Wedding part 2: inspirations and fabrics for my outfit

A few details about how I designed my outfit, chose the color palette and found my fabrics. The full post is only available in French at the moment (you can go read it), but here are a few pictures.

The picture that inspired my silhouette:

You can see here how it clearly inspired my first draft (on the left). On the right I made a few changes, among wich the length of the “apron” of the overskirt at the front. I realized I liked them better when they are a litlte longer (to be less like an apron and more like an overskirt).

A few keywords to summarize the styles that inspired me: tartan, victorian, Belle Epoque, steampunk.

Another picture that made a strong impression on me, because of the general feeling and the colors, it seemed to match perfectly what I wanted to get (from Urban Threads):

Autumn color palettes:

Fabric samples from the corset maker’s stock and choosing the check fabric. I had to order many tartan/check fabric swatches online because it was impossible to find a nice one in autumn tints in Paris. I hesitated between the green one and the brick colored one in the second picture, but the green one seemed to match the other fabrics better and tie everything together.

PS: today it’s two years since I wore this outfit for the big day. :)

Wedding part 2: my outfit

There are people who are still interested in seeing pictures of my wedding outfit, and that makes me happy, so here they come! It was high time I shared those, almost two years after the event… First I’d like to show you my inspiration mosaic again (with links to the original pages when I have them):

First raw: Heritage of Scotland, my picture, Flickr, my picture (Juliette et Justine skirt), Heritage of Scotland
Second raw: Etsy, Truly Victorian, Heritage of Scotland, Clockwork Couture
Third raw: Tumblr, Tumblr,, Recollections, Walk in wardrobe, Urban Threads
Fourth raw: Uptight Clothing, Recollections, ??, Tumblr (Alexander McQueen F/W 2006-2007), Steampunk Couture
Fifth raw: Recollections, Tumblr,, Atelier Volute, Etsy, Heritage of Scotland

And here are some of the sketches I made during the design part, when I was trying to find out what I wanted. None of them is the exact sketch of my outfit, but they inspired me, allowed me to test ideas and to communicate better with the other people involved. Some details should have made it into the final outfit but didn’t due to a lack of time or a lack of skills (or both, my lack of experience causing me to hesitate for too long).

And finally, here is what I looked like on our wedding day, with all the outfit pieces worn together.

The outfit was composed of:

  • a sleeveless top with a sweetheart neckline made from a plaid cotton (Scottish wedding dresses inspiration), that I made myself from a highly modified 50′s pattern.
  • underbust victorian style corset made of silk by Volute (sadly they’re not in business anymore…). I did the embroidery on the front panels myself.
  • a long skirt made in a very nice olive green heavy satin fabric (it’s a mix of silk and rayon) that I sewed myself. The shape is inspired by the skirts of around 1895.
  • an overskirt of bright green silk made by the people at Volute. The shape is a result of a mix of inspirations from different time periods: gothic skirts I own, bustle skirts from the 19th century, a drawing from 1890… The back can be let out to form a train or arranged in bustles with the help of three ribbons sewn inside.

Those are the main pieces, that we made especially for the wedding. They were accessorized with the following:

  • a petticoat bought on Ebay and modified to get the shape I wanted.
  • a nice dark green cardigan that I’ve had for some time and really like.
  • since it was cold, a cream colored handmade shawl I got on Ebay. What’s fun is that it was originally handmade for a wedding by the seller, and she decided to part with it after it wasn’t of any use to her. It’s a nice cycle.
  • and for the really cold times, I wore my black wool cape on top of all this (yes I know, not the best color to complement my outfit, but I did with what I had on hand). I got that cape for my 18th birthday and it’s quite special to me.

I had planned a second overskirt (to be worn between the bright green one and my skirt) in the same plaid fabric as the top, and a high-collared lace top to wear under the sleeveless one (to remind a little bit of victorian collars). But due to my slowness and my legendary talent for procrastination, they didn’t happen. Plus the lace top was scaring me a little, it wasn’t a project to tackle as the same time as the rest of my outfit and wedding organization, I was anxious enough without trying to figure out how to make it. But in the end I loved my wedding outfit as it was. I felt beautiful and most of all, I felt like myself! And that was the point of all this in the first place. My dear husband reacted the way I was hoping when he first looked at me, he loved my outfit, and I also got very nice comments about my outfit from our guests (and Mr Robot also, but I didn’t have any part in the sewing of his outfit). And maybe one day I’ll find the motivation and an excuse to make the missing pieces (for a belated “trash the dress” photo session that we couldn’t make at the time?).

