The Petal Dress

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Well, Spring has truly begun in the UK, and as soon as the  trees started to blossom, I was on a mission – it was time for the spring part of our seasonal collection ( following Autumn made with leaves, and the two winters; Polaris  with snowflakes and Desolation with lunaria). The sketch was done  months earlier, and I knew what I was after – a dress made with real petals – the oriental inspired look was added en route somewhere:-)

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 I wanted to use real petals – but ones that wouldn’t wither and die in a day or two. The answer was The Real Petal Confetti Company – I used their petals for my wedding, over 2 years ago, and the left overs are still going strong in my cupboard. The samples were ordered, and once delivered, I experimented with different adhesives to see which ones work best. PVA did the trick….

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 How much to order though? I ordered 13 pints first, and added 6 more later on…. since the dress itself was a simple cheap calico, the price of the petals was the major expense for the project – still,  comparing with historical gowns in silks etc, it came pretty cheap!

The foundation was created in calico –  I adapted my Victorian princess polonaise pattern to create the shape of the top part, and inserted my second zip ever!

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husbands do come in useful… 🙂 pinning the back here…

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mega zip!

 

And then the bottom part was created out of two roughly semi oval pieces…. Think a circle skirt but with a train – so it ends up as an oval… sort of…:-) the two parts of the dress were then stitched together

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 The easy part was done – now for the petals…. the first part of the dress was made during one of my usual Stitch and Bitch sessions with Julia from Sew Curvy.  The available dummy was too slender to fit  my frock, so I roughly padded the thing with spare paper and covered it with clingfilm to prevent the glue from sticking to it.

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smothered in clingfilm….

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and the first petals on!

At the end of the day, I had the top part all covered up….  roughly 7 hours of non stop work…

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the waist was left uncovered – I’d planned a sash there…

 

The following day it was the skirts part – a bit more tricky….

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after another  4 hours….

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 Then the dress was neatly packed into the car for the return trip home…

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 Home – what shall i do with the rest of the evening – well, surprise surprise, more petalling!  It was  mildly addictive – or maybe I was just a bit obsessive? Just… One…. more… petal…..!

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 Well, at that point I  ran out of petals  and time. so more petals were ordered and I had 2 week break to work on commissions etc.

   While waiting for the petals to arrive, I practiced make up and hair do….

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the first attempt….

 

We also sourced the location –  and at that point Paul from Mockford Photography joined the frenzy and suggested Japanese style gardens as an alternative to a cherry orchard ( they seem to be rather scarce near Bedford…). In the end we settled on the Peace Pagoda in Milton Keynes,  and after obtaining the monks permission to  shoot there, we named the day, trying for the day with the best forecast…

Paul was also pinning some interesting images onto our Pinterest board –  and something is telling me that we are going to revisit some of the images in a different attire, allowing for a greater freedom of movement…. so watch the space….

The dress was finished  the day before the shoot – and the glue dried nicely overnight. In the morning we packed our toys and drove to the Pagoda. The weather was nothing as forecast, steady cloud cover, but we did get a glimpse of sun towards the end.

The location was perfect – lovely Zen styled gardens, and an authentic Japanese cherry  tree – in full blossom! both Lucas and Paul took turns shooting and assisting, as both had very distinctive ideas of the resulting images they wanted to achieve. Me, I was just  trying not to get too cold and  to hold on the the eyelashes ( turned out I used rubbish glue….)

 

The video documenting the creation and showcase pictures is here – do have a look!

The results –  first, piccies by Pitcheresque Imagery

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 and some gems from Mockford Photography

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 Paul’s blog with more pictures is here

 and just to finish it , a few behind the scenes shots!

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Paul at work

 

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   So  it is all done – and   just to let you know, the petal are still holing strong a year on…..  though the frock did have a make over in November – have a look what it looks like in a halloween edition!

