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Vintage Lace - A Bridal Dress Restored

Our expert bridal team have helped to restore an exquisite reproduction Victorian wedding dress that had suffered damage due to imperfect dry-cleaning before storage. The dress, worn by Emma White as she renewed her wedding vows to husband Matthew after ten years of marriage, had areas on the bodice where the silk had become completely perished and badly discoloured.

The original design had been individually tailored and inspired by the Victorian era with a heavy cream silk satin boned corset, full taffeta skirt and underlay petticoats. The dress had beading detail, with a full skirt of which was sewn into a bustle at the back as Emma wanted to be able to dance the night away after the big day! Damage unfortunately rendered it unwearable.

Thanks to the expertise of her bespoke dressmaker and the professional advice and quality wedding dress material supplied by us, the dress was totally re-designed. After discussing a series of options with her dressmaker Alma, of Alma’s Dressmakers at Church Street in Brighton (www.­brig­hto­nal­te­rati­ons.­com), Emma decided that, for sentimental reasons, she wanted to try and repair the dress rather than cut it up and make something new, the only other viable option.

Sourcing exactly the right fabric was something of a difficult task; it needed to be heavy enough to support the perished silk and cover the damaged bodice while being light enough not to pull the fabric further out of shape. It also had to be flexible enough to wrap securely around the divine boned corset yet still be firm enough to give the required structural support. These conflicting requirements, along with finding an exact colour match for a ten-year-old cream silk satin, had Emma, in her own words, “tearing my hair out!”.

When Emma discovered Platinum Bridal Fabrics online and contacted our expert bridal dress team, we were able to discuss her project in great detail, comparing the benefits and drawbacks of each possible solution. Although she had set her heart on beaded fabric, Emma was advised by Platinum Bridal Fabrics to use Mary Ivory Ribbon Lace as it would make a better repair and was also an exact colour match.

Over five separate fittings, the dress was slowly, patiently and successfully rejuvenated. Dressmaker Alma created a ‘sweetheart’ accent on the corset of the dress, enhancing Emma's gorgeous hourglass silhouette created by the vintage style boned corset. Unpicking the bustle and some of the skirting revealed the full billowing beauty of the skirt, which gave the dress an ultra-modern look that still managed to retain vintage lace glamour -  truly an extraordinary achievement!

Mary ribbon lace is incredibly striking, immediately drawing attention with its iridescent, glossy satin sheen. Satin ribbon has been skilfully sewn to create big, bold flowers a full 6 cm wide; as we look closer still, we see that these larger flowers protectively surround delicate, smaller blooms to give a radiant, inter-dimensional effect that is totally enchanting.

Emma and husband Matthew’s 10-year wedding vow renewal took place at the beautiful location of Niagara-on-the-Lake in Canada last month. We would like to thank Emma for taking the time to share her story and wish her and Matthew many more years of wedded bliss together.

Have you used wedding dress material from Platinum Bridal Fabrics to create or restore a bridal gown or accessories? Do you need expert advice and inspiration from our experienced and talented bridal team? We would love to hear from you! Contact us on 01254 873333 or email info@­bridalfabrics.­co.­uk.
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