Wedding gowns are my passion, I love the design process and the opportunity of creating a couture gown for a bride. It's also fun looking back afterwards on the creative process and all the steps in between-from bolt to the finished gown. I've been so anxious to share this, but of course wanted to wait until after the big day. Now, after months of secrecy, I can now give you a behind-the-scenes look at a Shea Marie Designs original.
This particular gown was special since it was for my daughter-in-law-to-be. I first began the process back in December of 2014, shortly after she became engaged to our son. I can't believe I've been able to keep a secret all this time! Let me take you through the process.......
Obviously, when the bride lives in another state as in this case, it can add some challenges, but nothing that can't be overcome. I've created two other "long distance" gowns; one for a sister-in-law and another for my niece and both worked out well. I will say I'm particularly proud of this one since I only had the opportunity for the initial muslin fitting; that's really unheard of....but, as you can see, it fit like a glove!
I had Sarah take a plethora of measurements for me, so that when she came to Denver in January, I could have a muslin prepared for fitting purposes. She had been looking at strapless gowns, so I made a simple strapless muslin to ensure my pattern was correct. I found a couple modifications that needed to be made during the initial fitting, but nothing too significant; raise the bodice and take it in a smidge at the waist and hip for a really good fit and flare silhouette.
During that initial visit, we also went fabric shopping. Sarah picked out some beautiful lace and the most luscious and unique latte' colored satin for the underlayer.
I constructed the satin underlayer first, and then began "piecing" the lace to create the final silhouette and train; I also had to applique' pieces of the lace motif pattern onto the bodice to create the pattern I was looking for throughout the bodice and waistline since I really wanted to accentuate Sarah's narrow waistline and hips.
|lace shrug....view from the back|
Sarah also chose to have a shrug that she could wear during the ceremony and then remove for the reception. This added design element really set her gown apart from so many others and was ultra flattering for her. Sarah stands a good 5'9" tall in her bare feet, so she looked so statuesque in this design; it highlighted her square shoulders and narrow torso. She looked absolutely stunning!
The gown has covered buttons all the way down the back of the bodice to the very end of the train; a total of 73 to be exact. Another nine buttons are on the back of the shrug. The lace train extended beyond the edge of the underlayer by about a foot; It is also shaped somewhat like a three leaf clover.
This particular gown was very labor intensive as a result of piecing the lace overlayer. As corny as it sounds, it truly was a "labor of love". In case you're wondering, I spent a total of 65 hours from start to finish.
I am so honored that Sarah asked me to create her gown. It touched my heart to see her wearing it on her wedding day. She was absolutely glowing! Congrats Sarah and Clint...Best Wishes on a long and happy marriage.
Thank you KB Digital Designs for the beautiful photos.