Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Daughter's Wedding Dress

Like I said, my girl got married this month.   She and her husband have been good friends since seventh grade.  Last summer they started dating. They were engaged in March.   It was a quick time to put together a wedding, but it worked best with their schedule to do it this summer.  So we hit the ground running and I spent the summer up to my eyeballs in wedding prep. 

Sarah wanted a steampunk wedding.   Ashton didn't want anything too over the top or costumey.   We decided on a steampunk lite or, as I would explain it to friends, steampunk meets English garden party.   The steampunk aspect did get her this dress:

And from the back:

 We used a Butterick pattern for the bodice but heavily altered the fit and cut the neckline up so it looked better with the corset.  The patterns for the Victorian apron drapey parts, the skirt, and the awesome bustled petticoat are all from Truly Victorian.  I loved working with those patterns.  They were easy to follow for the most part.  We did make some alterations.  I did not sew the aprons into the dress.  They were made as separate pieces like the corset.  It made it much easier to sew the bodice and skirt together and install the back zipper.  With the corset over the top, you can't even tell it's not all one piece.   This way she can also take the apron and corset and use them with another dress for a steampunk costume of her own.  

The aprons were slightly modified from the original pattern.  I did two aprons with the top apron cut 6" shorter than the bottom.  We used Skirt A that already had the double sash.   I used a ribbon to finish the top edge and added a hook and eye to fasten them together.  And then since I ran out of time, we had to safety pin the back edges so they came together properly.  Ah well.  She can sew so she can add a hook and eye there too when she gets time.

The dress was made from a lovely ivory duchess satin.  It draped beautifully and was the perfect weight for the dress.  The corset and aprons are a shantung (Joann calls them blackberry and taupe.)
I'm sad to say we had to do the whole wedding on a very tight budget ($2500) so the fabric was purchased at Joann with a coupon or on sale and it's all polyester.   The fiber made it harder to work with, but it fit the budget.  Her ensemble cost around $300 including boots, hat trimming, fabric and patterns.  

She wore my wedding hat that I retrimmed (like a good Victorian woman.  Redo it to fit the new fashions.)  I'll do a post soon on the hat.  I've got before and afters.  Shaping the ostrich plume was an interesting experience.    

One of my favorite things we did for them on their wedding day was send them off on a picnic.   After the ceremony we did family pictures and then sent them off by themselves while the rest of us had a light dinner.  Sarah's grandma bought them the adorable hamper as a wedding gift and one of the bridesmaids packed it with a delicious meal.  I had the lemonade bottle already in my cupboard (yea for hoarding!) We just had to remove the labels.  Crisco worked beautifully for that.

The photographer followed them to the park for some private couple photos and then left them alone.  They had 45 minutes of together time before they came back to the party.  It was a good break from the crowd and the hectic schedule.  The guests were so busy eating and mingling that the bride and groom weren't even missed until 15 minutes before they were due to come back.  

It was a lovely day and Sarah and I were both very happy with her dress.  

*the photos were taken by the incomparable Jyl Read of Jyl Read Photography.  It's a lot to ask a photographer to drive 6 hours to shoot your daughter's wedding, but in this case, it was worth it.  She was amazing.  

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