Illusion back lace and full skirt wedding dress for Vanessa

corded lace illusion net lace bespoke wedding dress

Ivory silk dupion and lace dress with illusion bodice. Button back fastening and organza train the scalloped lace edging.

Official wedding pictures by Vincent Opoku of www.vopoku.com

Vanessa’s dress was truly a game of two halves, with a full, silk skirt to be supported from the waist with the delicate illusion bodice above. The tulle was dyed to match her skin tone and be as invisible as possible. Lace was then cut and hand sewn inside the neckline and low back shape with real ivory buttons and loops to fasten. The skirt was very full, over netting with box pleats into the top to ‘spring’ away from Vanessa’s body emphasising her tiny waist. More lace was hand appliquéd over the join from bodice to skirt and all down the skirt and on the train.

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Detail of hand beaded lace applique with pearls, diamante stones and sequins.

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ivory corded lace applique motif on silk dupion

Details of lace applique to skirt and train with hand cut and sewn lace motifs and scalloped edging.

Train wrist loop, with hidden something blue. All my dresses also come with a bustle button and hook-up for dancing in the evening.

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Final fitting Pictures

final fitting in finished dress black bride

Ivory silk dupion and lace dress with illusion bodice. Button back fastening and organza train the scalloped lace edging by Felicity Westmacott, final fitting pictureIvory silk and lace illusion bodice wedding dress by Felicity Westmacott: final fitting pics, back

bespoke wedding dress fitting picture bustle train

above: train hooked up for dancing

bespoke wedding dress corded lace illusion bodice

bespoke wedding dress corded lace illusion bodice

Above: detail of the applique lace illusion bodice with hand beading.

Making Vanessa’s dress

original wedding dress design sketch by felicity westmacott

Original design sketch

making Vanessa's dress, toile (practice run) fitting, front

Toile dress fitting: this is the ‘practice run’ in cheap fabrics to perfect fit and style. The shapes are always very basic at this stage, though we have pinned a little bit of lace on the front for Vanessa to see how the ‘blending’ will work.

making Vanessa's dress, toile (practice run) fitting, front bodicemaking Vanessa's dress, toile (practice run) fitting, back

covering bust cups in custom dyed jersey for dark skinThe nylon tulle used for the illusion bodice, and the cotton jersey to cover the bust cups both had to be dyed to match Vanessa’s skin, to be as invisible as possible. Covering a curved shape smoothly with flat fabric is not the easiest thing to do!

illusion bodice skin tulle buttons and bust cups on the stand

The real tulle cut and sewn, cups and buttons attached and ready for lace applique to begin! The thin, white lines of thread are my top edge guides for the neckline and low back shapes and the waistline, where the skirt will attach.

preparation for lace applique on wedding dress

Cutting out lace shapes from the fabric

creating the illusion and lace bodice hand sewing on the stand

Stages one and two of hand sewing the lace applique. Trying to fill the space and neckline edges as symmetrically as possible, with lace that didn’t have every shape as mirror images!

machine sewing extra stiff net petticoat

Creating the net underskirt, to support the silk. Dealing with the shear volume of scratchy, stiff fabric, under the machine is a skill in itself!

net skirt crinoline full skirt wedding dress petticoat

The finished net skirt was three layers of graduated tiers of extra stiff net. I also added a rolled ring of net just below the waistline to support the pleats of the skirt and help them to ‘spring’ away from Vanessa’s body.

construction details on couture bespoke wedding dress silk organza roll hem

Detail of the underside of the train, where lined silk organza (bag lined with horsehair stiffening tape) meets machine hemmed organza (to be be hidden by lace appliqué) and graduated lining. Quite a complicated bit to get everything to meet and sit flat, while sewing the whole thing from the inside before turning through.

bespoke dressmaker in the studio machine sewingSewing the skirt to the illusion bodice, another feat of volume management!

making the dress bodice and skirt join couture techniquesThe skirt newly sewn to the bodice, with the lace held up and out of the way.

ace appliqué illusion bodice on the standOn the stand with the lace pinned down over the join ready to be hand sewn down.

lace detail with pin on wedding gown

lace applique detail on hand made wedding dressLace applique of scalloped edging and cut motifs to the organza section of the train, and blending into the dupion. Later this section is gently folded into 3D shapes and attached to the lining to keep the shapes from moving, as below.

silk organza and dupion ivory lace train scalloped lace

Finished Dress on the Stand

ivory silk wedding dress cathedral train with lace appliqueTrain spread out, and hooked up for dancing.

Detail of the applique lace illusion bodice with hand beading.

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Illusion back lace and full skirt wedding dress for Vanessa

Ivory silk dupion and lace dress with illusion bodice. Button back fastening and organza train the scalloped lace edging.

Official wedding pictures by Vincent Opoku of www.vopoku.com

Vanessa's dress was truly a game of two halves, with a full, silk skirt to be supported from the waist with the delicate illusion bodice above. The tulle was dyed to match her skin tone and be as invisible as possible. Lace was then cut and hand sewn inside the neckline and low back shape with real ivory buttons and loops to fasten. The skirt was very full, over netting with box pleats into the top to 'spring' away from Vanessa's body emphasising her tiny waist. More lace was hand appliquéd over the join from bodice to skirt and all down the skirt and on the train.

Train wrist loop, with hidden something blue. All my dresses also come with a bustle button and hook-up for dancing in the evening.

Toile dress fitting: this is the 'practice run' in cheap fabrics to perfect fit and style. The shapes are always very basic at this stage, though we have pinned a little bit of lace on the front for Vanessa to see how the 'blending' will work.

The nylon tulle used for the illusion bodice, and the cotton jersey to cover the bust cups both had to be dyed to match Vanessa's skin, to be as invisible as possible. Covering a curved shape smoothly with flat fabric is not the easiest thing to do!

The real tulle cut and sewn, cups and buttons attached and ready for lace applique to begin! The thin, white lines of thread are my top edge guides for the neckline and low back shapes and the waistline, where the skirt will attach.

Cutting out lace shapes from the fabric

Stages one and two of hand sewing the lace applique. Trying to fill the space and neckline edges as symmetrically as possible, with lace that didn't have every shape as mirror images!

Creating the net underskirt, to support the silk. Dealing with the shear volume of scratchy, stiff fabric, under the machine is a skill in itself!

The finished net skirt was three layers of graduated tiers of extra stiff net. I also added a rolled ring of net just below the waistline to support the pleats of the skirt and help them to 'spring' away from Vanessa's body.

Detail of the underside of the train, where lined silk organza (bag lined with horsehair stiffening tape) meets machine hemmed organza (to be be hidden by lace appliqué) and graduated lining. Quite a complicated bit to get everything to meet and sit flat, while sewing the whole thing from the inside before turning through.

Sewing the skirt to the illusion bodice, another feat of volume management!

The skirt newly sewn to the bodice, with the lace held up and out of the way.

On the stand with the lace pinned down over the join ready to be hand sewn down.

Lace applique of scalloped edging and cut motifs to the organza section of the train, and blending into the dupion. Later this section is gently folded into 3D shapes and attached to the lining to keep the shapes from moving, as below.

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emailme@felicitywestmacott.co.ukTEL 01737 773282TOUCHGet in
from design to completionbespoke wedding dressesFelicity Westmacott
Redhill, RH1 2HP16 Frenches Road• Visit the Studio •
Redhill, RH1 2HP16 Frenches Road• Visit the Studio •
emailme@felicitywestmacott.co.ukTEL 01737 773282TOUCHGet in