Saturday, January 26, 2019

My Wedding Dress

We're starting today's post with Sara's Words of Wisdom: You never know where your life is going to lead you, but it will be a place both wonderful and strange. I learned that from Twin Peaks.

But really, five years ago, I was a teacher, I was married to my college sweetheart, I was living in a tiny townhouse, and I thought my life would always be the same. Now, none of those things are true! Luckily, my first marriage ended amicably and I learned so many things in the process of going to grad school, moving to a bigger house, and going through a divorce. The biggest lesson to learn was that I deserved a significant other who was present, supportive, and incredibly hot. I found one!

And Reader, I married him.

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When I got married the first time, I'd only been sewing for a couple of months so I didn't even think about, let alone attempt, making my own dress. This time around, I've been sewing for well over 16 years and I have a reputation to maintain! So I sewed my own wedding dress.

Spoiler Alert: I do not recommend it.

Well, okay that's a lie. I thoroughly enjoyed designing and making my wedding dress, but doing so on top of making my daughter's dress and DIYing the vast majority of my wedding? 0/10 Would Not Do Again. That being said, this dress is my magnum opus and I am already planning how to wear it to costuming events in the future. It's gorgeous and exactly what I wanted so in the end, the pain was worth it.

Let's talk about my process!

As usual, I started with a ton of Pinteresting. I waffled around a lot during this stage - did I want tulle? Did I want lace? Which silhouette would be flattering but not too youthful? Ultimately, I decided on two things: it had to have stars and it had to be a-line. This was my initial inspiration:

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My whole wedding was space themed - the colors were red, yellow, and blue for the three Star Fleet divisions - but I didn't want my dress to be too cosplay-esque. I settled on subtle touches like star appliqués and an asymmetrical neckline reminiscent of a Star Trek: The Original Series skant. I also wanted seaming that mimicked the spiral seaming of the later season skants. This vintage pattern from the 70s was a lucky find at Costume College 2018:

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My first mock up looked amazing and even in muslin, I felt like a princess when I put it on.

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I bought a fused silk satin from Mood Fabrics (aka the most expensive fabric I've ever purchased). white cotton sateen to line it, and star lace fabric for the embellishments from Etsy. I also decided that I needed a chiffon petticoat to fill out the skirt and give it a bit more umph. I bought nylon chiffon in several shades of blue and went to work. Thank heavens for my gathering sewing machine foot!

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Everything was going swimmingly until the first try on of the actual dress. It showed every little lump from my underwear and the gathered waist of the petticoat looked awful.

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I sought the advice of my costuming friends, then ripped the waistband off the petticoat and made it into a full slip. It made a HUGE difference.

Once that crisis was averted, I started messing around with placement for the star lace. This part was really fun, but I spent way too much futzing. I only managed to get about half the appliqués done so I might go back and add the rest for a costume event wearing sometime.

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The dress closes with a zipper and a row of vintage Czech glass buttons. The buttons were dead stock and I almost hated to take them off the card! They're shaped like little hexagons, which is my husband's favorite shape (yes, he has a favorite shape) and I just love how they look.

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Towards the end of my mad sewing rush, I took the dress to work so I could finish the appliqués and managed to snap my needle in half. I took it as a sign that I didn't need to keep appliquéing ;)

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The dress came together beautifully! It's accessorized with the Amelie pumps from American Duchess and gorgeous jewelry from Dames a la Mode. It was so comfortable to wear and Jenny-Rose's arrangement of my hair was actual perfection. It was worth every bit of stress and pain.

My formal bridal pictures! I made my dress and put together the flowers myself. My formal bridal pictures! I made my dress and put together the flowers myself. My formal bridal pictures! I made my dress and put together the flowers myself. My formal bridal pictures! I made my dress and put together the flowers myself. My formal bridal pictures! I made my dress and put together the flowers myself. My formal bridal pictures! I made my dress and put together the flowers myself.

Bonus: my daughter's dress is made from the same yellow silk I used for my Belle ballgown. She picked this pattern:

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I added sleeves and made her a cute little chiffon petticoat as well. She's the sun to my stars!

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We both had the perfect dresses for a perfect night.

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