Winter Wedding

I can understand the reluctance a bride has when she finds her perfect dress to cover it up. I think that may be why so few Australian brides choose a wedding in winter.

Iwould like to put forward some ideas to inspire anyone considering a cold weather wedding.

Texture and softness with hand knits

0290b79c1189d8c08f7d1229706a3371 hand knit poncho chunky, perfect for a winter wedding

A knitted dress in fine yarn

Knitted dress, perfect for a winter wedding

Gloves if you are happy to make everyone wait as you carefully peel one off for your exchange of rings.dt_1389394397_f_Margaret_Front

vintage gloves, 60's wedding, winter wedding

Fingerless gloves if you don’t want any drama

fair isle knitted gloves, perfect for a winter wedding cashmere mitts, perfect for a winter wedding

Tights for warmth and cute.

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Embellished socks and heels

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A sequin cloche or beanie for a bride who isn’t worried about her hair or looks super cute with her hair all tucked up in a hat.

embellished sequin  beanie, perfect for a winter wedding

A cream jacket purchased within budget then given the Chanel haute couture treatment with sew on jewels.

embellished Chanel jacket

PS, I love knitting and crochet and would love to sit down with a winter bride and plan her dress as well as her hand knittted cashmere shawl….

My Wedding

although 5 years old now I wanted to show off my own wedding. It was lovely looking through the photos again. This will perhaps provide an insight into why I love intimate day weddings.

Venue – A ‘backyard’ wedding made super stylish through having a gorgeous beach house in the family.

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Dress – Made by me in superfine Dupion silk.

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Hair – Albino peacock feathers and petals made from seed pearls.

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Flowers – I sourced flowers from a local wildflower farm. Well established growing red waratahs I secured the first crop of white waratahs for my bouquet. On the tables were single stem red waratahs in glass vases. In the garden were large loose arangements of native flowers from gardens of family and friends. Buttonholes and corsages made with flannel flowers.

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Food – simple cold seafood, home made bread, local chicken and home grown salad. Baby pavs, fruit cake port and tea.

Bridesmaids – Based around the stunning blue shoes was a slightly 40’s little ensemble of tweed skirt and silk blouse.

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A small guest list and budget but still an amazing day. The little bit of rain had gone by the time I arrived leaving its mark on the surrounding bush enhancing the colours. I would recommend anyone who is working with a tight budget to consider having their wedding at home. there are so may more ways you can avoid paying too much for things. Perhaps I should make another post about that.

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The Sound of music wedding dress.

Please Indulge me a moment, I just want to fawn over and examine this lovely dress.

The gown is a simple a line with folds of train behind it. The skirt looks like it has seamed panels that allow the skirt ot be fuller towards the hem and I would love some more detailed photos that show what is going on at the back. The hem of the skirt is weighted with a corded piping. This weight would keep the hem falling evenly and its inertia allowing a more subtle movement.

sound of music wedding dress

sound of music wedding dress

The bodice is beautifully fitted over what was likely a naturally lovely waist The seam line detailed with piping under the bust creates the shape leaving the lines in the body to continue down to the skirt. This fine piping would have been quite fiddly to get right so shows the beauty in the tailoring.

That collar is fascinating. It is another design element used to lengthen the body. It has fine piping around the neck. The front panels are not on the straight grain but also not quite on the bias. The line flows from under the bust to up and around the neck and back down to the under bust with a little overlap. I wonder if it is sewn closed or if you could see some skin if you were in the right place.

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The sleeves are bias cut. An elegant solution to the problem of a long fitted sleeve restricting movement. The buttons allow the sleeve to be even more fitted creating a long and elegant line. A tiny little v shape at the wrist extends the sleeve over the hand and stretches the line even further. Fine piping detail around the wrist repeats the piping at the neck. We live in a time of low fabric consumption, easy machine construction and false buttons over zips, this glimpse into sewing past warms my heart.

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And that veil.

sound of music wedding dresssound of music wedding dress

Sadly the dress has now been altered so much that the refined shape is no longer visible. At the time no one realised the movie would be such a classic so the dress was just chucked back into the wardrobe department to be altered and re used.

 

Playpron

This little apron is made from a tea towel.

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Materials – Nice teatowel, 5cm wide bias tape 2m ish long (I made mine from calico).

Sewing – Measure your toddler to work out the width and height of the front of the apron and trim the tea towel accorningly. If it is far too long take some length off and finish the raw edge with a roll hem or some binding before finishing the sides.

Stitch the bias on leaving length enough for bows on either side. sew onto the back side of the fabric. Press the fold along the length of the bias tape and then fold it in half tucking the other raw edge into the seam. Top stitch along the whole strip. Below shoes the folds and the stitch line is marked by pins. Beside it is the fold done to tidy each end before sewing flat.

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Inspiring Ideas – The fall of a veil without one

Most brides still love the drama of the veil. The way it falls behind you, The exciting thrill of wearing something so unusual on what is really an unusual day. A style trend that I really like is to use the cascades of tulle but re invent them away from your head.

Below are some examples, historic and current where tulle is used as trains from the gown or as shawl and capes.

