Wedding Dress Wednesday: origami editionPosted: September 26, 2012
Last week I finally found the designer behind the dress I love so much. Her name is Leanne Marshall, and she won season 5 of Project Runway (a show I’ve sadly never had a chance to watch). You can check out more of her work here. I love the way her wedding dresses have such a natural feel, almost embracing the Japanese ethos of wabi-sabi – the appreciation of imperfection. It’s a refreshing change from the structured flawlessness of so many other wedding dresses.
I was also fortunate enough to find a full-length image of the Julietta dress, which shows the hem of the skirt.
These discoveries meant I was extra inspired when my copy of Drape Drape turned up unexpectedly early on Friday. As soon as I had a chance I sequestered myself in my sewing room and started examining the pattern. If you look at the view in the header, you’ll not be surprised to hear that I was a little daunted. All those lines, and not a change in weight, colour or style to distinguish one from another!
At first I thought I’d trace the design directly onto some spare satin I had lying around, but I quickly realised that was a road to insanity. Instead I traced it onto infinitely easier-to-manage tracing paper, where I was left with a crazy, confusing piece – and this was only a quarter of the skirt!
I was still utterly perplexed, so I set to a little origami. A few folds and pins later, and I had a piece I could pin to my dressmaker’s dummy. Suddenly it all became much clearer:
That big, jagged curve down the left-hand side of the skirt pleats together to form the lovely draped shape – it’s the big pleat closest to the side (which you might be able to make out sitting behind the smaller pleats) that swings the fabric around to form the drapes across the hips.
To get the shape I want, I think I need to move the pleats closer to the centre, and change those small pleats to gathers – this should move the drapes further down the skirt, and provide a softer shape.
I also know I need to bring that centre front line closer to vertical, otherwise I’ll never be able to cut the skirt pieces out of a single piece of fabric. I’m still not entirely sure how I’m going to get the lovely soft fall down the front of the skirt. I can foresee more origami in the coming weeks!