Monday, 15 October 2012

My Wedding Dress!


Ok peops, here it is! The most important, most photographed and most stressful garment I'll ever make: my wedding dress! Thank you to everyone who expressed a desire to see the pictures, here you are.

Style:

Those of you who have read my previous posts on the planning of my dress will know that I was always going for a mid-century retro look. By the time I'd narrowed down my research, I was definitely erring towards a wiggle silhouette made from a separate skirt and bodice and lots of shoulder/decolletage on show. Above all else, this dress had to make me feel special, so it didn't seem like a time to hold back on the sexiness or glamour! Pat's Best Man told me on the night 'a bride's job is to make other men feel sad you're no longer on the market'! Apparently.


Pattern:

I chose the Burdastyle bustier/bombshell dress pattern (pictured below) as my basis because it had the general wiggle silhouette, waist seam and tight fitting bodice I knew I wanted. I ignored the cups sections and proceeded with toiling the bodice (with frequent fitting help from the ever-amazing Rehanon) again and again until we achieved a really good fit. Instead of the faceted bust of the original pattern, I wanted to recreate a draped, gathered bust effect something like the white Modcloth dress pictured below (underneath the next paragraph).


For that I knew I'd have to attempt some draping using my own body as the mannequin. With lots of encouragement and pin-passing from Rehanon, I finally got a good shape for the bust panels. It was very scary deconstructing my draped bodice toile to make a the bust piece pattern, I can tell you!


As for the skirt, I was initially going for a draped effect like Gertie's bombshell version of this pattern, but it kind of, umm, evolved in a different direction. What I mean to say is that the gathered skirt toile to look very good and I felt unsure how to approach getting a nicer effect. Time for completing this dress was getting tight, especially with all the other elements planning a DIY wedding entailed, so I decided to go for a straight wiggle skirt. As soon as I took that headache away, I breathed a sigh of relief and knew I'd done the right thing. I love the sleek, straight skirt in these pictures, and I think it allows the gathered bust design to really stand out.

Fabric and colour:

My mum and I planned to buy the fabric for my dress and my best mate's bridesmaid dress in one of the fancy-fabric purveyors on Berwick Street in London, knowing that if we drew a blank, we still had all of Goldhawk Road to plunder. For my dress I went with an open mind, but knew it needed to have some structure, be a bit special (AKA, shiny or something) and red. I also had one eye out for a nice brocade. In one of the silk shops I was drawn to some fantastic red silk that had a vintage-y embroidered flower motif but it was very narrow and a squillion pounds per metre. The search continued...


In Borovick Fabrics, I found the most perfect red acetate duchess satin stuff (its official name escapes me) at about £30 a metre. Hurrah! I thought. I glanced at the other colours it came in and was instantly drawn to an incredible peacock colour that really shone out. The sales guy was really helpful and pulled   a long length of each colour of the rolls and held it up to me so I could see in the mirror which worked best with my colouring. He even dimmed to lights to create for me a night time effect, bless him! Both looked great, so he cut a swatch of each and we went off to have some lunch and a margarita to deliberate. Rather wonderfully, whilst my mum and I were staring at menus in the windows of potential lunch venues, I spotted Kat, the editor of the only wedding website I allowed myself to read: Rock n Roll Bride!

We thought and ate, chatted and drank, and although Mum was on 'Team Red' at the beginning of the meal, she'd switched over to 'Team Peacock' by the end. Uncharacteristically, I felt pretty relaxed about having to choose between them. I think it was because I thought both were so lovely, I knew whichever I picked would have looked fantastic. The peacock won because it was just so vibrant and special.


Construction:

My goodness this dress took some work. For example, the bodice is underlined in calico to give extra support and structure, and there was so much hand-stitching, including a belt section that I eventually removed. Following Gertie's Bombshell Dress class, I added boning to the lining, effectively making an inbuilt corset.

