Wedding dress in the making: Ball gowns

Ever wondered how those GORGEOUS wedding ballgowns came to life? Well today’s blog post is an educational overview of how a wedding ballgown is constructed and let us forewarn you: it contains lots of love and fabrics!

A wedding ballgown can contain up to 10 or more layers of fabric to create that beautiful Cinderella silhouette. Each piece of fabric is carefully cut and hemmed before it gets added as a layer to the dress. Because of the multiple layers required, each piece of fabric is quite light and sheer in nature (and that’s what gives these ballgowns that light and airy feel). Making a ballgown takes hours on hours to put together and seamstresses pour lots of love into making them perfect.

Here are some basic terminologies and components of the dress:

  • At the very core of the dress lies a piece of crinoline (which is essentially a structured petticoat) to give the dress the volume it needs to create the ballgown silhouette . Crinoline is quite stiff in structure and rough to the touch but is probably the most critical part of the dress in constructing the dress. Without this piece of fabric, the dress would just lay flat against the skin or become an A-line silhouette.
  • There are two types of fabrics that can be used as the outer layer of the dress: solid vs. see-through. To create a solid outer shell, you can use fabrics such as satin or brocade. These type of fabrics have more stiffness to them and can hold a shape quite well requiring less layers underneath. The second type of shell fabrics is see-through tulle with lace and bead overlays which typically requires more layers underneath to hide the crinoline.
  • Given the weight of the dress, the top of the ballgown will need extra strength to hold the dress up. To do this, the dress will need either shoulder straps, extra boning in the bodice or a combination of both.

Below is an example of a satin shell (left picture); since this is a strapless dress, there are boning built into the front and back of the bodice to prevent the dress from slipping down. The picture to the right is made with a tulle shell with lace appliques; as you can see, there are horsehair trimmings to keep the dress flared out. This dress also has a combination of straps and boning built into the bodice.

Wedding ball gowns have been become a classic silhouette in the bridal industry (and we don’t blame them given its fairy tale feel). We hope you enjoyed today’s blog post and learned a few things about how wedding ball gowns are constructed!

If you’re looking for a wedding ball gown, be sure to come check out our collection of wedding dresses at La Soiree Bridal. We will be opening our doors this fall (September 1, 2022) and can’t wait for you to try on our curated selection of gowns!

La Soiree Bridal is located in the Kalamazoo area at 8880 N 32nd Street, Suite 1, Richland, Michigan 49083.

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