While we’re excited to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot, there’s one thing we’re really looking forward to: the dress! Only seven years ago people were placing bets on Kate Middleton’s wedding outfit – would the dress have a Diana-style long puffy train? Would it have sleeves? Would her hair be up or down? – and the final result certainly didn’t disappoint.
Sam Beresford, who designs our crewelwork projects in Knit & Stitch Creative magazine, actually worked in top-secret on Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, and we couldn’t wait to hear more about it. Here she tells us the story behind helping to make one of the most famous wedding dresses in the world…
“I remember clearly as a young girl of about eight years old watching the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles in 1981 and playing with my Sindy doll, dressing her in scraps of lace and saying that one day I would make wedding dresses for princesses.
I didn’t quite go down the dressmaking route, but I learned my trade as an embroiderer at the Royal School of Needlework. Fast forward to 2011 and I find myself back in the workrooms of the Royal School working on a secret project. I was invited to help and although I had other work commitments I had guessed that the project must be the wedding dress of Kate Middleton (Duchess of Cambridge). I was determined that I would stitch at least a little of it, so for evermore I had something to brag about! It was not only exciting being part of the big team working in shifts to get it all done in time, but it was also a fantastic opportunity to meet up with old colleagues I hadn’t seen in years.
The work was carried out in Hampton Court Palace, where the Royal School of Needlework is based. The rooms had to be swathed in muslin nets to stop visitors peering in and seeing what we were doing. I worked on the bodice of the dress (which was tiny) appliquéing little pieces of lace with teeny tiny stitches using needles so fine you could barely see to thread them.
It was magical to be part of the excitement, but it is also lovely to have the memories of watching the wedding with my family in awe as Kate stepped out of the car and the beautiful dress unfolded around her. I had only seen it in parts and still had no idea what the final design would be.”
Are you excited for the royal wedding? What do you think Meghan’s dress will be like? Tag us @CreaCrafts on Facebook to let us know your thoughts!