I made the whole thing in secret away from Pat because I didn't want to see it before our wedding day. I didn't even want him to know that I'd gone for a different coloured fabric than the red he (and almost everyone else) was expecting. I had planned to make this dress at work, but when the TRAIDremade studio closed down, I had to make it in our bedroom on my own with the door closed! I wish I had a pound for every time I said to Pat, 'Don't go in there'! I repeatedly vacuum the carpets and went around picking up tiny threads because the raw edges fray constantly.


Accessories and extras:

Early on in our engagement, I went to a posh vintage dress shop to try on some of their stock (even though I had absolutely no intention of buying anything) to get some idea. I saw an amazing head piece thing that was apparently called a 'bubble veil' which was basically some netting which covered most of the face only attached to a small fascinator/hat base. Then after attending a vintage-themed wedding fair in Hove back in the Spring with my friend Kirstin where we saw another, she declared she would make me one! She ordered heaps of supplied from Etsy and started playing about figuring out how to get the right look.

When I bought the peacock fabric instead of red, it was back to the drawing board a bit, because Kirstin had initially bought red netting because we thought it would show up well against my dark hair. She got some black netting and requested some of the fabric to cover the base, and she made me the most awesome veil that clipped onto my hair with a big hair clip.


I decided very early in in the wedding planning that I would do my own hair and makeup. Getting someone else to do those things seemed like an unnecessary expense when we were trying to keep to a small budget, plus I just didn't trust anyone else to get the kind of look I've spent years practising and feel most 'myself' with.

For my hair, I had to consider the placement of the hat/veil above anything else. I even got my fringe cut twice to get it to look correct with the veil. On one side at the top I made a victory roll, and on the other side I pinned the side of my hair up and towards the back so my veil had something to be clipped on to. The length of my hair was left to hang loose having mastered heated rollers to get relaxed, vintage-y curls.

My makeup was a variation of my usual 'going out' look, but with recently acquired additions of mac highlighter for the inside corners of my eyes and on the brow bone, greyish-brown shadow on my eye lids and a light tinted moisturiser/foundation to give a more even skin tone.


For jewellery, I'd wanted some vintage costume diamante pieces but my Etsy and Ebay hunts just weren't unearthing the right things. I thought a swallow brooch would be nice, but all the ones I found online were either too new and trashy looking, or old and beyond wearable. It was incredibly serendipitous that I found the perfect 1950's diamante swallow brooch at a local street fair in August!

I knew I wanted some dangly diamante earrings, but all the ones I'd found online had screw or clip-on backs. I wanted some for pierced ears but that didn't seem to be an option with the vintage earrings. New diamante earrings seemed to look quite tacky or were really expensive, so I was delighted when my friend Sarah leant me the perfect pair of dangly earrings for pierced ears. Hurrah!!!

I wore a pair of black heels that I love, are vaguely comfortable, and suited the style of dress really well. I wore them with some Pamela Mann love-seamed tights:


So there you go my friends! That's the low-down on my wedding outfit. Please keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks for more wedding-related posts, there are lots of other handmade elements that made my wedding wonderful that I'd like to share with you all.

109 comments:

shams said...

You look radiant in your unique and beautiful dress! What a beautiful couple and joyful couple! Congratultions.

Miss Lottie Lou said...

iI had goosebumps reading that!!

You look amazing and so happy and your dress is breathtaking!

Congratulations and I wish you a lifetime of happiness :)

xx

shivani said...

you look fabulous in the photos - that peacock colour is pretty amazing. many congratulations to you both! x

sallie oleta barbee said...

Oh Zoe!! Its soooooooo beautiful! You look amazing! Many many many congratulations to you!

Roisin Muldoon said...

Oh congratulations to you both - I'm sure every man at the wedding was sad you were off the market! I love that you went for that peacock colour - it's so unusual and really beautiful on you, and I think your version of the cup detail is much gentler and more elegant than on the original pattern. It's just so YOU! Now a strange question, perhaps, but do you think you will wear it again?