Bonus point of this modular design: it wasn’t a one time only outfit. Being able to wear it several times was one of my initial goals and I’m happy to say that it has been fulfilled. The top I wear quite often when the weather is nice enough, the corset has been worn regularly (even to work!), and I wore the skirt once for a date with my husband. I’d wear it more often as I love its shape and color, but due to its length and the fibers it isn’t the most practical piece of clothing I own. I’m thinking of making a similar skirt in cotton. The only piece that hasn’t been reused is the overskirt, but I’m sure it will happen some day. In the end the outfit cost me more than what I was planning to spend at the beginning, but at least for that price I got custom made, designed by me, in beautiful fabrics that I liked (no ugly synthetic fibers!), so I guess it’s okay. ^^

Wedding part 2: deciding on a dress

As promised I’m starting to post about my second wedding attire. I’m going to let go of part of the suspense: I did make part of it, but not all. Despite Mr Robots first forbidding me to sew my own wedding dress (or rather, speaking strongly against it). Since I always find myself to be short on time and stressing over my project when they have an imposed deadline (like what happened for the dresses for my friends’ wedding) he didn’t want me to be in such a situation while preparing my own wedding. And I tried to do as he suggested, I promise, even if as a sewing addict making my own wedding dress seemed a very exciting project!

Beautiful vintage wedding dress
(beautiful picture found on Pinterest, I don’t have the original source…)

Mr Robots wanted to have the pleasure of discovering my outfit on the D-day, so he had to know as little as possible about it in advance. Since I still wanted him to like my dress though, I collected and submitted him an assortment of pictures from the Internet, to get his feelings. The dress I was at first dreaming about: a 50′s inspired white tea length beauty, with a lace overlay all over it, a full skirt, a scoop neck and maybe short sleeves. His reactions to the pictures: he liked the feet-long dresses (“it’s more elegant, more princess-like”, can you believe it’s him who said that?!), and he found that too much lace looked like Xxx. -_- You can guess I wasn’t too happy about that… I had to find another style I liked. But one day I’ll make that pretty tea length lace dress and he’ll see that he was wrong!

50's lace dresses
(source 1, source 2, source 3, source 4)

So I went to try wedding dresses. I didn’t want to spend a lot on a second dress I wouldn’t wear often, so I gave myself a small budget. Remember how I said last time that I wanted to keep the big white dress for the french wedding? Here’s the conclusion of those first sessions: the big fluffy white dress wasn’t for me (at least, not at that time in my life). Ironic, isn’t it? I didn’t really feel them, wasn’t especially taken (contrary to my maids of honer/witnesses) and didn’t really picture myself getting married in the dresses I was trying on.

Trying on a white wedding dress

I decided to give the wedding dress shops one last chance with a colored dress I had seen online that had a little bit more personality. All the poeple who saw it loved it: it was beautiful and looked great on me, all that stuff. But while I was looking at me in the mirror suddenly it felt as if I was looking at someone’s picture on Style Me Pretty. It was really nice indeed, but it didn’t feel like me. Add to that that I couldn’t see the exact color I would be ordering (brown x ivory), that the timing would be tight and that it was at the higher end of my budget, and I wasn’t totaly convinced…

Sacha Novia Soyeuse

In the meantime a friend told me about tartan wedding dresses that he saw while on a trip in Scotland. Since I have a long time love for tartan, I really liked the idea. But I wouldn’t order my dress online. And of course while browsing the Internet looking for inspiration on dress styles (to buy), my imagination started going loose: picture after picture, I couldn’t help starting to get a design idea (to make), which seemed far more exciting than the dresses I was trying.

tartan dress
(heritage of Scotland)

Through Zibuzine I heard about Volute, a corsetry and custom dress making shop that had made her wedding corset (sadly they are now closed). I got in touch with them and our first meeting went really well: I liked the shop spirit and the owner was quite excited by my project. We talked about different options and prices.

After all that I sat down to talk with Mr Robots and we agreed that the custom-made outfit was the best option. ^_^ It would be made partly by Volute and partly by me (for the simpler pieces). And I think that even if he was worried he was actually quite pleased that I’d have once again something of my own design. ;p And so to close this up here is a little mosaic of the pictures that most inspired my outfit. You can click on the image to see a larger one. The story is to be continued in a later post…