My wedding gown – the "real" one

Hi everyone!
Finally, here are the pictures of the gown I made for the wedding ceremony

Apologies if some of the pictures are not fantastic quality. It was dark in the church, and the fabric appears much shinier than it really is, because of the flash.

The pattern is Butterick 4452.

I liked the fact that, while the front is quite simple, with a slim A-line skirt, the back on the other hand features a laced closure and two deep box pleats on each side of the skirt’s middle. The back neckline is interesting as well.
This way, the dress felt very “me” in that it wasn’t a busy, poofy gown in which I would have felt very uneasy and costumed; but the details in the back still made for an original and interesting gown.

I shortened the train a little from the original design. I wasn’t keen on the train at first, but when I made the skirt and tried it on, the train looked so graceful that I compromised with a shorter train – but did retain it. 🙂 I also believe the effect of the deep pleats in the back would have been lost without a train.

The line, with a flat, narrow front and a fuller back, reminds a lot of the tournures of the late 1800s/early 1900s. That is why I called that dress the Henry James Gown, while I called the empire dupioni gown the Jane Austen Gown. I know neither of them are in any way historically correct, of course; but the figures they create are reminiscent of those two periods – and Austen and James are among my best-best-loved authors.

The bodice is lined, underlined and boned; the skirt is underlined. I used batiste for the lining/underlining (left over from the dupioni gown).

For the gown, I used a fabric that was labelled as “indiscriminate” in the fabric store (which is probably why I got it for a good price), but which to me is most definitely taffeta. I got it in the designer/bridal/evening section of the store, where most fabrics are around 70 euros/metre, if not more. The “cheapest” fabric in that section is 25 euros. That bolt was hidden away in a corner and because it was labelled “indiscriminate”, it was only 6 euros a metre. It caught my eye because I absolutely loved the colour and dull sheen. I needed 2,5 metres for my gown.

with Robin and his mommy, my sister Catherine


The pattern cost me 9 euros, which is the usual price in France, but is expensive to me! I usually get my patterns from the US or the UK, and even with the shipping fees, they are often half that price, thanks to the $/€ conversion rates. I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with craft stores in France. However, since I decided to make that dress 10 days earlier, I couldn’t possibly order it online or it would never have been there on time. That is why I had to bite the bullet and buy it from my fabric store instead.
The white satin ribbon cost 50 cents a metre and I used 2 metres.

Total cost: €15 fabric + €9 pattern + €1 ribbon = 25 euro ($34). Not bad, eh? I joked with Sébastien that my TWO made to measure, one-of-a-kind gowns cost me together less than his suit and shirt (although God knows we were thrifty in that regard, too. BTW, we went shopping for his suit and shirt with scraps from my gowns, to make sure they would match perfectly!). I do wish I’d had the skills to make his suit or at least his shirt, but I certainly haven’t reached that level yet. Making clothes for men is a whole other story, so I had to be content with hemming his pants myself and changing the jacket’s buttons as per Seb’s liking.



Preparing to sing Gounod’s Ave Maria,
with my brother accompanying at the cello.
Another photo from Sylvie. 🙂

I realize the above pictures probably do not show the actual colour of the gown; so here are a couple of pictures taken in daylight, at our flat:

Left: with my little sis Hélène (she’ll be 25 tomorrow) and our nephew Robin;
with my brother Jean-François (28), cracking up as usual!

54 thoughts on “My wedding gown – the "real" one

  1. Maryline says:

    Bonjour Isabelle, ta robe est vraiment très jolie et elle te va bien, tu fais une belle mariée. Je reste impressionnée par la qualité de ton travail.Robin était lui aussi tout mignon !A bientôt.


  2. Concetta says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful and special photos with us, Isabelle! You are beautiful and so elegant, what an amazing gown (even more so to think you made it yourself). Your dad sure does look proud, and he has every reason to.