Juliette said...

A gorgeous bride and a gorgeous dress! Congratulations!

lladybird said...

ZOE.

You look perfect!!! After looking at these pictures, I seriously cannot imagine you in a better color or silhouette! Just... gorgeous & radiant! Pretty sure you had every single dude there shedding internal tears that you really are finally off the market now.

Congratulations, you two! And welcome back ;)

Marie said...

What a breathtaking bride, well done to you for making such a stunning dress my dear! The colour and style are just perfect and I think you certainly fulfilled the role that Pat's best man aluuded to...I'm jealous you're off the market and I'm straight for crying out loud!!! I love all the accessories too! Congratulations again!!!

Catherine said...

Fantastic dress and veil. Congratulations to you both ...

didyoumakethat said...

Great question from Roisin! You look beautiful, Zoe. I absolutely love that colour - stonking choice. I can't wait to read about more of the construction details. Your day looks marvellous.

charityshopchic said...

You look fantastic, Zoe! Congratulations!

Sew little time said...

congratulations mrs ZO! you look absolutely gorgeous. that colour is just perfect on you. i also love your version more than the original pattern - the cup detail on that always seems pretty small - not a good idea on a day when everyone has a camera to hand!

ShanniLoves said...

Yay!! You look beautiful and the dress is gorgeous! Pefect color on you. Congrats to the happy couple!

Far said...

Congrats to you both! The dress n color are awesome, and looking forward to see more wedding pics :)

Ellen said...

Congratulations :)
I love the dress, and red is totally over done by the bride who wants to be different, so I'm glad you changed your mind. Its an amazing colour.
Looking forward to the rest.

HoffiCoffi said...

Just beautiful.

Jane said...

Absolutely stunning Zoe, I can't imagine a more perfect wedding outfit for you. You look just beautiful, Pat is a very , very lucky man! Congratulations! x

EmSewCrazy said...

You look lovely! I must say that is one of the best fitting wedding dresses I have seen. Great job!
Congrats and God Bless you and Pat as you embark on this adventure together!

Mela R. said...

Your dress came out exquisite! You made a gorgeous bride. Congrats to you and your husband :)

Carolyn said...

It's a beautiful dress, and you look so happy. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

well played with the peacock; I really like it.

Also, I like your hair and makeup a lot -- you do a very nice job on yourself!!

Thanks for sharing :)

Madalynne said...

oh my oh my! you look absolutely radiant! It's such a departure from what the typical bride would wear but I love it!

mblow said...

I absolutely love a wedding dress that isn't white - you get to see the beautiful woman instead of just another bride! You made the perfect outfit for yourself. Really stunning!

Tilly said...

Oh Zo, you look amaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing!!!!! LOVE the dress. And the colour reeeeeally suits you. Congratulations on a) getting married and b) self-stitching such a gorgeous dress! xxx

Anonymous said...

Zoe, that dress--outfit, really--is perfect for you! The color, fit, style, accessories--you are a beautiful bride!


Taja

Cecili said...

You look amazing! That blue dress is perfect on you and you couldn't have accessorised it better :) More congrats to you two!

Kirsty said...

Zoe you look amazing and the peacock is just so so perfect. You both look so happy and gorgeous !!! Congratulations xx

Claire Cooper said...

Zoe, you look amazing and the dress is just fantastic. Hope your day went well and you had a fab time in NYC.
Congratulations and best wishes for a long and happy marriage.

honigdesign said...

Beautiful! Gorgeous dress and terrific colour combination. Fabulous photos too! Congratulations :)

sylkotwist said...

How lovely to be let in on your special day, you look gorgeous. You all look so happy and the colour of your dress is perfect. I bet your hubby was blown away! Congratulations and thanks for sharing!

rosyragpatch said...

You look lovely! Fab dress! Congratulations and I hope you have a very long and happy life together.

unlabelled clothes said...