 Oh, and the summer edition is already  being planned…. expect corn dollies, poppies and cornflowers as inspiration 🙂

Spring Bride Collection, part2: official photos!

 

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 As promised in part 1, in this post i will credit all the contributors who took part in the shoot – and illustrate it all with insanely stunning photos from our photographer, Paul Mockford.

  and so, here it goes!

 Spring Bride 2013 photoshoot team;

 Photography:

Paul Mockford from Shears and Mockford Photography and his trusty assistant, Jason Huckle; fb page

 Styling ( make up and hair) Sarah Dunn from  Sarah’s Doo wop Dos, fb page

Bridal shoes and accessories ( tiaras) – Tracy from Crystal Calla Tiara, fb page

 Florist Anita from Vintage Rose, fb page

Accessories and bouquets: Tina from The Haberdashery Bride, fb page

Jewellery: Tina from The Unfound Door, fb page

hair flowers and the fascinator: Lizzie from LiL MIschief

 Gowns:me! Izabela from Prior Attire/ Prior Engagement, fb page

 Models: me, Gem Bow Tyke,  Anett Novak

 venue: Moggerhanger Park, fb page

  The day was lovely – and we were glad we moved the shoot back by a week, as after a very slow start Nature picked up the pace and we even got a few flowers:-)

 Danielle from the venue organized our changing room and sorted out a very appreciated tea, coffee and biscuits.

   Everybody was in sity by 10.30, unpacked and ready to work so whilethe  boys were walking around the venue  discussing the best places to shoot, the girls  started to get ready..

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Sarah setting up her tools…

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hair flowers from Lizzie!

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stunning shoes from Tracy ( Crystal Calla Tiara)

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and loads and loads of jewellery from Tina ( Unfound Door) – all ours to pick from!

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gvoodies!

 

First was Briar Rose – here shot in a Sleeping Beauty convention…  took us ages to get the light and composition in that room…

 

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outside, the light was much better and we were way happier with the results:

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loving the soft 70ties feel to it – very hippie, flower power mood here

 and the best two shots , the true Sleeping Beauty images:

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sleeping so peacefully…

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and awake…

 

Next was Gem in Alice, the 50ties corseted frock.

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picture i snatched on my phone while changing…

 looks everybody was snatchign photos on their mobiles… 🙂

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happy snappers – Sarah with two phones no less!

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and a professional one:-)

  Next in line was Anette, sporting the elven Lily of the Valley – a true wood nymph!

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very dreamy…

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 As Anett was climbing the trees, Gem was being prepared for the next dress – the model who the dress was for cancelled the day before, so Gem stepped in – the dress was a bit too big  but it still looked great on her!

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Sarah working her magic… pic by Lucas

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she looked so gorgeous that everybody was snapping away…

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In the meantime I was also to stand in for the model who cancelled – so Sarah got some more work to do on me!

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going from the blond to the brunette…

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love this shot – stunnign tiara form Tracy, l;ovely earrings from Tina and the bouquet from Tina ( haberdashery bride…)

 and the last frock – Helena, for  Anett, who had to be coerced to emerge the Lily of the Valley corset ( she is a tighlacer so corsets are very much within her sphere of interests!)). Sarah worked her magic and transformed her from the nymph into a silnet movie era star – 20ties suited her very much indeed!

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Anett having fun 🙂

 

and one of my absolute favourites:

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catch!

 The whole shoot took us several hours, and some of us felt we deserved  cuppa and a scone at Frosts – just around the corner…

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  more pictures  can be seen here:

 

 and , to finish the post, a few ‘after hours’ shots..

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sleeping beauty – well…. a bottle of whisky would complete the image nicely…. 🙂

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Gem trying to eat her sandwich in a dignified way

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when not snapping away, Paul makes quite a model too!

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important people on a mission…

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having a sneak peak at the guys at work…

 

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Jason shining away…

 

   next collection- summer bride,will be shot at Wrest Park in July….   better start designing and sewing…