Katie's Heirloom Custom Wedding Dress
Just like many brides before her, Katie came to Modehaus with a strong vision for a custom wedding dress. She loved her mother’s wedding dress and wanted to use as much of it as she could to create her own custom gown. Katie had fairy tale inspirations and loved the look of a twirling gown on the dance floor.
I began the custom design process by first deconstructing her mother’s gown. While deconstructing a vintage dress, you must first examine how the dress was created to know exactly how to take it apart. Not only that, but unlike a new dress, a vintage dress was already worn and loved. It may have champagne stains from when a guest leaned in for a hug or a big rip from when a cousin stepped on the train. The dress may have been altered multiple times and worn by more than one bride. One of my favorite parts of the process is examining the seam allowance to see what alterations were made 30+ years ago. These vintage gowns are true heirlooms and must be handled with the greatest care and respect for their histories.
I carefully removed all the lace off the vintage bodice and preserved the skirt for the outside layer of Katie’s custom wedding dress. Simultaneously, I began creating Katie’s muslin mock up. She dreamed of an a-line, sleeveless gown with an illusion neckline covered in her mother’s lace. Being a alumni of Virginia Tech, Katie wanted to honor her alma mater with a cranberry red satin sash. Those Hokies are always trying to show their school pride in new ways and this was Katie’s way.
I hand stitched her mother’s lace onto an illusion bodice. The gown closed at the back with real covered buttons. Katie’s mother’s dress had a zipper but Katie loved the idea of adding a new vintage element to her custom wedding dress.
I created a soft tulle skirt with the chiffon layer of fabric from her mother’s vintage wedding dress. We added a tie so she could twirl with the gown as she danced with her husband Alex. I love this moment captured here by Melissa Durham Photography with the two of them dancing in the garden.
I can’t get enough of these photos with Katie’s enormous smile! That smile tells you all you need to know about Katie. She is warm, kind, and her joy is infectious. It was such a pleasure to walk this custom wedding dress journey with her. Her mother’s vintage gown transformed into a modern custom wedding gown with a beautiful nod to timeless elegance.
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