A 1920s dress with a tulle and satin train attached at the shouldersFlapper wedding dress with tulle cape

A 1940’s brocade wedding dress with a tulle train attached at the hips.1940 s wedding dress with tulle train

An Edwardian dress with a lace cape sewn into the back neckline of the dress. Lace cape edwardian wedding dress

This looks like a separate cape tied at the front with a contrast bow.tulle cape

A beaded tulle cape.

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A tulle train attached to a simple modern wedding dress.997fa50499486bdf77d44346c67bf19c

Stunning Elie Saab embroidered tulle cape.

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Buying your dress online

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More brides are buying their dress online now. Some retailers offer known brands at better prices, perfect if you can find the dress to sneakily try on.

There are also a lot of retailers who offer non branded gowns for less than $500 and they can be tempting. Below are my tips for any bride who wants to go down this road. These comments also apply to bridesmaids dresses.

My advice for buying your dress online.

  • Have a back up plan incase it is not what you want. Understand that you may need to start again and this dress and money may be wasted.
  • Have someone lined up for any alterations you may need. If this person is an experienced dressmaker they may also take more accurate measurements for you.
  • Err on the side of larger for any measurements, a dress can be made smaller easily in most cases but rarely bigger.
  • Small adjustments can usually be done easily but large adjustments may not be possible or may be expensive. Full sleeves, boning and heavy detailing make alterations more difficult.
  • Dresses with lacing in the back are a great choice, they can simply be tightened instead of altered.
  • If you are tall take care, making a dress longer could be very difficult. The length should be on the website or available on request.
  • Order fabric swatches if you can, if you cant reconsider using this supplier. The exact colour, quality, shine and finish of the fabric will make a huge difference to the finished dress.
  • It is unlikely the dress will be silk at this price point. If they say silk be wary. Synthetic fabrics can look a little ‘cheap’ so push for swatches.
  • Websites that have a selection of photos of ‘real brides’ are great becasse it can help seeing the dresses on non-models and in real light.

Solving disasters

My dress is late!

  • It is safe to assume your dress will be shipped from China. It is also safe to assume they will want to send it sea freight to Australia as that is a lot cheaper. If the delay is under a month ask them to send it air freight. Especially if it is their fault it is late.
  • Consider paying the difference between sea freight and air freight yourself.

I hate it!

  • Look at it in the light your wedding will be in, it may look amazing in candle light.
  • Try adding a splash of colour with a sash, if the fabric isn’t what you want, breaking up the volume of it can help.
  • If it looks bad on your body take it to an experienced dressmaker. To have it fitted correctly will make a world of difference.
  • Shorten it to a reception/rehearsal dinner dress and start again with your ceremony dress.
  • If you or a few family members can sew consider covering it with beads and sequins. This can work well with lace as it is a repeated pattern the lay out of the beading will be even if you bead each repeat of the lace.
  • It could be the shape of the skirt that isn’t sitting well. For a fuller skirt see if you can borrow a hoop or tulle petticoat to try on under it. if this improves it you can arrange to have one made. For a straighter skirt try pegging it at the back to make it look narrower. If this works find someone to make the alterations.
  • Add an over layer or a few of bridal tulle, it is cheap and doesn’t need to be hemmed. A full tulle skirt with a simple ribbon waist work over the dress may be better than you expected.
  • Send it back, They generally only offer credit but you may have luck with another dress. If the dress has a fault or looks so far from the photo it may be possible to force them to reimburse you.

Mismatched bridesmaids

white tuxedo jacket

Mismatched bridesmaids are very hot right now. This wedding nailed the look with a very easy technique. The bridesmaids were allowed to wear whatever they wanted. The only restriction being that they were floor length. Each bridesmaid choose her shape and fabric and worked with me to make her dress.

mismatched bridesmaids

This wedding party may also be the only one I have seen for a long time where the tresses can truly be worn again.

White silk blazer

beach wedding winter wedding tuxedowedding jacket plunge dress

An Inspired Idea, A classic little white jacket for over a wedding dress

I have always loved a costume change (why I love a good Kylie concert) and I love to be able to give a bride a whole new outfit with a creative idea. In this case the dress underneath was a secret to everyone until after the ceremony. The neckline of the dress was almost as deep as the collar of the jacket giving just a glimpse of what was below.

This jacket should also inspire brides to consider a wedding in the cooler months. This is the perfect way to keep warn and still look polished.

white tuxedo jacket

Here are links to the rest of this wedding.
beach wedding plunge gown  IMG_6721 IMG_6779 Sequin mismatched bridesmaid dress

Navy sequin bridesmaid dress

IMG_6427 Navy sequin bridesmaid dress IMG_6447

The perfect example of where a simple shape made in amazing fabric makes a gorgeous dress.

This fabric has some stretch in it so I was able to make this dress in the 3 days before the wedding. No complex darts were required and I was able to make all the amendments to the dress when the bridesmaid arrived from overseas.

Links to the rest of this gorgeous wedding

beach wedding plunge gown IMG_6526 IMG_6721 IMG_6779

Bias cut silk sheath

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I am really proud of this dress, it took a lot of planning and care but I think the result was worth all the hard work.

It has a fine cord halter and a bias cut bodice. The skirt is cut on the straight grain in six panels. The back skirt is closed with an invisible zip and the bodice with tiny little lingerie style buttons.

Links to the rest of this gorgeous wedding

beach wedding plunge gown IMG_6779 IMG_6427 wedding jacket