Our big day is just around the corner (April 20th to be exact), and I've been working slowly but surely on my flower girl's dress. This little project was incredibly fun for me since it allowed me to have some extra creative freedom. And while it'll be a part of one of the most important days of my life, I felt like I could take my time and stress less on something that was just for me; something that only I could be the true judge of. If I found that something didn't work, I could simply change the design or adjust areas as needed.
This dress was a culmination of all of my learning over the past three years. I felt like it was my graduation project from school since, as many of you know, I'm self taught. I never did take sewing courses or get that final celebratory moment at the end of my degree. But designing something so special, and being able to incorporate all of the skills I had learned in the process of creating my business, it was a joyous moment to step back and reflect on how far I had come over the years.
Since I wanted to focus on comfort and allow for plenty of dancing during the wedding reception, the design of my flower girl dress was intended to be a loose fit with plenty of twirl. As the ideas for this dress came to me, I began to make sketches in order to determine what type of materials I would use and the details I would apply to give it an extra touch of beauty. As I walked through our local fabric store here in Hawaii, I scanned the aisles for something lightweight, elegant but not too frilly. I knew I wanted to incorporate lace to make a dress with a bohemian feel since our wedding will be outdoors, in a private property overlooking the ocean. When I found the perfect fabric that I had been looking for, I then searched to find a complimentary ivory fabric to line the dress. The last material that I planned to use on the dress was an embroidered lace to make a V from the top of the bodice, go over the flower girl's shoulders and come together in the middle of her back. I decided to choose a wide lace to give the appearance of a cap sleeve.
After my designs were laid out and fabrics chosen, I took the measurements of my flower girl's chest, and her height from shoulder to floor. She was so excited to be getting fitted for her dress, she even requested that I do a few more measurements... including her arm length and even her belly button. I hope it's obvious now why I chose her to be my flower girl.
After writing down each measurement, I began with the ruffles to create the body of the dress. I cut three layers of lace, to create a tiered look, each double the width of her chest measurement since it would be gathered.
After the three pieces of lace were measured and cut, I took them to my sewing machine and used a gathering foot to create an even ruffle along each fabric.
I then sewed each layer together to create the length of the dress.
Once the body of the dress was assembled, I moved on to creating the bodice. After drawing out a V neck line on my pattern paper and making sure that it was half the width of her chest measurement (since it would only be covering the front of her chest), I cut four layers of fabric to make sure that it would be sturdy. Two layers were cut in the lining fabric and two layers were cut using the lace fabric.
After sewing the bodice layers together, I carefully placed the embroidered lace in a V shape to give the top an elegant texture. I made sure to leave length on each piece of lace because they would also double as the straps of the dress.
To bring the two together, I pinned the finished bodice of the dress right side down on the body of the dress and used my serger sewing machine to secure it in place. Doing this also finished the edges of the fabric in order to prevent them from fraying.
Here's how it turned out up until this step! To save just a bit of excitement for the wedding, I'll be sharing a full reveal to everyone just as soon as we receive our wedding photos from the photographer.... that is unless you're an AshleyRose Insider. I'll be showing all of my Insiders an early preview in our closed Facebook group. Consider joining if you'd like to see more sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes like this one.
I'll be sure to update everyone and share photos of what it looked like on our big day!