Tuesday, 9 August 2016

One Dress To Rule Them All

So, you may have heard I'm making a wedding dress.
I'm no stranger to occasion dresses and I've even made several wedding dresses professionally before retiring from fashion. The most memorable was one I made for a ballerina over 20 years ago. The whole experience was so exhausting I promised myself 'never again'. Oh boy, have I changed my tune! I'm now delighted to be making my daughter's wedding dress and am relishing every moment of it. Neither of us planned for me to make the dress, it just became an inevitable choice. 

I was more than happy for my DD to simply purchase a dress off the rack that took her fancy, and so was she. I haven't sewn occasion garments for years and I blithely assumed that by 2016, the range and availability of dress styles would be so encompassing and competitive that any woman could find what she was after. Not so! Those purveyors of all things bridal exist in a magical dimension like none other.  I've visited too many to count in the last 6 months and I can confidently tell you, I don't ever want to step foot in another. 

Luckily, my DD never did find 'The One' as the bridal shops like to refer to it in hushed tones, but the one that came closest rang in at $18,000, the next one along rang in at 11,000 and the other two contenders were both over 10,000: all ridiculous, over inflated, emotionally manipulative price tags for a mere dress.

So, to the cutting table I go. The creative challenge has commenced and I'm happy and excited to share the journey right here on my blog. I have asked my DD for permission to share her wedding dress journey here on my blog and she has happily agreed. Of course, blogging it is a great memory for me of the whole dress experience but there's another reason too. I want to encourage home sewers to think seriously about their ability to sew the wedding dress of their dreams. Yes, I'm serious. Don't be daunted. It's completely possible and in the weeks ahead I'll be showing you how.

If you want to follow my wedding dress progress, stay tuned as I will be blogging the whole thing here. The wedding is just over a month away so it will be coming together quickly in the coming weeks. And of course, there's a Pinterest board dedicated to what I'm doing.

Here I go..

22 comments:

  1. Looking forward to following along the journey!

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  2. Wow, you are a brave woman, the wedding is only a month away??? I am looking forward to seeing what you make and obviously you already have the skill set to pull it off!!

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  3. I had no idea people could spend so much on a wedding dress! What a waste of money. I will enjoy watching you create something beautiful and unique.

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    1. The world has gone mad. I had no idea either, looks like I chose the wrong profession!

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  4. I'm sure my skills were no comparison to yours, but I made my wedding dress 22 years ago, and still have it. It didn't break the bank, looked perfectly lovely on the day, and we're still married! What a wonderful treasure you are creating for your daughter.

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    1. Absolutely! I'm sure your dress was beautiful and like you, I also made my own. It was really no big deal to do so 40 off years ago. And I would love to see a return to women making their own. It really doesn't take more than an intermediate level of sewing experience and everyone can but those gorgeous fabrics. Yes, they are expensive but they it's still much cheaper than buying.

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  5. Esther, good luck in this important matter for you both! I will closely follow the process, I also have a daughter :-)

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  6. Good luck!
    I've made wedding dresses, too, and they can be a wild combination of fun and fraught! 8)

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  7. How is it I have never noticed your creativity with words....magical dimension like no other..... etc.... most of us would have said the jerks...

    I will never make a wedding dress but there is no reason for me not to enjoy your ride. Are rotary cutters used for wedding dresses these days?

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    1. You can, but I don't have a cutting board long enough for the length and I cut in the longest possible line pieces. Also, I don't think it would allow good control on the curves. I have just purchased a new pair of Fiskars for the lace and fabric they are the 'wedding' scissors:)

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  8. I had the same problem when I got married. "the dress" was over $5000 (granted, that one was a custom sewn fairy gown) but I certainly couldn't afford it. Lucky me, one of my bridesmaids used to sew professionally and she helped me put together a beautiful gown.

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    1. I'm still in shock over the whole thing and I don't know what's worse - that stores are charging so much for dresses....or that adult women aren't aware that they can make or have the same dress made for a fraction of the price. I understand that not all woman are interested in sewing, but there are plenty of seamstresses out there!

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  9. I'm really looking forward to seeing your creation. I made my own wedding dress nearly 33 years ago. I had the skills and it was fun to make just what I wanted. I could use the nice materials and not break the bank.

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  10. I am so looking forward to watching the progress of this magnificent undertaking. I made my daughter a hand quilted quilt with over 7500 pieces, but the dress, oh no, I am not that brave! You are a wonderful mother.

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  11. I'm excited to see how the dress will be beautiful !!!

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  12. Oh Esther it will be a delightful journey...... I made my dress. I loved it and felt special as I had my Mum and her very dear friend help me ....it was a great bonding time. The must frustrating thing was doing the hem. Luckily Auntie May showed me a few tricks the night before the wedding when she arrived ...so hem was completed to everyone's joy.

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  13. Oh wow ... A month to go? Good Luck -
    Hope your Bridesmaids are sorted!
    - Wendy (who still has nightmares after 2 weddings 6 weeks apart!)

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  14. I'am looking forward te see the progress of your yourney. I was also so happy to suw the dress for my daughter. The last time my mother staued a few days with me and helped me with the start. Such e dear memory for me. I wish you all the best and good luck with the dress.

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  15. Esther I can't wait to take this journey with you. I remember the days when my DD was looking for "the one". It is quite the experience.....Have a happy day today😍

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  16. Ohhh... how special.... it will be a beautiful dress...with a lot of love from mum....*Ü*...

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  17. You know, you bring up a really good point. When someone has never sewn clothing before looks at the cost of patterns, fabric, and notions for simple everyday garments, learning to make your own clothes looks like plain and simple bad economy. But you have to start SOMEWHERE, and once you have attained the basic skill set and can try more advanced garments, the dollars and cents start to work out better. Nowhere is that more true than with wedding gowns. My little sister had horrible luck finding a dress in the affordable "big box" wedding stores, and only when we took her to Nieman Marcus did she finally find "the one," a gorgeous A-line strapless gown with horizontal silk organza shutter pleats from top to bottom by Vera Wang. It was at least $10,000, and that was over 10 years ago. My mom was able to recreate that dress for my sister for about a tenth of that, combining elements of several different Vogue patterns and decades of sewing experience. I can't wait to see the progress of your wedding gown for your daughter, and hopefully I'll learn a few things along the way. Thanks for sharing with us!

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  18. Bless you! I was in your shoes just one year ago (the wedding was September 6th 2015) and it was the most wonderful project I've ever made. I had made my sister's wedding gown and my own more than 35 years ago, but making my daughter's was the most special sewing I've ever done. It will be perfect and unforgettable, I promise!

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