It's not just about the day...
11.06.2014 | A wedding dress for a lifetime
We made Elizabeth’s wedding dress for her wedding last year. She looked stunning in her truffle dress, which moves as you walk and which she'd accessorised with wild flowers. Just perfect.
Like the wedding being just the first step in married life, this dress is also not just about the day. Our next project was to turn it into things Elizabeth can wear and use throughout her marriage.
One of the great things about a knitted wedding dress is that you can redye it. Our brief was to dye and alter the dress so that Elizabeth can wear it to special occasions and parties, then to use any leftover yarn for accessories and home wares.
This is a project which really appeals to me; providing a dress with a lifetime of wear, not just a one off.
The process began when I set off from the studio and handed the dress into the care of specialist dyer, Daniel, at Paint Box Textiles.
We received a few quite terrifying pictures from the dyer showing the dress in the dye vat, wet, limp and all stirred up.
But when I picked it up, it had recovered its composure, and was just ready to press back into its full glory.
Because Elizabeth wanted a short dress, we had to cut off a section.
That's a very scary moment! The edges begin to unravel very quickly and you have to be patient and precise, catching the whole stitches and hooking the piece back onto the knitting machine before the dress turns into a mass of crinkly yarn.
After that painstaking job, it can be cast off properly, securing the 'hem' and creating a proper knitted edge. The dress then just needed refinishing and pressing to create this pretty pretty frock.
But we haven’t stopped there. The left over sections have been unravelled and wound onto cones so that we can use them to create a few more souvenirs. Elizabeth and her husband drink tea from a pot together. So we’re turning part of the remaining section into a tea cosy. Any remaining yarn will make a scarf or shawl (depending on how much we have left).
This is the thing, the beautiful truffle dress had its moment of glory in the sun, and now it will help make many more lovely moments. How perfect is that?