Duchess satin dress with Victorian design inspiration. Boned and waist cinching bodice and full waterfall skirt with hand beading and appliquéd lace.
Wedding Pictures by Sequoia Grove Photography
The bodice is heavily embellished with lace motifs, beads, sequins and real pearls. Satin flowers are sewn to the sweetheart neckline edge and onto detachable off the shoulder straps which tie to the bodice with ribbons. The dress laces closed at the back over a modesty panel and has a full peplum of box pleats.
The skirt is very full worn over a hoop, netting and bum-roll to create the early Victorian inspired shape. Large pleats from the waistline help the skirt push away from the body before beginning to hang downward. A large wired water-fall begins on each hip and flows down the side and into the train. A wide panel hand appliquéd with scrolling blue lace edges the hem of the skirt all round and highlights the shape of the waterfall.
Original design sketch, the neckline drape was omitted in the real dress.
Claire-Michelle chose to have white lace motifs sewn onto her ivory dress for added tonal texture.
Being lace in; very period drama!
Claire-Michelle wrote: I am not sure I have the adequate words to express how thankful I am or how talented and wonderful I think you are, but I’ll give it a go. my hopes and dreams for my dress were actualised by your amazing hands. It’s been more than a pleasure working wit you and getting to know you. My dress was so beautiful and different – just what I wanted. You made me shine on our special day. Lots of admiration, respect, thanks and love, Claire-Michelle xx
Claire-Michelle’s Bridesmaids all wore different dresses in shades of blue.
The train it it’s full glory.
The train hooked up for dancing.
Claire-Michelle and I became good friends during the making of her dress and she kindly invited me to her big day. As you can see I was heavily pregnant, in fact my water broke during the wedding breakfast and my son was born 48 hours later!
Making Claire-Michelle’s Dress
The ‘toile’ or practice run, in cheap calico fabric. A test run of the basic shape and fit.
Early fittings in the partly made dress.
The skirt shape was supported with a large hoop several layers of stiff netting, a net-bustle and a ‘bum-roll’, around her waist.
Embellishment to the bodice took many many hours, sewing on lace motifs, cord, pearls, sequins and beads. Claire-Michelle made the ribbon roses herself.
The blue lace scalloped edging was cut from the edge of the fabric and hand appliquéd onto the satin. Claire-Michelle opted to do all this herself, to keep the overall cost of the dress down, whilst not compromising on the end effect she wanted.
Detail of hand beading in freshwater pearls in petal shapes on the hip area on of the bodice.
A happy bride at her final fitting.
Finished detail of the bodice.
Finished dress at the final fitting, showing the train spread out and bustled up for dancing.
A wrist loop meant Claire-Michelle could lift her own train if the needed to.