Really beautiful dress. It must feel really special to make your own wedding dress. Congratulations.

House of Pinheiro said...

Congratulation on your special day. you looked a million dollars and the colour was a winner.

Trisha said...

Love, love, LOVE! That color is fabulous (and one of my personal favorite colors). Loved reading the details, and can't wait for more wedding posts.

Congratulations!!!

Tors Grantham said...

OMG Zo, you look AH-MAY-ZING! I love the colour on you, such a fabulous choice, and your dress is stunning. You both look so happy and you look absolutely bootiful dahlink! Congratulations to you both and I hope you live long and happy lives together x

MrsC said...

Oh oh oh!! I lvoe it! The peacock is stunning, the dress is so YOU! Thank goodness you lost the draped skirt, the simple straight shape really shows off the bust detail, which looks incredible in the duchess satin.
I'm so happy for you Zoe, you and Pat look wonderful, radiant and Meant xo

Anonymous said...

Wow, you look absolutely stunning, and the colour is just perfect on you.
Such a beautiful couple!
Congratulations!

@joey1378 said...

That is a beautiful dress and colour and suits you perfectly!
JoeyRo

Anonymous said...

Wow! you pulled that look together perfectly, right down to the tights! I love the dress, the colour is gorgeous and the bodice styling is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing the full story of how it all came together. I think it's great that you did your own hair, so many brides end up not looking like themselves when they've had their hair done especially for the occasion - you did it immaculately. Best wishes to you both for a long and happy life together.
Debbie B

Rochelle New said...

You and that dress = perfection!! I love the color and the stockings are so amazing!! I'd love to be able to make my own wedding dress some day, but I have a lot of tailoring to learn before then. Congratulations and thank you for being an inspiration :)

Scruffybadger said...

Zoe, you look absolutely beautiful! What a fantastic dress, an awesome colour, set off beautifully by the red roses. I am bowled over with your design journey and it really is the most perfect dress. You and pat look adorable together. Congratulations all round x

Alice said...

Zoe, you look sooo fabulous in your photos! Thank you for sharing the construction and the inside of the beautiful dress with us. Congratulations to you both and I wish you a lifetime of happiness!

aprettymess said...

wow zoe you look magical! wonderful job creting our dress. i cant wait to see the rest of your details.

Claire (aka Seemane) said...

Zoe huge congrats again - you & Pat look so happy & gorgeous in your photos. The blue dress looks heavenly on you :)

Sew Me Love said...

Congratulations on the wedding Zo!!! What a gorgeous dress! I love the style, the color, EVERYTHING about it! Looks so beautiful on you xx

Clare said...

Yay - congratulations to you both on your special day and extra-congrats to you on a wonderful dress! Fabulous colour (I'm a sucker for peacock, too!) and the whole outfit suits you wonderfully! Thanks for sharing the pictures and details - those tights are awesome!!

Crab said...

I love the color surprise! The peacock color is exquisite and your whole outfit was perfectly amazing and perfectly you. Felicitations to you both!

Sarah said...

Wow you look goergeous, I love the colour of your dress and how cool are those tights! Congratulations too, I can't wait to see more of your wedding posts!

Miriam said...

You look absolutely gorgeous. I love the colour - I'm sure the red would have suited you but this is such a special colour and much less expected. Congratulations to you both x

Sarah said...

You look utterly radiant! I love your dress and the peacock colour is just gorgeous on you. Well done!!

Len said...

You look AMAZING!! The dress looks well worth all the work. Big fan of the peacock and the brooch and the shape... and pretty much all of it. You look like you had a blast too! CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU BOTH!!!

xxx

Hillary said...

Absolutely spectacular!!! You look ravishing, the dress is gorgeous, the color is to die for, and Pat looking mighty handsome as well!!! I'm so happy to see this, what a treat~ Many warmest congratulations!!

Sharon said...

