I completed my Cranberry & Lace Dress and wore it to two different events in the last few weeks. During the whole design process, the dress actually went through several changes. This tends to happen when I design for myself:( If you are curious, I’ll take you through the general process from beginning to end.
How I chose the color of the dress…
I was inspired by my turquoise necklaces. I adore turquoise so I wanted a nice contrasting fabric color. I went to explore the fabric store and “Cranberry” it was!
After coming across the “Bamboo Confidential” short film, I knew I wanted a simple clean silhouette with a low v-neckline (not too low though:)
And as I was watching the 2014 Spring Haute Couture Collection by Elie Saab, I fell in love with the feminine floral gowns — the dimension, texture, the sparkles, etc!
I then started sewing my muslin, fitted myself, took it apart and sewed it back together until I was satisfied with the fit.
Next, I cut out the fashion fabrics and started using couture sewing techniques. The main reason why I did not call this a couture dress, although I used couture sewing techniques, is because the fabrics are not luxe fabrics. I used a polyester satin for the dress instead of a silk satin. Since this dress was made within a few weeks, I did not want to invest a lot of money into luxe fabrics in case it did not turn out. Also, I was working within a budget (I’ve been doing a lot of budget sewing lately since the hubby is in school:)
thread tracing by hand
cutting out all the lace flowers from 3/4 yard of lace fabric
pinning and laying out the lace flowers
Sometimes I will make changes to a design element because it may look different with the fashion fabric. For example, the skirt gathering was changed to a simple dart gather and after working hard on the sleeve design, I decided not to have sleeves. The bell sleeve I wanted with a fitted lace cuff did not look right with the silhouette:( This is okay since it is part of the sewing adventure:)
For the pocket, I laid the lace on top of a skin-toned lining fabric. Also, I hand sewed all the lace flowers onto the bodice. In the picture above, you can see how I was able to place my finger inside the flower. They were each sewn at 3 different points to give dimension and texture.
I did contemplate hand sewing on some beadwork…then opted out. Not enough time in a day:(
And here is the final dress….
The lace pocket, the ruffled shoes I wore with the dress, the lace flower placement over the zipper using a snap button, and the final dress
I did not end up wearing any of my turquoise necklaces because I thought it would be too much with the lace flowers. Instead, I wore my drop turquoise earrings:)
So, do you have any techniques you like to use for manipulating fabrics to give texture and dimension? Please do share:)
If you are creating your own wedding or formal gown, I hope you will be inspired by some of the techniques I used from my personal sewing projects:) Also, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Thanks for visiting!