To many, the choice I made when planning my wedding may sound unusual, odd, even a bit sad. My wedding was a party of two (three if you count the photographer). Neither one of us wanted a big affair, and we knew that getting our families together was going to be impossible. So we quietly planned a courthouse wedding that was beautiful and perfect and exactly what we both wanted. We even started a new tradition: Wedding donuts!
I knew I wanted to sew my own goth wedding dress—nothing fancy, but a black dress that would be made special because I made it. When it was time to select a pattern for the dress, I knew it had to be something that I would be comfortable in, that would not make me too hot, and that I might be able to use in the future. There was not much competition; my selection was the Aubepine Dress by Deer and Doe.
Pattern, Size, and Fabric Requirements
For this information, go back to my post on the Aubepine Dress Pattern.
For the sheer part of the bodice and the sleeves, I used a lightweight ball tulle with black polka dots from Mood Fabrics. The fabric is super delicate, so I took my time and was very gentle in handling it.
For the bottom of the bodice and the skirt, I used a black Swiss dot rayon I bought at the Polo Têxtil Rio Comprido back home and a plain black rayon fabric I purchased from Fabric Wholesale Direct.
Initially, I was only going to use the tulle for the sleeves. That lacked pizzazz, so I decided to split the bodice into two pieces, the top part made with the tule, the bottom with the Swiss dot. I measured from my neckline down to where I wanted the tulle section to end. then, I transferred the measurement to the pattern piece, drew a line from that spot to the side seam, and cut the bodice piece into two parts. The final step was to add 5/8″ seam allowances to both the bottom of the top piece and the top of the bottom piece. To attach the bottom part of the bodice, I sandwiched the tulle between the fashion fabric and the lining. This method gave me a really nice finish for that seam.
I used French seams to sew the shoulder seams. For the neckline, I used double bias tape made from plain black rayon. I used a sewing machine to sew the bias binding to the front of the neckline. I tried using my machine to finish the bias-bound neckline, but the binding got distorted. Hand-sewing, even though not my favorite thing, gave me much more control over the bias binding and a much better finish.
I used French seams to attach the sleeves and sewed them flat. I finished the hem of the sleeves with black rayon bias binding, hand sewing them as I did with the neckline. Usually, I would have left the side seams open and waited until the skirt was sewn to the front and back bodice pieces before closing the side in one pass. I was afraid that that was going to cause too much bulk where the seams meet, so I finished the bodice. The final step was to baste the two layers of the bodice together at the waist.
The construction of the skirt was very straightforward. I wanted to make sure that the dress was not going to be see-through; this is why I added a lining. I cut two skirts, one from the Swiss dot fabric, and another from the black rayon. I serged all raw seams instead of French seaming them since they were going to be hidden inside the layers. I then sewed the side seams of each skirt.
When it was time to attach the skirt, I sandwiched the bodice between the skirt and the lining. This was an ordeal as there was a lot of fabric going around. It got worse when it was time to go to the sewing machine. Lots of patience and deep breaths guaranteed that the bodice and the skirt got together without any major mishaps.
The hem was the easiest part of the whole construction. I serged the bottom of both skirts, making sure to take a bit more from the lining so it would not show from under the skirt. The serged bottom was pressed in twice, sewed with the sewing machine, and the dress was done!
My Wedding Dress
When I first sewed the Aubepine, I called it The One. Well, what major foreshadowing! My wedding happened exactly how I wanted it to, and I love my black wedding dress. And my ring is just too cool!