Crafting a Wedding Dress

September 2012

Each summer I make a wedding dress, the average time allowed is two weeks. I enjoy the challenge immensely but was really pushed for time this year as my schedule finally left me with one week to D Day or Wedding Day.

The pressure was truly on Chinaa had her first fitting of the toile 5 days before the wedding. The bodice canvas boned with spiral boning is temporarily grown to the skirt. The fit is perfected along with the neckline and placement of the back bodice insert and seam-lines. The length of the dress, the front skirt sweep, the movement, the spread and length of the train and overall silhouette and balance of the gown was checked before cutting in the silk.

The dress is separated at the lower skirt line and the canvas was lined before nearly 2 days of hand-working the overlapping pleats, back and front before inserting the centre back panel. The skirt with its side front sweep and back train was bagged out before growing it to the bodice, (at last some stitching on the sewing machine). Crin was used to support the back hemline. Second fitting completed and the back and front features positioned correctly and the upper bodice finally lined.

A net petticoat was constructed to maintain the silhouette (Thanks Judes) and 12hrs before the deadline I was able to add the finishing touches, beading and top press. I think in future I will stick to the two weeks lead time.

Well Chinaa and 'Mum' were both thrilled with the result and the groom was overwhelmed with this beautiful bride.

Producing/Demonstrating: Claudette Davis-Bonnick
Photography: Claudette Davis-Bonnick
Music & Editing: Tim Harris

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