A Fashionable Wedding

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have an announcement:

Friend and fellow expat blogger Sapphire is getting married! (Had you all fooled there for a moment, didn't I? hehe). She, being fabulous and maybe a bit mental (only in the best possible way) has asked me to make her a gown.

Not just any gown. No no no, but an 18th century inspired gown for her wedding(s). See, she's a lot like me, American fell in love with a Swede, but for an added bonus, she's also Indian. This means she gets to have multiple weddings, and she would like an over-the-top, once-in-a-lifetime, chance to really just go all out and have a lot of fun with her gown and her wedding.

I, of course, am a willing and overly excited participant.

Now, here are the details:

The main goal of this wedding ensemble is to be 18th century heavily and seriously inspired, but not a total slave to accuracy. What this means, is it will be draped 18th century style, it is an accurate 18th century pattern and real fabric (no poly-blends), but we might have some fun with the fabric. Since Sapphire is Indian (and we know how popular Indian fabrics were in the 18th century!) That's the basic plan for the gown. I will be doing some machine stitching, where it is permissible (long seams in the petticoats, stays, etc), but since it is draped in the mantua technique, the majority to all of the gown will be hand stitched.

Though, it is my personal mantra to stick to as much historical accuracy as possible when it comes to 18th century gown making for myself, this is not my wedding dress. I am working to please my client. If she is not seriously concerned about having a machine involved in this dress, that is her choice, not mine. This is her fantasy, and I'm going to do my best to make it come true. This has nothing to do with my integrity for historical accuracy, it has everything to do with doing right by Sapphire.  I just want to clarify that before moving on to the fun bits.

1. She's getting a proper pair of stays, which is what I will be working on first of course. She's so tiny, I'm hoping I can draft a pattern based off of extant examples and have it made up of 6 pieces instead of the usual 8-10. She's tiny, she just doesn't need that kind of work (and I can't imagine how small the pieces would be anyways.) The plan is to make it a partially boned with spiral steel, and maybe experiment with cable ties if it is needed.

2. Polonaise Polonaise Polonaise! Sapphire fell in love with the Robe a la Polonaise style gown, and has asked me to make it for her. I am really really excited about this. I think it is a perfect fit for her personality and her goal for this gown. It's over the top, but not like a Sacque gown, and it's more exciting than an English gown, it's puffy like a cupcake, girly, and fun.  I am also really excited about what kind of fabric she finds. Her orders are: it must be silk. Taffeta or if she can find a sari that works, though it must be sturdy in body like a taffeta (and not like an organza). If it is a sari, then the embellishments must be small, and the overall design of the sari as antique style as possible. They still do hand embroidery in India, so the possibilities are quite exciting. From a design point of view, I think the bringing in of personal cultures that are already closely related to the period is really exciting. Yes, this dress is European in design, but we are still representing Sapphire's culture and heritage in the design, as well as having a playful moment with the raging popularity of Indian fabrics during the 18th century. I'm excited to see what fabric she decides on.

Well, that was my big announcement. More info will come, as I have it. We are still in the planning stages right now and Sapphire is on the hunt for her fabric in the USA and soon India. Luckily, we have a lot of time to work on this and get it just right. Thank goodness!

Oh! And if you want to know what her engagement party was like, check out her blog Lost In Stockholm. I've linked you right to the post on the party (Here's a hint, if you want more pictures of the awesome saris and the ceremony, click on the pictures. Be prepared to dye (har har) of fabric envy.)

That's it for now!


  1. yayyyyyy!!!! today i show you the fabric. let's hope it's as awesome as we think :)


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