Wedding dresses are often one of the most important and considered garments a bride will ever wear, and every dress has its own story to tell about how it was made, adjusting and worn on that most special of days.
For one bride, however, she took this a step further and decided to knit her own dress herself to ensure it was truly unique and matched the vision she had for her very special day.
Starting With A Unique Inspiration
When coming up with a wedding concept, the aim is to find a dress that closely matches a theme that exemplifies everything that has brought the bride and groom so closely together that they want to tie the knot and be together for the rest of their lives.
In this case, the inspiration was a space pirate meeting a tomato patch, which was, to quote Mrs Andrews “just silly and fun”.
She drafted the design in Photoshop, which consisted of a white underdress, a white mesh woollen top layer with crochet tomatoes decorating this uppermost layer.
She opted to use mohair lace, a very fine, soft lace typically used for shawls and scarves, and to complete the dress she used over four miles of yarn to make layers of ruffles, a tiered skirt, a v-neck upper design and long mesh sleeves.
Because she was busy with her day job of designing woollen clothes, the only time she had to make the dress was on her commutes on the New York City subway system over the course of nine months.
She knitted the main layers together on the commute, however, because each ruffle and part was made separately, she had to trust they would all fit together, and as she completed this work the day before the wedding, she had no backup plan if it all went wrong.
Thankfully, the final design was beautiful, and she had time to add the tomatoes to her dress and get ready for her big day.
A Galaxy Of Inspiration
During this time, as well, she designed the groom’s suit, styled to look like an Astronaut, complete with shimmering silver mylar, patches, helmet and backpack.
This “Astro Suit”, inspired by the NASA Gemini Mission, began as a standard jumpsuit, which was marked with the locations of patches, zippers and seams.
Eventually, this was cut up into a 54-piece mylar design that was started just a week before the wedding, whilst she was also working on her own dress.
The material itself, whilst looking like lamé, was made from mylar blankets, also known as foil blankets which are used as part of first aid to help cool people suffering from heatstroke or hypothermia, as well as to protect spacecraft.
In what sounds like a nightmare situation, she was still sewing on the day of the wedding, finally finishing the suit just five minutes before their guests made it.
Beyond this, Mrs Andrews also designed a pair of shimmering socks patterned to look like a starry sky.
Can I Try It Myself?
Dresses are often a somewhat complicated project to knit, and wedding dresses even more so. As they are ornate and fairly intricate designs that require thinner materials and lace.
Before you start, do bear in mind that even if you are very skilled at dressmaking, a wedding dress will take longer and run the risk of problems and delays compared to a standard dress.
Mrs Andrews had a year, and other accounts from people who made their own dress have claimed that the process from concept to completion can take around a year depending on how busy your life is outside of dressmaking.
During this time, it is important to think about what unique elements you wish to add. Whether this is adding unique colours, a specially fitted neckline or tomatoes and other adornments that are unique to you and your partner, make sure to be creative and flout tradition.
As well as this, because the fit is so important, practice is utterly vital, so a large proportion of the time you take will be spent making muslin dresses.
These are mock-ups made in cheap fabric to ensure that a pattern fits and works for your body type before you start cutting your nice fabric together.
Finally, make sure you have fun knitting and designing. The entire point of knitting is to have fun and whilst it can be a long project, make sure it is a project that is not too stressful.