Goodness! I've been waiting ages to post this here. First of all, I'll say that by the time the wedding came around, I was thrilled with my dress...
Allll the months before that, not so much. So here's the story: My husband and I had a rustic fall victorian wedding. I wanted our outfits to look victorian, but we had a really hard time finding just what we wanted, so we decided to have them made. I started with this sketch for my dress:
We started working with a lady who had done a friends wedding dress. I *thought* she knew how to make my dress...well, it turns out, not quite..
It started well enough...
but then it went to this:
Oh dear. She seems to think the way to get that flowy open bit was to simply make an overskirt and hack out a curve. Yikes. Still, I held my breath...http://api.ning.com/files/Wg
Weeks later, we were pretty much in the same place. This had been taking slow, agonizing months. I realized that the heavy shiny satin we had picked was just not what I needed. We started again with the overskirt...http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11327943/Aug1_6.JPG
Saaaamme problem. Yikes. This just wasn't working. I had a minor meltdown and a friend of mine came over to try and learn how to re-drape it...http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11327943/IMG_4188.JPG
Progress! Finally. We were kinda getting there. This was not so much due to the dressmaker as to my friend and I figuring out how fabric drapes. Still, there wasn't much going on down one side. I still held out hope...aannnd then she hemmed it. And it all went wrong.http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11327943/untitled%20photo%200002.jpg
Yikes. Instead of getting married I looked a bit like I was going to a costume party. Or maybe the ren fest. And not in an awesome ren-fest wedding kinda way.
The bodice was coming apart at the seams. You could see the seam line at each panel, and it got worse each time we tried it on. She tried tacking the stitches in but it just meant all the fabric tugged at the edges. The hem of the dress was crooked and puckered. There were seams on the dress that were waaay crooked, and the sleeves fell town too far.
This was about a month and a half before the wedding. I finally freaked. I kindly pulled the dress from her, had a minor internal mental breakdown, and then called every seamstress in town I knew. Luckily, a very nice lady named Brenda picked up one of my phonecalls.
She completely ripped up the gathers on the skirt and re-pinned it, but there was a lot of work left to be done. We had to take a large chunk of fabric out of one of the seams to sew it straight, using only the skirt we had already cut and hemmed because I didn't have the money for new fabric. Everything was still wrinkled and puckered, the new bodice I had rush ordered online was pretty, but too plain, and the skirt still wasn't filling out..http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11327943/Dress%200007.jpg
The next week, my mum hand stitched some lace around the top of the bodice, my seamstress had completley ripped apart the skirt and re-pinning everything (again!) and after adding a hoop skirt, two weeks before the wedding, we finally had this!
Can I get a hallelujah!!! That woman is a miracle worker!! I couldn't believe the transformation. And so, on my wedding day, I felt like a Victorian beauty!
Getting into the dress..
Walking down the isle
The dress from the side, during our hand blessing
And dancing the night away in it!!
Everyone told me what a stunning dress I had, and I was so happy to hear it, but they were even more shocked to learn that it pretty much didn't exist until about two weeks before the wedding! They had no idea the struggle I went through to get this dress made. So, there you have it. I've heard from plenty of people about the wonders of custom dresses. I have here a slightly different perspective. Designing a custom wedding dress is amazing and fun... getting there is a little more difficult. All I can say is, if you're going to do it... make darn well sure the person knows how to make it!!!