Abolsutely radiant in your gorgeous dress and congratulations to the joyful couple.

Tia Dia said...

You look beautiful, happy and so glamorous in that fabulous peacock blue dress! Love all the decision/construction details. Wow, and many many heartfelt congratulations to you both!

punkychewster said...

you look amazing in that dress, and i love that you put so much effort and love into your special day. it was worth every minute spent! congrats gorgeous!

Amanda said...

This is so you and do very awesome! Love love love it ! Congratulations to you both :)

Carolyn said...

Congratulations Zoe and Pat! Zoe, you are radiantly beautiful in your gorgeous dress; you are utterly lovely. I love love love that you chose such a vibrant magnificent colour :))

Adrienne said...

Love it Zoe! thanks for sharing this special moment and special garment with us. Very you. :-)

Shelly said...

Congratulations to you and Pat. Zoe, you look absolutely amazing in that gorgeous dress. I love, absolutely love that you wore peacock blue; so unique and beautiful.

khristie B said...

Amaze balls!!! You look absolutely radiant. Congrats to the newly weds. (I bloody love weddings).

Gabrielle said...

What a beautiful dress - and so lovely on you! Congratulations to both of you, wishing you much happiness...

velosewer said...

You look amazing and I can see why the guys were sad you were off the market.
Congratulations to you both.

Jenny said...

Beautiful dress! Love the unexpected color! You look lovely and you both look very happy! Congrats!

thecuriouskiwi said...

I love that you went with your gut and ended up on the peakcock blue, it is stunning and you look amazing, congratulations - I think the Best Man's advice was right on ;)

When I was making my dress I had to cover everything up each night with a big sheet to keep the surprise for Hubby too!

thornberry said...

Absolutely beautiful - both you and your dress! I think that it's the perfect colour. You both look so happy - congratulations!

Jacq C said...

Congratulations, what a wonderful day, so full of your personality. Love the colour of your dress, it really suits you. Wishing you both much happiness :)

Cynthia said...

Congrats! You look absolutely perfect!

Catherine Daze said...

Beautiful! And many congratulations on your marriage.

Also I really liked the story about choosing ths fabric.

Masustak eguzkitan said...

Congratulations Zoe!! You look fantastic! I love the silhoutte and the colour, soooo glamorous!

thetialys said...

Awesome! Well done - you look amazing.

cucicucicoo said...

absolutely gorgeous... both you and the dress! i *love* the peacock color! fantastic work and congratulations!! :) lisa

Sølvi said...

Wow! You look fenomenal! That dress is just gorgeous, and the styling from head to toe is just perfection. You both look so stylish! Congratulations again! :-)

Uta said...

You look so lovely and happy, and so does Pat! I couldn't imagine a better dress for you, perfect color, perfect style. The straight skirt is just right! Congratulations on your wedding, and lots of love and happiness for both of you!

Clare said...

You two look gorgeous! What an amzing dress. Congratulations and good luck for your new adventure! xx

Joanne said...

Wow - what a knockout! You look divine and doesn't Pat look fab! I love this dress - it's so perfectly you. I can't imagine you in anything else on the big day and that's the mark of the 'perfect dress' isn't it? Congrats again! xxx

Sigrid said...

Gorgeous! I'm so impressed with your dress and the truly happy smiles on the couple's faces! Congratulations.

Phil said...

OMG Zoe you look AMAZING! And I was sure you would go for red, but I love the colour you choose in the end! It was such a surprise when I saw the photo. You both look so happy too. Thanks for sharing x

Symon said...

Wow!!! Stunning!! I absolutely ADORE seeing wedding dresses that are a vibrant gorgeous colour rather than white - this dress is so special and beautiful, you look like a bazillion bucks! I just love how you modified the bodice; it's so lovely and elegant ^__^ And you and your man look perfect together!

I love what the best man said "your job is to make the other men sad that you're off the market" - my guess is that you accomplished that task quite well ^__^

Tasha @ Stale Bread into French Toast said...

