Valient Viewers of Braver Homes and Gardens

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Polka Dot Wedding Dress

Faithful Readers!  I've been married a month now and, whew! what a whirlwind.  We're still settling in, still getting The Conductor's stuff moved in and put away, trying to squeeze it all in between working our dayjobs and tending the garden.

I don't want to overload this post with tons of pictures of people ..and this is blog mostly about sewing and home ownership so I'll post a few that show off, what else? The Dress!

First, my bouquet.  I made it all out of buttons!  I didn't start out with a theme but ended up doing most of our stuff in polka dots and buttons went right along with the motif. 

Here's The Conductor and I with our parents. 

 And no, you're not seeing things!  My dress isn't completely white!  At the start of wedding planning, I was just getting inundated with all of the "you have to do this" kind of comments.  And I thought, "Why?  Who says so?"  I stumbled on The Offbeat Bride's site.  There are some *really* offbeat brides out there, let me tell ya. I love how the site just gives you permission to be...offbeat. 

In particular, I found this dress made by Princess Lasertron totally inspring.  I don't like her color choices, but I LOVED the idea of incorporating a print.  And I knew I wanted a vintage style skirt, pouf and all, so I was drooling over her colored crinolines underneath.

Here's our party people.  You can hopefully see that the bridesmaids are wearing the darker, watermelon pnk, from the polka dot fabric.  My nephew, our ringbearer, is wearing the sea green, also from the polka dot fabric, and the same color as my crinoline.

Here's us at the alter afterwards.  You can see that the colored parts go all the way around and the green peeks out from the bottom.  I also wore green shoes which was a fun surprise for my mom and step-mom (I wore white ones to practice in at the rehearsal so as not to blow the surprise).

Here's a back view.  I used Vogue 1172 for the skirt pattern and self drafted the top.  I wanted to make sure that no bra straps would show.  I also wanted to make sure that the sleeves were loose enough to allow air flow (it was HOT that day) and be long enough to cover my not so flattering upper arms. 

I also wanted a sweetheart neckline like the one in my grandmother's dress and my bust area  is large so I needed to make sure I got the chest fit right.  I've never self drafted a pattern so that was the most chllenging part.  It was all I could do to just finish the dress, so I didn't take very many technical pictures, which I'm now regretting.  I have no documentation of *how* I arrived at the final dress, or the mistakes I made along the way.  Oh well.

   I think this picture gives the best view of the bodice.  The bust area had a perfect fit, I assure you.  The fabric is just floppy because it was hot!  And our church has no air conditioning. 

This was right before I walked into the church and I was already roasting. 

This view gives the best idea of how the skirt spread.  Vogue 1172 is an AWESOME pattern to use if you want a very full skirt.  With two godets in front and two in back, a good petticoat or crinoline is essential.

(I'm holding my baby niece, V, here with her face whited out in case that is confusing anyone, by the way).  Wanting a crisp hem, and less work, I sewed the polka dot to horsehair braid and then sewed the other end of the horsehair to the dress, flipped it up, and machine stiched again.  (I am only wearing this dress once, no way in heck was I hand hemming!!  Who'd even notice?)

But before you can get a crisp hem, you need to make sure it's straight.  Fortunately I have a dress model that has my figure which I had been using the whole while to fit the bodice correctly.  After sewing on the skirt, I marked the hem using purple grosgrain ribbon and put the dress back on good old Grace.   

Then I simply cut along the top of the ribbon.  The fabric was actually bridal satin so my shears mostly slid around the ribbon, making for quick work. 

As you can see, my other objective was to ensure that the hem was short enough that the colored crinoline could peak out.

By the way, I actually wore two crinolines.  One was a simple one made out of nylon that I used in place of lining to make sure nothng (i.e. my undies) showed through the dress itself.  I also wanted a piece that I could wear again and again, as opposed to something permanently attached to a dress I'm only wearing once. 

The second crinoline was made out of - catch this - 24 yards of netting!!!  I had no idea it would take THAT much netting.  I made 7 trips to the fabric store just for netting becauase I kept thinking I had enough.  I made most of it white with just one strip of green around the bottom.  Again, I wanted to be able to cut off the green and use the main part again and again. 

I'm STILL sick of  the fabric store, all because of this crinoline.  I never thought I'd ever get sick of the fabric store.

So, that's the story of my wedding dress.  Next post I'm hoping to share a few pics of the honeymoon and show you the start of my next project. 


Kristina - Northampton-Amherst-MA-Weddings said...

That wedding dress is really unique. Thanks for sharing this post to us.

wedding planning education said...

This is really Gorgeous dress . I like it

wedding planning education

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Marriage is pretty fabulous and it's always great when people allow their weddings to reflect who they are :)


Abbi said...

What a fun dress! I love it when brides are willing to be unique.