The Wedding Dress: fabric

I bought the fabric for my dress a few weeks ago, but I have never got around to blogging about it. I was pretty sure I wanted to stick with natural fabrics as I am getting married in june, so it is possible it could be warm. I was also sure I wanted to go with off whitish for the colour. I went with a shopping list:

  • silk organza underlining
  • light lining fabric
  • main construction fabric – drapey silk
  • lace overlay

IMG_3000The main fabric I went for is a light ivory silk satin which has a beautiful drape.

For the lining I went with a cotton muslin. Nice and light and drapey. The books I had recommended ‘cotton batiste’, but I had never heard of this before. A wiki seach suggested this is a light cotton. My local fabric store hadn’t heard of it either, so perhaps it is an American term? However, the cotton I got is light, so I am sure it will work.

The embroidered organza with white fabric behind it to show the embroidery.

The embroidered organza with white fabric behind it to show the embroidery.

I looked at lots of nice enough lace, but they weren’t inspiring me. Then I found this beautiful embroidered poly-organza. I am in love with this fabric. The embroidery is light classy gold on ivory organza. I am just in love with this – it is classy and elegant and most importantly different. I confess when wandering the shops looking at bridal fabrics I was starting to worry my dress would be identical to everyother one . But this fabric will make my dress that little bit different while sticking with relatively traditional colours. The gold also adds possibilities to the details and accessories for my outfit. The one issue is that my dress design relied upon having lace with a scalloped edge. However after a bit of digging around my local fabric shop I came up with this lovely ribbon which I can use to edge the organza where needed. Matching the colours was a bit of an issue as most golds are more yellow, whereas these golds are lighter.


the gold ribbon on top of the embroidered organza.

Once I had my fabrics I was puzzling over how to pretreat them. Although I am not planning on washing this dress really, I was concerned about shrinkage after my issues with the china silk I used recently. An internet search didn’t bring up too much info, so I asked the loverly people over at no one seemed to have a definitive answer, but HelenM01 made a sensible suggestion – cut off swatches and test them to see what happens and compare the results. This made a lot of sense to me, so I cut 5 measured equal pieces of each of the silk satin, silk organza, and emrbroidered organza. Then I washed one of each, dried one, washed and dried one, cold soaked one, and pressed one.

Before: My prepared fabric swatches.

Before: My prepared fabric swatches.

The results? The silk satin is pretty robust and happily endured a delicate wash, and even drying, although the washed ones seem to have changed colour fractionally and shrunk a little – I am not sure it shows in these photos. The silk organza is also robust, although prone to fraying. The polyorganza didn’t really like being washed and dried, so I will stick with pressing this.


After: The treated fabric swatches.

Right, time to prepare the fabric and cut into it… gulp.

In other wedding dress news, I found some shoes!IMG_3017

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