Way back in 1999, I met my husband, Cap. We were both working in a large chain bookstore, in between school and permanent career type employment. We first started talking about marriage on the road trip back from Disneyland. I mentioned that I thought a Renaissance themed wedding would be fun and Cap agreed. I knew he was a keeper.
I started doing some research on different styles and began narrowing down my preferences. I came back to some movies that had started my interest in the time period. There’s more than likely some historical inaccuracies in many or all of these but that wasn’t really a primary concern at the time. I loved the Old Hollywood swashbucklers like ‘Robin Hood’ with Errol Flynn and the 70’s version of the Musketeer movies with Michael York and Raquel Welch. In the 90’s, I enjoyed ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ and ‘The Three Musketeers’ with Kiefer Sutherland and Gabrielle Anwar. My absolute favorites were ‘The Princess Bride’ and ‘Ever After’, the movies came out ten years apart, fall of 1987 and summer of 1998, respectively. Both films influenced a great deal of the planning of our wedding.
The Princess Bride
Buttercup’s dresses were beautiful, I loved the flowy sleeves and the trains from the shoulder. I especially loved the color and fabric of the blue dress.
Danielle’s dresses were beautiful too, especially the split front overdress that added so much fluidity to the bottom of the dress. I also liked the overlay of the necklines on the overdress and underskirt in both the gold dress and the ball dress.
My final result incorporated elements from both movies.
I am addicted to buying costume patterns, so, I own almost every Renaissance pattern that has been available at Joann Crafts in the last fifteen years.
For the bridesmaids, I used the style in the lower right hand corner of Simplicity 8735*.
The main modification to this dress, is making a separate underskirt. I used silkessence for the underskirt, cutting a new pattern that eliminated a front seam and added a rounded elastic neckline. The sleeves were made from sparkly sheer material that I believe was called ‘glitter organza’.
The bridesmaids were able to pick any color for their dress except blue. They also were able to pick any appropriate fabric. I sewed a purple brocade, a deep red damask, hunter green velvet and a goldenrod shangtung.
I combined the Simplicity 8735 pattern with the McCalls P477** for my dress.
I used the bodice of the overdress with the V- neckline from the McCall’s and made the underskirt using the Simplicity.
The skirt part of my overdress had some issues, in a stressed moment I made the decision to cut straight panels for the skirt and just gather them at the waist where the skirt meets the bodice. The fabric was so heavy and thick that gathering so much fabric at the waist wasn’t such a good idea. Now that I know much more about sewing, I would have made flared pieces for the skirt. Sections that would be thin at the waistline and then flair out as they extend down to the hem. Live and learn though, right?
For my fabrics, I chose an ivory brocade with a champagne background for the overdress with blue topaz for the underskirt. I also had a 15 foot train attached at my shoulders.
Here’s a picture of my father walking me down the aisle. Two of my nieces helped carry my train as I walked. They had to really hold on to the corners because it rained on and off before the ceremony. If you look closely you can see that the brick is still wet. You can also see that the little jog in the hemline closest to my dad. Someone stepped on it while we were getting ready and it wasn’t noticed until right before we walked out the door.
I intended on getting into the planning and sewing part of things a little bit more but the internet is being dodgy due to construction and possibly some storm action. Next week, I will try to share some more details.
Until then… have a great week!
Costume Corner has been cross-posted from More-Like-Guidelines.
*I believe Simplicity 8735 is out of print. I remember at some point seeing it under a different number but I haven’t seen it recently.
**McCall’s P477, was also released as #2806 but that seems to be out of print as well.