I've been so excited to share this gown. My first meeting with Kristen happened in early February. When she and her Mom met with me, Kristen had tried on a few gowns but really hadn't landed on exactly what she was looking for in a style. She fell for a certain geometric lace pattern which is becoming more popular, but other than that, she was open to design ideas.
This is just the kind of wedding gown project I love.....give me some ideas, maybe a few elements that you like and let me take your vision and create it into your one-of-a-kind dream gown!! At our second meeting, which was when I was taking her measurements, her Mom had shared a picture of Kristen in a bridesmaid dress which was very flattering on her figure type; we all three agreed that would be a good starting point. So, I was off to the races with a basic idea of a "v" neck in the front and a gathered waistline. We also chatted about the geometric laces that I had found online and she chose the one that she really liked. As I was working on the pattern, I sent some ideas to Kristen regarding some design modifications that I felt would be flattering on her. That included a "v" shaped back (versus the horizontal line from the original dress) and a "cumberbund" type of waistline to highlight her waistline. She loved both ideas, so I continued on with the pattern and the muslin sample.
Now, you realize in the midst of this we have a pandemic that has taken hold in Asia. You guessed it! The lace is from a shop in China. Long story short....this lace is not going to get here in time for this June 5th, 2020 wedding. And if you're wondering, yes this is a bit of a tighter schedule than I usually work with, but I was only working on one other gown and I knew I could pull this off in time.
When I started becoming concerned about the lace, I took a field trip to my local JoAnn store. I was hopeful that I could find an alternative that would be just as pretty and wanted to provide Kristen a "good news/bad news" message. In other words, the bottom line was Kristen was going to have to be okay with something other than the geometric pattern since they all come out of Asia. Rather than a message that said "we can't get the geometric lace", it was "we can't get the geometric lace, but I've found some other options that you might like". I was so pleasantly surprised to have found four different fabric options that I thought would be ideal for her gown. I sent her the pictures I took at the store, and Kristen was able to go into the store to see and touch the fabrics in person. The upper left photo is the fabric draped on my dress form and you can see the pattern. It starts with long embroidered lines with clear sequins at one selvage and develops into this beautiful embroidered motif all the way to the other selvage. It is absolutely stunning and shimmers like crazy with those sequins scattered all over the entire fabric.
This is another favorite creative challenge I love....working with a fabric's motif within the gown to fully utilize all aspects of the fabric within the design of the gown. You'll notice I chose to use the very basic element of the fabric for the bodice and cumberbund. I further embellished the cumberbund with lace appliques to match the fabric and then used 3D florals for that extra pop!
I should mention, at the time of the sample fitting, I had shared my final modification to Kristen to change up gathers at the waistline to tucks, including an inverted center front tuck. I find tucks so much more flattering than gathers, which can create added bulk at the waistline, which no woman likes!
In order to continue our progress with fittings, you've probably already guessed that we both wore face masks after the "stay at home order" was being relaxed. It added an interesting element to say the least! Another curve Kristen was thrown along the way was the need to postpone the wedding (since the venue wasn't able to host the event with the pandemic regulations regarding gatherings still in place in June). They postponed the event until today, and had to whittle down the guest list considerably. Kristen was a trooper through it all and an absolute peach to work with! What stories she'll have to share with her children someday! Best wishes Kristen to you and your groom. I hope your big day is filled with sunshine, happiness and lots of love from those guests who mean the most to the two of you!