Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Karen Willis Holmes
The Royal Wedding
Catherine Middleton’s replica gown


In February, I was contacted by the ladies at Woman’s Day and asked if I would be able to make a replica of the gown Kate Middleton would wear at her wedding to Prince William.  The catch – it had to be done in less than 48 hours and with no prior knowledge of the design of fabrics needed!


Like the rest of the world I sat eagerly in front of the TV anticipating what Kate’s gown would be and I thought her gown was absolutely perfect for her – she looks stunning and completely appropriate.
I was hoping it would be Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and think she was the best choice for her gown.  It fits to perfection, looks as demure as it needs to for the royal wedding but stylish and stunning.
I loved every minute of the wedding and afterwards went to work to start going through the images on the internet and starting pattern cutting and sorting out the most appropriate lace and fabric to use so I was already to go with the team on Saturday morning.
On Saturday morning I looking at different pictures – full length and close up to see all the fine details of the gown.  Our cutter starting at 7am and it was all engines go all day.



I have chronicled the weekend process and would love to share with your some insider tips about making this stunning gown.


One we had organised the patterns for the gown our cutter got to work placing and cutting out the pieces as the first stage in the construction.


We had two machinist busily working on the gown.


I oversaw the team to make sure the construction process was smooth – a 48hr deadline is not something we work to often!


Amy and Lina are hand stitching the delicate lace we used on the bodice.



It was great to have the team working in such unison and very quickly we had the base of the gown and the lovely pleated detail of the skirt on the dress form.




At first the lace appliqué on the hem of Catherine’s dress wasn’t noticeably, but it was a stunning and subtle feature of the gown.  Here the ladies are hand sewing the lace on to the gowns hem.


Checking the sleeve of the lace overlay.

It was by no means a normal day at the office the weekend with a photographer from Woman’s Day and a news crew from Channel Nine interviewing me and documenting the process.



The finished gown... it took 8 people a little under two days to finish the gown, completing it on Sunday afternoon.



The back of the gown – with the beautifully draped bustle forming the 2.7m train.




Woman’s Day held a special High Tea event on Monday in celebration of the Royal Wedding.  The gown along with a replicas of Kate’s maid of honor, Pippa’s gown, the cake and ring were all on display.




The Royal Wedding was such a momentous and special occasion and it was an honour to have been asked to replicate Kate’s gown.




Karen xx

Please note that this replica gown was commissioned by Woman’s Day for a competition and therefore no other replicas will be made for sale.






0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment to let me know what you are thinking

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home