THINK: The Power of Love!

A wedding by Mary Faulkner


Nearly every little girl dreams of her wedding and how she will look in her wedding gown. My daughter Laura was no exception. She was convinced from an early age that she wanted to wear a ball gown with a big full skirt; she wanted to be a princess. She also knew that she wanted me to make her wedding gown.  She became engaged in May of 2015, giving me plenty of time to help her design and construct the gown of her dreams. Our only difficulty, she lives 300 miles from me.

We started the design process by going to a bridal store to try on dresses and decide what shape would work best with her figure. She tried on several different dresses and only became more confused.  She got the biggest reaction and most oohs and aahs when she tried on the the fit and flair style. But she was torn, in her head she wanted the admiration and appreciation she got from the fit and flair style but in her heart she still wanted a ball gown. That’s when I opened my big mouth and said that she could have both. A fit and flair dress with an overskirt that would be worn at the wedding mass and come off for the reception.   

Out came my Fabulous Fit Dress Form and yards of muslin. I have had no formal sewing training but have played around with fashion and sewing since I was a child. My mother was a seamstress and I took one home economics class in high school. My college degree is in graphic design and illustration. I read sewing magazines and watched project runway religiously. During the height of that program I purchased my Fabulous Fit Dress Form. I watched as the contestants used dress forms to construct their garments and decided that I needed to give that a try. 

For this wedding dress I took my daughter’s measurements and with all the wonderful extra pads was able build up the form to her measurements almost exactly. This was imperative because a wedding dress needs to fit perfectly and my daughter doesn’t even live in the same city I live in. We worked together on the design laying the muslin on the form and cutting and pinning and adding and subtracting until we got a workable pattern. Then, when we had our pieced pattern I cut it all out of muslin one more time and constructed the dress using the form to tweak the fit. We decided on a silk taffeta with an overlay of silk organza. The fabrics were very expensive and I needed the confidence that I got by having such a good workable pattern. The lace I purchased consisted of a narrow border and several medallions. In order to get the coverage of lace on the bodice I used the medallions and cut and pieced them, taking into account the curves of the body. It was helpful to have the form which allowed me to retain the shape. Every step along the way I would put the dress on the form and take pictures to send her. When she arrived home in May for a weekend visit she tried the dress on and it fit like a glove, no alterations needed. We could even adjust the height of the Fabulous Fit Dress Form so that I could hem the dress and get the lace put on the bottom. I can’t wait to see her walking down the aisle in August. I know she will be stunning.