Hands up…who remembers 1987?
When I showed this dress to East Coast Sharon, she nailed the date.
My bride wanted to honor her deceased mother by wearing her 28 year old wedding dress for her own wedding. Sometimes this works out well but this girl really gave me the challenge.
Let’s start with the shape and sleeves:
This poor girl has been swallowed up with shiny fabric and beadwork. The lines hit her in all the wrong places and levels but with adding some straps (one ivory and one blue grosgrain ribbon that was handy) we can hike the front and back up and remove the sleeves. There is one small line of boning in the front princess seam and that is all. The back and train don’t offer much promise either.
I agreed to pin out all the excess and remove the sleeves and use the fabric to make other straps and drooping narrow half sleeves and to re-use the beaded motifs hanging from the gathered centers. Let’s get busy and remove the sleeves and see what is inside.
Quite an elaborate collection of techniques were used back then…ruching, gathering and elastic to hold them up on the shoulder and lace and beaded dangling bits and bows. But what really did the job of holding them solid was the netting…layers of gathered netting.
All the fabric was gathered into a circle and lace motifs applied at one end while the other top end had a tunnel of elastic. What I really found fascinating with was the actual shape of the individual pieces that went into such a sleeve. When I was doing my internship at a wedding dress factory back in 1990, we made smaller versions of this for every dress we turned out, even bridesmaids’ sleeves had these types to mimic the brides.
Check out the shaped components!
So with the sleeves removed, all taken apart, zipper replaced with an invisible one, boning adding to the side seams, the bride called to say she had gone to David’s bridal to check out the dresses for skirt shapes to replace the gathered on that her mother’s dress had.
In the process of checking out skirt styles, she fell in love with this dress. I think you will agree it hugs her curves and makes the most of her figure. She tells me that she feels bad and cannot make a decision but will come around to have a second look at the dress. For me, this is a no-brainer…go with the modern dress and use some of the beaded fringe in your hair or bouquet.
When she arrives she shows me a unique solution to using parts of her mother’s gown for the ceremony by making a lasting reminder to cherish:
Brides are now opting for fabric roses bouquets that never die. My bride will add some other colors to hers to match her bridesmaid’s colors and have an heirloom to pass unto the next generation.
Next week, a break from ivory satin as Nancy returns with some cool fabric and I make her another jacket and use a new tool that makes life sooo much easier. Until then, thank you for all your comments and I wish you easy sewing with no ripping out!!!