The wedding dress that I made for my daughter took a whole year of evolving and morphing into the final dress that she wore on her wedding day, June 29, 2012!
It started out with lots of talk, emails, texts, and a bunch of sketches. I had bought one yard of beautiful silk fabric to drape on her slight figure just to get an idea of where we were headed with this enormous endeavor. I remember the original top part of the dress was fashioned after an Alexander McQueen dress. The sleeve intrigued both of us so much that it was surely one point that we both agreed on. I later found out that I could not figure out how to get that sleeve drape no matter how many times I tried (about 10 I think!). Frustrated beyond belief, I succumbed to defeat and Kate and I tried numerous other options.
The beautiful all over lace was originally planned for the train of the dress but when I actually draped it over the muslin pattern, it wouldn’t have been long enough plus I kept on thinking about all the beads falling off when she sat down. It ended up being the front part of the dress and I’m so happy that choice was made. With the skirt part finalized, it was time to try top number two!
When fitting time came around, I felt that dress top number two didn’t feel right. And guess what? Kate felt the same. Something was not special about it so I reworked another top after Kate answered a few questions I had as to what neckline was most becoming on her! Step in sweetheart neckline! So at the next fitting, I had made a mock-up top from a mint green fabric because I didn’t want to waste any more of the good silk fabric. So top number three was born!
And then there were questions on what type of sleeve should be made. We had determined that her dress should not be like any of the ones we saw in the bridal magazines. Most were strapless and although they might look great on other girls, Kate really wanted something different! Something with a petite sleeve would be perfect. So I made up two sleeves, one from silk with a hand beaded edge and then one from the all-over lace, also with the hand beaded edge.
The lace sleeve won the competition and so the dress morphed into the final design. Lace motifs were hand stitched onto the train with a loop discreetly hidden in the lace. This loop would form the bustle for dancing purposes.
I have to admit that sometimes through the whole dress process I wanted to punch Kate out! Just kidding! It was a work in progress and through conversations, fittings, and constant emails with photos attached, the dress came to fruition. And Kate did look amazing in it! It was made specifically for her………no one else would have looked as perfect in it!
And I do have to say that when one makes something that is viewed by many, you always stand the chance that someone (or many) will not like it and say awful things. This is the risk one takes as an artist/ designer. And I was extremely nervous about that.
But I have to say that I did receive three very nice compliments on the dress that stood out for me……………….one from my designer BFF (who is a much better designer than me), one from her designer daughter (also more amazing), and one that I will hold dear to my heart forever came from the priest, Father Rafferty.
He said that Kate’s dress was one of the most “exquisite and tasteful” wedding dresses he had ever seen in all his years of performing weddings. And he was equally surprised that it was handmade by Kate’s mom and thought that was such a unique and heartfelt touch.
And of course I can’t leave out the comments that Kate’s husband, Gavin said………”Beautiful, stunning, breathtaking” 😃 Yes, I think she took everyone’s breath away when she walked down the aisle!
I do have to say that the dress that I made for my Katy would not have been as exquisite or beautiful if it wasn’t for the journey we both took in the making of it. It was an experience that I will treasure for all my life 😃