Wednesday, 28 January 2015

DIY Wedding Dress Part II: Materials

So, after the introduction and inspiration post on my wedding dress here, the saga continues with sourcing materials!!

First up on our search list was some embellishment. Bling! Oh yeah! This would dictate a lot of the design decisions, it was likely to be the most expensive component and the least easy to source. Man is that an understatement! We started with the usual high end haberdashery and bridal fabric stores of Berwick St, Soho. We riffled through every dusty box of beads, gulped at the prices for couture hand beaded pieces and combed the shelves of each store with a fine tooth comb! We diverted off piste to the Indian boutiques of Tooting and Marble Arch and experimented with fullly embellished saris, metallic leather and delicate lace. We were all a little weepy at one point over the perfect embellished lace, but the minute we tried it on my bodice we were all a little 'meh'!!!

Lace and leather!
Finally, on our SECOND visit to the couture fabric store Joel and Son, in Edgware Road, we stumbled upon the perfect piece! It was from India, hand sewn onto tulle with thousands of tiny crystals, pearls and beads in a super intricate pattern! The story behind that small piece of fabric is so incredible - it took three men in India two months to sew the whole piece!! It had a large motif along one edge and smaller flowers throughout and a simple scalloped edge along the bottom. It was just the right amount of sparkle, class, age and charm. I loved it and we dived right in. Deciding how much to buy was terrifying, every inch costing a huge amount extra but the risk of not having enough was equally unbearable!!

The exquisite detail
Once the bling was bought, the next stage was the material. We experimented with a huge range of different coloured silks all the way from a light purple through to pinks and peaches, creams and whites. Ma trailed around the shops of London looking for it!! She picked up swatches of all the contenders and we poured over them at home. I had originally dreamt of a warm peachy, dusky pink colour, to give richness and depth and history to it, but in reality many of year colours didn't feel so bridal or felt almost too vintage. After a process of deduction, we eventually we whittled it down to a rich and buttery raw silk that complimented the beading and looked delicious! It was just enough warm colour to not feel cold and blue-white, but it still reflected the light beautifully and we were sold.

Experimenting with colour
We returned to the shop to buy out supplies...are were quite literally nearly when we realised they had only 6 meters of this magical material! After a few rounds of mental arithmetic decided that 6m would be EXACTLY right amount for the dress. Phew! We took the lot and used every spare inch for the dress, train and flower girl dress! Talk about efficiency!!

Smiles all round after a successful shopping trip!

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