Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wedding Dress Commission

In September of last year; I received a contact through a mutual friend. A lady she had met at a quilt camp was looking for someone who would take her families six wedding dresses and turn them into something else. I contacted the lady and we agreed to meet up and discuss what she wanted and what she had.

For the purposes of this blog; I won't go into lengthy detail about the planning stages & so forth. Suffice it to say I created a few designs & she picked one. I was to make 4 separate wall hangings using the materials from each of the dresses.

The deconstruction of those dresses took the longest and I will remember that should more commissions like this one come about (which would be wonderfully fun!)

The dress materials then had to be prepared using either (and most often both) fusible interfacing and wonder under. Due to the nature of the fabrics this was imperative I assure you. I felt rather like Charlie Chaplin when I was trying to iron on the fusible interfacing as I'd get one section held down with the iron the rest of the material rush off the other end of the ironing board and puddle unmercifully onto the floor mocking my attempts to be neat.

I had to enlarge my design onto freezer paper, then create a pattern off of it using tissue paper. I then cut out each bird section. I had six pieces of fabric (one section from each dress) and would then cut sections of each bird from each piece of material ensuring that each wall hanging would incorporate parts of each dress.

Once it was all fused down to the grey silk; I stitched it all down and added the background quilting. The sections that looks like trees is actually the bodice lace from one of the gowns. I removed it from it's backing; tea stained it and cut it in sections that I then couched down. Lastly, I took the assorted pearls; beads and satin covered buttons (there were 43 on one dress!)and added the embellishments.

On the backs(sorry for the bad picture); there is a pocket on each one; enclosed in it is the 'legend' which has the wedding pictures of each couple, their names and their wedding dates. I had them laminated on vellum.

I'm only sharing the photos of one whole one and not all 4 to eliminate the repetition(though they are each different in subtle ways).

I only wish I was better at photography, the silk reflection really is hard to deal with when trying to get nice shots. Even with my daughters new Canon Rebel EOS, blah, blah, blah, it was so much camera! I mean really; I try to aspire to be good at one thing, quilting... Do I need to be a professional photographer too? Obviously not; I will gladly pay someone next time.

Finished size was 24" x 36" roughly.