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Having a ball gown made: the process

It is quite possible that you have seen this gown a million times on my blog already… I honestly can’t get enough of it but can you blame me? My Cinderella article is probably one of my favourites. Since I was very secretive during the making of this dress, I thought I would take you behind the scenes and show you the process of having a gown made.

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  1. Meeting with a seamstress 

It was very important to me to find someone who was really good but wouldn’t charge what I would pay if I was having a wedding dress made. Word-of-mouth is what I was ultimately reliant on. I spoke to a few friends who had dresses made in the past. (Obviously I limited that to dresses I liked.) After getting the number of a lovely old British lady, I made an appointment and couldn’t wait to meet her. All I needed to do was take pictures of what I wanted. The first meeting passed and I already wanted to adopt the seamstress and have her as my grandmother. She clearly knew what she was doing and even offered to meet us at an agreed-upon material shop in order to help find the perfect material for what I wanted. (If you read my Cinderella is going to a ball article, that is the general idea of the information I took to the seamstress for our first meeting.)

Having a ball gown made: the process

2. Material Shopping

Next on the agenda was meeting my dress-maker at a material shop. I initially intended on going for a midnight blue but while in the shop I found the most gorgeous cobalt blue lace which I just didn’t want to leave. She helped me to incorporate the midnight blue with the electric, cobalt of the lace and the satin used on my gown by getting a midnight blue chiffon to go over the satin of the skirt. In some lighting conditions you could see the darker blue of the chiffon but in others the cobalt just shined through and lifted that dark colour. I left the shop feeling chuffed and excited for my next appointment.

Having a ball gown made: the process

3. The first fitting

Excuse the terribly unflattering angle but this is an all-round good indication of what my dress was by the first fitting. I could already judge what the final outcome would be. To be honest with you, though, it doesn’t feel real. Anyone who has ever had a dress made specifically for them will know that you feel a bit like you are floating on a cloud and that you are a celebrity of sorts. At this point my seamstress had already mapped out the sweetheart neckline which would serve as a base to the lace detailing of the top and the seams which would make the top look more structured and make that fit that little bit more special that a store-bought gown.

Having a ball gown made: the process

The top and the skirt were still two different pieces at this point but what I was particularly impressed by was the fact that she cut that back out while the dress was on me. I will admit, I had a moment of panic because she cut fast and with no pattern or warning but those are some skills she has there.

Having a ball gown made: the process

4. The second fitting

At the time of my second fitting, the lace had been attached to my dress. To me, this was when I could really start imagining the final product.

Having a ball gown made: the process

The edging of the lace had not been finished off yet and there were still a few more seams which needed to be added for the purpose of the fit but this was one of the most exciting visits for me. It was that visit where I looked in the mirror and felt emotional thinking that this dress was mine.

Having a ball gown made: the process

5. The third fitting 

At this point the lace on the top was basically finished off. All that really needed to be sorted was the length of the train and, as you can see in the picture above, the lace on the skirt of the dress. We spent about half and hour (most likely more) playing around with the lace on the back and figuring out exactly what would work best with the lace I had bought. We finally came to something which looked almost identical to what I wanted initially which made me incredibly happy. I had also lost weight around this time (Stupid, I know.) so more adjustments had to be made to the top of the dress to make sure it wouldn’t fall off my shoulders while dancing the night away.

Having a ball gown made: the process

In this photo, you can see the lighter satin under the dark chiffon. I was hesitant at first but it really did something for the dress which I will show in pictures at the end of this post.

Having a ball gown made: the process

6. The most exciting fitting

This was my final fitting which meant my dress could come home with me that day. I honestly couldn’t stop staring at it. This dress turned out to be everything I could have hoped for and more. I love it.

Having a ball gown made: the process

As promised; photos where you can really see that lighter blue shine through the chiffon:

Having a ball gown made: the process

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These are photos of printed photos so I apologise for the quality. I lost daylight and the flash was just blocking half of the photo. If the rest of the photos are grainy, that’s due to them being cellphone photos but I really wanted to write this article as I thought it might be helpful or at least interesting.

I hope you enjoyed it! Since I am having another ball gown made this year, would you be interested in seeing a series of progress articles on the dress?

 

 

 

 

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