does have to use it to hold the train up, the flannel padding would prevent the train weight from dragging on the wrist and hurting her.

So, why have I shared all this with you? Because, on June 4th and 5th, 2010, Matthew Christopher will be having a Trunk Show at Etains Bridal Boutique, in Tyrone, Ga.  I hope you will post this to any brides who may be interested in coming to see his gorgeous gowns! Even if the bride already has her dream gown, these are worth seeing in person! If you re interested in ordering one of Matthews gowns, the ladies at Etains would be happy to take your appointment to have Matthew himself do your fitting!  Check out Etains website here – http://www.etain-llc.com/  then give them a call to set up an appointment to see Matthew next weekend.

Personally, I can’t wait to ask him a few questions of my own about the construction of these works of art!!

Sorry, no pics this time. Interesting subject though. I am currently working on a wedding gown with a hem that has an overlay of vertical ruffles, on top of a skirt of silk twill and english netting, underlined with silk organza. The vertical ruffles were a real pin. Let me rephrase that – a REAL pain! But I did it. What has me confused and stumped, is why, OH WHY!!! in the world would a high end couture Bridal House GLUE the hem down on the skirt (silk twill/english netting/silk organza). Yes, dear readers, it was glued down. Not a single thread to be found. It was very upsetting. How does one remove glue from such fine fabrics? After a bit of internet searching (what did we ever do without this precious tool?) I decided to try gently heating it with the iron and trying to separate the fabrics. It actually worked! Fortunately, the areas where the glue gathered the heaviest, will be cut off. Although there are a couple of spots that look a bit lumpy. Suggestions as to how to remove said lumps of glue are welcome and appreciated! And any answers as to why the glue was used to begin with would be wonderful as well!!!

I am trying to get more view time of my etsy shop and realizedI could do it here! I really want to sell a couple of these wedding gowns! The Feather Fantasy gown and the Blossom Gown are my favorites! Especially the Feather Fantasy! It is so unique and beautiful! So take look and share with everyone you know!

<script type=’text/javascript’ src=’http://www.etsy.com/etsy_mini.js’></script><script type=’text/javascript’>new EtsyNameSpace.Mini(8222772, ‘shop’,’gallery’,4,2).renderIframe();</script>

I may not get much posting done for the next couple months.  For, along with spring (finally, er  …. kindof) comes bridal season. I knew it was coming, as it always does. With new alterations clients everyday; sometimes just one, sometimes up to 4 or 5. Mostly brides, but also bridesmiads, mother of the brides, and grooms, grandmothers, and of course the flower girls. Then there are the prom girls. They are fairly short- lived, though, and mostly last minute. I will soon be stacking bagged dresses on the bed in the spare room. I only have so much storage space in my bathtub. Yes, I store dresses to be worked on in the bathtub of the bathroom attached to my sewing room. It keeps them out of the way, yet close by and easy to get to. I also hang them from the heavy duty curtain rods,  door frames,  and my dining room china cabinet. Last year, at the peak of the season, I had 34 dresses stacked in various places all over the house. Fortunately, this year I am in a bigger, better sewing room ( I took over my daughters bedroom when she left for school in June). But isn’t it strange, that no matter how much space you have, you always need more!  So, right now I have 3 prom dresses, 2 bridesmaid, one MOB, and probably 12 wedding dresses. And 2 veils. And I have atleast 5 new ones this next week. So, as you can see, it has begun.


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