All posts tagged: weddings

A wedding dress of 1911

Tara wrote me last week with a fascinating query.  She’s trying to recreate her great-grandmother’s wedding dress, but all she has is a tantalizingly brief  description: the bride looked charming in a gown of silk marquisette trimmed with Oriental lace and Irish crochet buttons over cream satin with lace coat to match.  She wore the bridal veil and orange blossoms and carried pink carnations. As Tara says, not a lot to go on.  She want to know what the dress might have looked like, patterns that could use as a guide to making it, and what silk marquisette and Oriental lace (or their modern equivalent) are.  I thought this would make fun series of posts, so over the next week I’ll try to answer, with lots of pretty pictures! For starters, let’s do what all brides do when they plan their wedding: look at inspiration images in wedding magazines! There weren’t any proper wedding magazines in 1911, but the Women’s Own Magazine did do ‘A Page for Brides.’  I’ve already blogged about the bridal headpieces …

Shell’s dress – some very special fastenings

As much as I love the design of Shell’s dress, and all I have put into it, the most special touch, and the one that takes it from a gorgeous dress, to a spectacular, absolutely one-of-a-kind gown, isn’t my work. It was my idea though. Madame Ornata is a mutual friend of Shell’s and mine, and was very involved with the wedding.  She’s an incredibly talented seamstress and a truly gifted embroiderer, but was very busy in the run-up to the wedding, and with such a short timeframe it wasn’t practical for her to be part of the dressmaking, and the simple silhouette didn’t suit embroidered embellishments. When native birds became the loose theme for the wedding, I had a brainstorm.  Maybe Madame O would be willing to embroider simple little bird motifs on the buttons up the back of the dress! Now the buttons are very small – 9/16″ – so I really thought that if she could do anything more elaborate than the little double curves that kids draw to represent birds in …

Shell’s dress: a winter-wear petticoat

I’m almost done telling you about Shell’s dress; I just need to parse out the last few posts so that I can show you finished wedding photos on the very first day I’m allowed to! That day is the day of Shell’s second wedding.  As an American bride and a Kiwi groom, they are having the official wedding here in NZ first, and then a second reception in the States so that family and friends there can be part of it. As it will be winter, and cold, for the second wedding I made Shell an extra petticoat that can be worn under the dress for another layer of warmth. It was the perfect thing to make out of that stretch cotton that we bought with all the other wedding dress fabric just because it was so cheap, and the perfect colour. I cut the petticoat as a restrained version of the dress skirt: two less front panels, two less back panels, and narrower panels all round. The petticoat is still very sumptuous: I wanted it …