Zoe’s wedding dress: The inspiration

Suzie Blackman
Saturday, 11 September 2010

'Jessica' by Lyn Ashworth

By the time you read this Zoe will have walked down the isle, so it’s safe to reveal our design ideas.

Zoe tried on a few dresses, she really liked vintage style lace and found that a fitted style that flared from the thigh particularly suited her. Her favourite was ‘Davina’ by Sassi Holford, all-over lace with a crossover sweetheart neckline, lace cap sleeves and slight fishtail. The dress retails for £1700 (yes, lace dresses are expensive).

I loved the shape of the dress too and felt that this was something I could achieve. We decided to make a few changes to the over all design to suit Zoe’s taste and my sewing skills.

'Davina' by Sassi Holford

  • The original dress was corseted – Zoe wasn’t keen on this and I didn’t feel it was necessary.
  • Zoe wanted proper straps as lace cap sleeves were not likely to stay put.
  • Zoe didn’t want a train and didn’t want it to skim the floor
  • Neither of us particularly liked the V back and Zoe wanted a higher back
  • I wasn’t confident about button closure, so I suggested a side opening with concealed zip, Zoe agreed
  • Zoe suggested beaded lace on the bodice. We couldn’t find anything suitable so I suggested beading it myself.

'Davina' by Sassi Holford

With just these pictures to work from, the shape of the bodice and the skirt were pure guess work. I made the skirt flare out from a higher point at the back than the front to give Zoe a bit of extra movement, while keeping the close fitting effect from the front. When deciding how much to flare the skirt, I use a skirt I own as reference. To create the front of the bodice, I drew on first toile the height we thought it should be in the centre on each side of the front, and under the arms. I transferred these measurements to paper and joined the dots with a curve. This worked remarkably well. I had to increase the size of the top bodice darts to account for this being a low garment. It all worked out remarkably well.

The author

Suzie Blackman

The dyer, designer, photographer, creative technologist and maker-of-things behind It's a Stitch Up. She lives in East London in a home filled with colour, fluff and house plants.


  1. Mary says:

    How did you do the sleeves

  2. Make Your Moment says:

    Such a lovely wedding dress. Great work on that and wonderful article.

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