Behind the seams of the Heathe crepe wedding gown with a bateau neckline
Behind the Seams

Making the Heathe Wedding Dress

May 19, 2015
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Designing a modern crepe wedding gown with vintage-inspired details.

Behind the seams of the Heathe crepe wedding gown with a bateau neckline
This post was updated as of March 23, 2021.

A behind-the-seams look at the making of one of Edith Élan’s very first designs: Heathe. A dramatic yet understated, glam yet elegant crepe wedding gown. A modern interpretation of the slim and drapey silhouettes of the 1930s, she epitomized “modern-vintage wedding dress.”

The Design Process: The Original Sketch

The original sketch for the dress featured rows of stitching on the hips and gathers in the skirt. The rows of stitching were to give the illusion of padded hips without actually padding them. The placement and shape of the rows on the hips accentuated the curves of the body. The gathered skirt reflected the gathers in the bloused bodice. The open, keyhole back balanced out the high, bateau neckline.

​In the final sketch review for the first collection, Heathe was one of those dresses that stood out even on paper. She became a final contender fast. What happened next, though, was pure “creative misinterpretation” …if you want to call it that. The stitching on the hips was interpreted as beading. So: stitching out, CRYSTAL BUGLE BEADS IN!

Behind the Seams: The Muslin Fitting

Patterning the dress was easy. Although added during patterning, a long train gave Heathe the drama she well deserved. With the muslin completed, an issue with the design arose! The gathering on the skirt completely overpowered the dress, and it had to go. So, hip seams were unstitched to release the skirt gathers. The skirt panels were then repinned into place so that they lay flat along the curved hip seams. With the skirt issue solved, the rest of the dress fitting was smooth sailing. Even in the muslin fabric, Heathe was a favorite of the collection.

Sewing the Final Dress Sample

After cutting the pattern pieces from the silk crepe, it was time to start on the beading. Hand sewing row after row, the sparkling details of the dress came together. Once the final sample of the dress was assembled, it was time to add the small details. The final touches were one crystal button on the back and two crystal trim pieces at the back waist. Those touches took the dress from beautiful to BREATHTAKING!!! (sigh)

Interested in Heathe?

Heathe is no longer a part of our stock bridal collections. However, she is still available as a custom-designed commission. To schedule an appointment with our designer, Lourdes, for a custom Heathe wedding dress, please click here.

Heathe Pictures by Juliet Elizabeth Photography

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