Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Katelyn and Ben

This week we have the beautiful Katelyn, and her wedding dress for her marriage to Ben.

They were married in Mount Macedon, in a delightful garden ceremony, on a perfect autumn day.

Katelyn came to me with thoughts of a very refined and elegant wedding gown. She had tried her mother's gown on, for its simple line, and wanted to combine lace with a long, clean line for her own dress.

We went shopping for laces, as the range is wide, and texture is a very personal choice: I never assume that I can pick the right lace for a client, because it's such a fine line between one person's "beautiful", and another's "Nanna's curtains". 

Happily, Katelyn found one she loved: a soft tulle base with an embroidered floral pattern, with filagree shapes that stopped it from being too fussy or kitch. 

I wanted to take advantage of Katelyn's understated elegance and try to represent her clear-mindedness, and calm nature. Her gown was therefore a very simple line: a darted "tunic" for want of a better word, tailored to fit her perfectly, with a small fullness at the back of the skirt. This was balanced by a classic boatneck with a deep dramatic v-back, to mirror the fullness of her skirt. The main dress was made from silk faille, as featured in Simone's dress.

The lace was the major feature though, and was laid over the faille. I cut the lace in the same patterns as the dress, but only down two thirds of the length of the skirt. Below that, I decided, that in order to make the design really interesting, I would cut out all the lace patterns and re-apply them in my own design. This was to create an organic, individual and artistic piece rather than the plainer, mass-produced look achieved by just layering flat panels of lace.

This was really fun: I dont usually get commissions to make really tricky, fiddly garments, with such detailed work required. I wanted to use all the beautiful scalloped edges of the lace around the hemline, and so worked from the hem up, to meet the bulk of the lace coming down from the bodice. This was also all cut away around the edges, to feather down into the appliqued pieces below.

I then hand-sewed all the pieces on, checking the drape of the fabric all the time. Fortunately, the skirt was cut on the straight grain, so the lace could be aligned fairly accurately, even when not hanging from the dummy.
I have now tried this method with a bias skirt; it was a very different story. Coming soon.

The sleeves were a single layer of fitted lace, set-in, with the seam allowance bias-bound, inside.

The high boatneck was perfect for Katelyn's petite frame, and the deep scooped back was the only really dramatic bit: a lovely surprise when the bride turns around. We reduced the impact of the lace by limiting the scalloped edging to the hem, and not adding to the neckline, as this would start to overwhelm Katelyn, and make her look too frilly.
She really wanted the classic pearl-button line down the back, which I think really helps to centre the design, and gives it a focus.

So here are some shots from the Big Day, thanks to Katelyn and Ben for sharing, and
Erin&Tara Photography, for their beautiful shots. All following photos are via their blog. 


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