Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lace and Layers

This week's feature is a bridal gown I made earlier in the year, for a friend, Rebecca, for her wedding to her partner Ruhsen. They were married in Edinburgh gardens, with a relaxed local reception afterwards. 

Rebecca is the designer behind Silver Addict, which sells beautiful sterling silver jewellery. She also hand-makes the awesome "Necktie Necklace", which have been a popular and unique fashion item in Lissom Yarn for several years now.

Rebecca wanted a relaxed, modern dress to suit her elegant style, but one with a hint of "vintage" about it. It had to suit an outdoor ceremony, and gastro-pub reception, so a full-length style was out of the question. 

I designed three quite distinct dresses for Bec: two of which were more of a waisted, 50's-inspired line, and the last of which was the most removed from her initial descriptions: a 1930's-inspired bias-cut design with French Guipure lace and georgette. I like to give my clients a design surprise where possible, and an option that they haven't considered. Very happily, Bec chose that last design!

Wedding Gown concept design, silk and georgette with guipure lace.
This dress features a raglan-sleeved bodice in georgette with open back and contrasting sleeve detail, and a high-waisted bias-cut skirt with lace overlay.

I have to say, I did slightly regret my suggestion, some way into the construction when I was doing french seams on bias georgette which intersected at acute angles: not fun. Like herding cats, or sewing smoke. Hard. But reeeeallly pretty in the end, thank heavens.

Georgette raglan bodice with pieced, guipure lace insert, and contrasting dark grey cuff on sleeve. 

The back was totally transparent, with an open keyhole design. Time for the stick-on bra to get a work-out.

I tied the skirt and bodice together visually, by adding the lace boarder to the seam line under the bust with hand-applique.

Guipure lace detail with grey pearl buttons.

The dress was made from silk crepe de chine, with the georgette overlay, both in "Platinum". The lace was a stunning lozenge-shaped guipure from France, in ivory, bought from Tessuti.
I textured the skirt by cutting out the lower third of the lace overlay, and piecing it together again in a staggered, layered method, like overlapping leaves, to create a more hand-crafted result, and to lend a more organic look to the bottom half of the dress. It also helped break up the block of lace and brought out the extremely beautiful textures and patterns within the lace.
There were a couple of fittings where I was almost in tears from cutting up this beautiful lace, but Bec's enthusiasm and trust were amazing, and she was supremely generous with her time and very excellent decision-making!

Guipure lace overlay, over silk crepe de chine and georgette skirt, cut and pieced by hand.

And here are the happy couple on their big day, with beautiful weather and everything!
Bec accessorised her dress with a sparkling textures, both in her blue-grey shoes and her beaded head-band.
Their photos are by My Wedding Photos.

Thanks to Bec for being a gorgeous, inspiring (and patient) client, and also to both of you for sharing your photos! 

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