  3. Hala says:

    it is a wonderful gown and fits you perfectly….the picture of your dad reminds me when i saw for the first time in my life tears in my fathers’ eyes at the wedding of my sister…it is so emotional….Happy birthday to Julie et Sylvie…enjoy your weekend…..bisous


  4. Michelle says:

    Isabelle, the dress is gorgeous. I love how different it is from your other dress – but the two are complimentary. You looked so beautiful on your wedding day, and I am amazed at how little it cost to make your dress. I can’t wait to see more!


  5. Cathy says:

    It’s beautiful, Isabelle! I really love the ribbon on the back, it’s so elegant. I’m glad that you kept at least a small train (have you seen the pictures from my wedding? I was ALL for the train!). By the way, you’re welcome to a tea party any time!


  6. Lauren says:

    Oh, Isabelle… thank you so much for your willingness to share your wedding day with your internet friends! Your dress is amazing, and all the pictures of the ceremony show what a warm and personal event it must have been!


  7. Sylvie says:

    Isabelle, the picture showing the back of your “dress” is not one of mines (but the Gounod’s one is). Seb was on all the pictures I took (I mean pictures showing the back of the dress) 🙂I love the picture with you and your dad 🙂 I remember his speech, it was full of emotion.I’m a believer but I think the ceremony was perfect for people who were not 🙂Thank you very much for the Birthday wishes 🙂{{{big hugs}}}


  8. Vonna says:

    You made a stunning bride and you were well supported by friends and family 🙂What a lovely bunch of memories you have of your special day! Hold them always in your heart! Cause take it from me…there will be times when you forget why you married…LOL! *at least to me…I forget sometimes 😉


  9. Zoanna says:

    Waht more can I say? It’s gorgeous on you. And your daddy looks so proud with that “where’s my little girl gone? look at you! all grown up and now you’re a bride” expression. Would love to hear from you.


  10. Tany says:

    Isabelle, I’m truly impressed with your wedding dress! It looks even more wonderful than the second dress and it suits you so well!! I thank you for sharing all this with us! I know how important this day was (is) for you; you are sharing something very meaningful and precious. Many, many hugs and a happiness for you and Seb!


  11. Nicki says:

    How beautiful Isabelle. You look lovely and the dress is gorgeous 🙂 Congratulations on such amazing sewing. Your grandmother would be so proud of you.And I have to say how funny it is that your dresses cost less than Sébastien’s outfit. Us too on our wedding day! Who says women spend more on clothes than men 😉


  12. Lavender Rose says:

    My favorite of all your dresses, Isabelle. It is just gorgeous in every way, and suits you the best of all, imho. I love that your father is there and you have his love and support. It is so important and such a gift.Your pictures are wonderful to see.Love and hugs,Deb


  13. Vicki says:

    Thankyou for sharing – a beautiful post! And of course your dress is wonderful. And what makes it extra special is that it was made beautiful by your imagination – certainly not by spending a lot of money!


  14. Tracy says:

    The dress is a dream! Love that you kept a little bit of the train, and all that lacing up the back is wonderful. So great to see so many different photos from your wedding day. Really like the one of you & your father, and before you singing–lots of emotion there. Hope your sister has a wonderful birthday! And have fun in the country for the weekend ((HUGS))


  15. Tanya says:

    What lovely pictures – all of them!!! That gown is beyond words; your work is outstanding. I don’t know how you sang; I would have been a wet mess crying for the emotion of the day. The pictures of you and your Dad is so sweet. Robin is getting so big – so darling!!! Always enjoy looking at your Blog and admiring your sewing. Your family is so dear.Tanya


  16. Dénia says:

    Tu sais que moi aussi je chante Ave Maria avec Mom?J’adore trop cette chanson. Tu chantes en anglais? Mom me l’a apprise en latin. mais j’adore la version de Dolores O riordan, la chouchoute de Mom, en anglais. Elle la chantait aussi avec le monsieur dodu qui est mort la semaine dernière ( excuse moi, j’ai oublié son nom!!)Et aussi ta robe est trop magnifique, une vraie robe de princesse! et la photo avec ton papou est très jolie.Mille bisous


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