2017 marks the year Qube breaks into the bridal scene. The first of three wedding dresses was for my Galiano Doula Bride, Emily. Emily got married on beautiful Galiano Island, British Columbia at the beginning of May.
"May 14th, 2016 — Thor took me to one of our favourite spots on Vancouver Island. We drove up a logging road, to a cut block looking over mountains, oceans and trees. I didn’t think anything of it; we had spent a lot of time here. The sun was shining, we had the place to ourselves. Thor got down on one knee and proposed! I was so happy and surprised. Of course I said yes! Thor knew me so well. It couldn’t have been a more perfect moment: just the two of us, in the middle of nowhere. We wanted to waste no time in planning the big day. We agreed we wanted it to be as casual and relaxed as possible, a reflection of us."
Emily and I had gone to school together and kept in contact through social media. When she asked if I was interested in making her wedding dress, I was ecstatic. One of a kind, custom pieces are quite easily my favourite things to work on.
"Kristi came to mind right away when I thought about my wedding dress. We met for coffee at Barb's Buns on Saltspring. Unable to find suitable pictures online, I pulled out a sketch I had drawn recently. She was confident that she could bring this image to life. She asked lots of questions about the fabric and design, questions I hadn’t yet thought about. We stepped outside, I took off my rain coat, and she took all my measurements."
I had only ever made one traditional wedding dress before. To be honest, I was a little nervous. The skirt that was drawn had a sleek, modern, clean and minimal train- unlike anything I had tried before. Being primarily self taught, I knew this would be a steep but incredibly rewarding learning curve; I could not wait to get started!
"The dress was really important to me. I was worried that I wouldn’t find something that truly represented me. I dreamt of being a bride, in a white dress, my dad walking me down an aisle. It also made me feel nervous. I wanted to feel like myself in that moment. Not like I was dressed in a costume for this special occasion. I had a pretty clear vision of what I saw myself wearing, but I couldn’t imagine finding anything that would come close to it in real life."
Being an island girl myself, I it was easy to empathize with Emily, to step into her mind and imagine how she would want to feel on her big day, beautiful yet comfortable. That is my main motivation by all things Qube, the better you feel, the better you look. When you're not comfortable, your focus is elsewhere.
"I felt so comfortable with her, with her experience and knowledge. It was clear I was in good hands."
Emily living between Galiano and Victoria for school and me being on Saltspring, made the process trickier. I went on a fabric run to Vancouver to source the fabric for her dress. I narrowed down my lace choices and sent her photos to make the ultimate decision. Once I had the fabric it was time to get started on the pattern. I always feel confident in bodice work and tailoring, it was the draping of the skirt that taught me a lot. Iteration. Reiteration. Trial. Error. Alteration. Improvement. Finalization. Success.
"Kristi invited me to her home for each fitting. It always felt so warm and inviting, and she made the whole process fun and easy. Seeing the dress come to life was amazing. Hard to believe something so beautiful, with all of its detail could come from such a simple sketch. She was always open to suggestions and changes, providing a picture of what it could look like if we did this or that. She took everything I said I wanted and added so much more."
After a few fittings we had it. That simple sketch had come to life and fit our bride like a glove. She was radiant.
"The wedding dress she made was more beautiful than I could have imagined."
Emily and Thor both grew up on Galiano, they planned an intimate wedding ceremony at Spanish Hills Dock followed by a reception at the Galiano Gun Club. Emily, a beautiful, seemingly delicate woman in school to be a Doula, is actually a badass hunter who knows her way around a gun. The venue choices were perfect.
"May 13th 2017 the big day was here. The sky was moody. Grey clouds, full of rain, filled the sky. The morning flew by, and 2:30pm came quickly. It was time to get into the dress. The dress was simple and elegant, it fit perfectly, and it was easy to put on. The detail of the high lace on my chest was such that I didn’t feel that I needed any accessories. I felt beautiful. The high emotions I had felt in the morning disappeared. I was calm and ready to be married. Everything felt just right. The sun came out, and blue sky began to break through the clouds. It couldn’t have been a more perfect time to get married."
There is no greater feeling as a designer and seamstress than the achievement of completion on a project of this magnitude. Thank you Emily for your trust and enthusiasm through this process and thank you for your words. It's brides like you that are making my designing and sewing dreams come true.
Photos by Mandela Shemilt