My radio silence is over! I can finally talk about this dress and the (many, many) hours of work that went into it. 103 hours of stitching, some blood, some spit, and a few dozen tears later, it was reception ready!
This is going to be a pretty photo heavy post, partly because I can’t pick between the dozens of beautiful photos Sunshower Photography took!
The idea for this dress came to me on a whim, honestly. I bought the base dress from Modcloth, and when it arrived, it seemed to be missing just a little something. Embroidery came to mind, but I’d never done it before. So, after a few tests on spare pieces of cotton, it was time to get started.
I worked on one motif at a time, and towards the end, my mum helped me by finishing up stitches and doing basic parts of pieces. At first, each motif took me quite a long time, but as I improved in skill (and the deadline kept getting closer), I managed to finish off quite a few motifs!
Each panel / motif has its own special design. I used designs from various Etsy shops, often changing small details or turning it into its own design (including adding different words, or slight color / design variations).
Lots of stitching….
Lots of thread colours!
I started this dress around the end of June, and on September 18th, it was finished.
Each panel represented something important to Chris’ and I’s life or future, or some adventure we had already had.
The dress itself was full of the beautiful designs, and they are especially obvious when spinning, or poofed out with a petticoat!
Some closer-up panel designs…
And some more…
And even more!
The back was left plain, with a center panel that my mum helped finish off just in time for the reception.
The designs all used a variety of different stitches and all had different meanings.
This one, which says ‘Let’s Travel the World’, is for our many adventures we’ve had on four continents.
This one features our wedding date…
And this one, our commitment.
And a Tree of Life, recognizing the roots of where we came from, and the branches we extend. It reminds us we are all connected, and that we bring our families together as one. This design probably took the longest to work on, due to all the little roots and branches and leaves.
There are quite a few other motifs on the dress, including my personal favorite, which shows the four seasons and says ‘Through All’.
Also, I managed to keep this dress a secret from almost everyone, which for me, is pretty impressive.
Etsy Shops I Used For Designs:
It’s strange to be done with this dress. Towards the end, I was working on it for five or six hours a night, until my thumb ached and ached. And now, my evenings are completely empty! It’s strange to have so much spare time. I keep catching myself panicking because I need to work on my dress, but then remembering that I actually don’t have to do that at all!
Now, with the wedding over, I can get back to sewing and making beautiful things. And maybe embroidery again, now I know how to do that… But I think I’ll be taking a break from that one for a while!