Day 5: “Write about a favorite project you’ve done in the past.”
McCall’s 4378, my wife’s wedding dress. She’s not the type to wear a dress, and when she said she would like something like Eowyn’s dress in LOTR I was amazed…and quickly googled and found a pattern before she could change her mind!
After umming and ah-ing for a while [she’s possibly the only woman alive who’s never ever imagined a wedding of any kind] we arrived at the plan. Bronze/lilac shot silk dupion, with ‘silk changeant’ in matching chiffon for the sleeves. No bones, no corset, no petticoats, no trim. Oh and can it lace up at the back please? Once everything was bought and ready to go, we waited for my divorce to be finalised so we could arrange our civil ceremony. And we waited…
For almost four years. Sigh. Finally, all done, we cracked on.
With her refusal to wear much underneath that would ‘spoil the line’ I had to get up to all sorts of jiggery pokery to get a smooth look. I learned to make hand sewn eyelets, and to spiral lace, thanks to advice from historical sewing experts online. I wanted something going on round that enormous hem, and bought beads from The Viking Loom in York, and after some trickery and persuasion, got her to realise what a good idea it was. Then she went bead crazy- ‘More! More!’ I think I had to reorder about four times.
It took months of careful work. It’s underlined in cotton lawn, as we got married in August and were both worried about overheating. The lining is chocolate brown habotai. the beading on the hem is so heavy, I had to do some crazy engineering inside with silk organza scaffolding to support the weight and stop the CB seam from stretching out. It can be bustled up for dancing.
We had her shoes dyed to match, and I made a little bag, and wrapped the bouquet in matching scraps and ribbon. On the day, I gave her a LOTR ‘evenstar’ pendant.
The hem is faced and piped. The back lacing edges are also piped for strength. The chiffon for the sleeves is so fluid and delicate I completely sewed them by hand. The sleeves are tied at the upper arm with the same narrow gold ribbon used on the back lacing. There is a side zip. I bloody well love it, and so does she. I learned a lot while making it, and bled a lot, and strained my eyes while doing the beading. [I also made my own dress while I was doing all this…crazy woman.] And here she is, every stitch was worth it.
Stunning eh? She made a lot of people cry that day…even me!