Thanks for sharing. You look SO lovely and happy, it's wonderful! More congrats to you and Pat!

Miss P said...

Gah, you look radiant m'dear! The bold colour is perfect on you and really makes the red lippy and your gorgeous dark hair "pop"
Biggest congrats to you both. Looking forward to more wedding DIY's. Still gathering inspiration for our wedding!
Px

superheidi said...

Congrats! Both of you, you look both stunning! That dress colour is just beautiful.

anotheryarn said...

Beautiful dress (and fascinator). Thanks for sharing photos and congratulations!

Mari Cruz said...

Congratulations Zo! I wish you the best.

Trees said...

Congrats zo!! Such a beautiful dress - you did an incredible job, also I always love a non-white wedding dress.

Your headpiece is so awesome!!

AnaJan said...

Congratulations Zoe! You looked smashing in your pretty dress, and you definitely looked happy! I wish you happiness!

secretlifeofseams said...

Congratulations to you both! And congrats on such a great dress. The colour is perfect on you and you teamed it with some amazing accessories. I think the streamlined design on the skirt shows off the bodice more, as you said. But better than all that is you both look incredibly happy! Thanks for sharing with us all.

gingermakes said...

What a beautiful, special dress! You look absolutely gorgeous! Mega congrats to you and Pat!

mienkintoshfairie said...

Congrats! You looked great on your special day! Perfect color on you, hair and makeup on point. The accessories, lovely. Your dress making skills are amazing!

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Amy said...

Bravo! Beautiful bride, beautiful dress! I just love the way you've transformed the bombshell dress into something unique. Again, bravo!

frk.bustad said...

Can't wait to see more of the wedding-related posts! That dress is a true bombshell dress, and you look so happy, gorgeous and illuminated! I have decided not to make my own wedding dress for next year, but I sure get doubts when I see your pictures, mostly because the dress really is so personal and true to you!

Congratulations to you both!

Helen Made said...

wow wow wow! You look so gorgeous Zoe! The dress is fantastic. The colour you chose works a treat. Looks like it was a fantasitc day. Congratulations!

Stephanie said...

Congratulations again! and you look absolutely gorgeous in this dress!

zosews.com said...

Beautiful! Congratulations :)

Meg the Grand said...

Dear Zoe, I already thought you were incredibly lovely, but in these pictures, you are positively breathtaking!! You are a most stunning bride - the peacock is perfect! Many happy wishes for your new life together :)

Dichohecho said...

Ahh, so gorgeous & happy. Congratulations :D

Rachel said...

Wow! You look(ed) beautiful! Fantastic job!

Nikki said...

Stunning and beautiful! I just wish I'd been brave enough to make my own dress, but I couldn't have done as good a job as this! It's amazing!

Sewing Princess said...

I love the dress you made. Very classy. It fits you very well and you have done an amazing job at construction. I also love you hair and makeup. You were totally right in doing it yourself...you are a pro!

Jennifer said...

Your dress is absolutely gorgeous!! Beautiful color and superb work.

Congratulations to you both and best wishes for a lifetime of happiness :)

acharmofmagpies said...

What a wonderful dress! It looks amazing on you, and you have accessorised it just perfectly. Congratulations to both you and your delightful husband.

woolcat said...

It's gorgeous, and you look beautiful! congratulations!

dixie said...

absolutely amazing. you look beautiful! and so so happy!

geogrrl said...

You look absolutely lovely, Zoe! I was a bit surprised by the peacock blue as I thought you had had your heart set on red, but I think I like the blue better. Both your dress and your bridesmaid's dress turned out beautifully. I wish you and Paddy all the happiness in the world.

Janice said...

It looks awesome. Well done!

Jodi Wade said...

Congratulations Zo!! That colour is gorgeous on you. To make the dress in the same house as your man and keep the colour a secret - impressive! I wish you two much happiness. xx

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