I’ve actually gone about telling you about Shell’s dress slightly backwards. You see, before we finalised a design, we went looking for fabric. It’s often easier to fine fabric you like and design a dress around it, than to design a garment and hope you can get the right fabric.
So, fabric shopping.
As I mentioned before, Shell didn’t want a white wedding dress.
Her dream dress fabric was ice blue silk taffeta, but unfortunately ice blue isn’t a fashionable colour at the moment. We looked everywhere for ice blue silk of pretty much any description, to no avail. And we were on a serious schedule: 6 weeks from engagement to wedding.
Then one of my favourite fabric stores, The Fabric Warehouse had a 50% off moving sale, so we hurried off to it to see if there was anything nice in it.
First we found a bolt of beautiful dove grey super-lightweight silk crepe. And, on the $1 a metre table, a bunch of ice-sea blue stretch cotton. So we bought 10 metres of each. Not sure what we will do with the stretch cotton, but hey, it was $10 for the lot!
Grey is an unusual colour for a wedding dress, but it looked amazing on Shell, and made her eyes look so very, very blue.
I also had a small amount of ice blue silk taffeta already in my stash: not enough for a full wedding dress, but enough to trim the top of the bodice.
Since the grey silk crepe was so lightweight it needed to be lined. At another fabric store, Arthur Toyes, we found an adorable palest grey dotted swiss with a lot of drape. Perfect!
So that was the fabric. And the qualities of the fabric really created the design: the drape of the skirt & the tiny bodice ruching was informed by the lightweight, flowy silk crepe. A heavier, crisper taffeta would have created a much different dress.
And notice something else? Yep, it’s all kereru coloured! Well, in a sort of muted, elegant way.