Here comes the bride!

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Dec 8, 2003
I had heard stories of framing wedding dresses and now I have I lost my innocence.

I was told that this dress is about 50 (something) years old and this frame was given to the bride on her 70th birthday. I may call Monday to see how it was received.



Tucking the trane (or is it train?) into the dress without making it bulky was the hardest part.

As you can clearly see I couldn't fit in it no matter how I tried!
Super job, Jay
and I think you did a fine job tucking in the train.

Did you use the Attach-EZ? I don't have one, but have been considering buying one. It would certainly take forever to hand sew that large of a piece.

Also, what kind of glazing did you use?
Plexi and I used needle and thread. It actually only took about 2 hours to sew it down.
Jay that is a monumental mounting job.

I don't have the pictures ( anymore) but I once did an antique Christian gown ( from circa early 1900s) and we joked that it was almost big enough to be a small wedding gown( they used to have these extremly long Ornate hem lines that were twice as long as the Childs legs) and that the shadowbox frame( very similar profile) would have made a great window casing.

However as large as those Old Style Christening gowns could be your WEDDING GOWN even with out the Train dwarfed what we did. And yes Marie stitched it down also ( if I had done it 2 hours would have just gotten me started.LOL). After all those type articles require TRUE C/P mounting as you so correctly pointed out.
It paid my rent this month and then some.

I would be very happy to do about 4 of these a month for the rest of my life!

Thanks Buddy.
Originally posted by Jay H:
Plexi and I used needle and thread. It actually only took about 2 hours to sew it down.
I am so impressed that it only took you 2 hours to sew it down. I sewed down a hockey jersey not too long ago and it took me a lot longer than that - I guess I'm slow. :D
Either your slow or I just did it wrong!

Or both.

Actually after I got the train all tucked in, it sewed down very fast. I sewed in place with maybe 10 stitches and then stuffed it with cotton and mat board. Then shot about 15 or so more stitches.

I have learned that when I take time to cut the matboard so that it holds the shape of the item, it sews down quicker. Just a thought?
Originally posted by Jay H:
Either your slow or I just did it wrong!

Or both.

I think I'm just slow. I do cut a matboard form to fit inside the jersey, but I still put quite a few stitches around to mount it to the backing board - usually every couple of inches. Perhaps that is overkill on my part...
Good Job!

Are those Kinkaids I see in the background???
just checking, wasn't sure from what little I could see of the pictures :D
Originally posted by Elaine:

Are those Kinkaids I see in the background???
Terry Redlin, but what's the difference?

The 'artwork' sells for a profit, or it doesn't.

I have a Redlin piece in the store now, it is the last one, and I can't give it away. It is rare piece. It is number 8257 of 29500.
I almost never sell one i have framed. But I sell them special order fairly often just becuase I show em.
Nice job Jay! I wish I had taken a picture of the one I talked to you about, but alas, I didn't. It was the biggest fattest most unwieldy thing I ever framed. The skirt was a big billowy mound of tulle and the train made it like 15 feet long......I had to bind down the tulle just to contain it's billowy-ness and then I had to create an opening in the mat to fold back the train so it could comfortably lay on the other side out of view. This thing ended up being 10 inches deep. I get the heebie-jeebies just reliving it.

When I gave it to them they loved it but called and wanted to know if they could add some photos and gloves. Plus, she was concerned because she was a size 4 and the way I had it laid out made her look like a size 12. So, I got to reopen the whole thing and do it all over again. I didn't mind redoing it because her husband gave me 6 days to do this project, it was a Valentines gift. I had inadvertently left a couple t-pins loose in the package and when I had the insurance guy next door help me turn it over ad get it off the table one of them had positioned itself between the dress and glass. :eek: I was as close to hysterical as I have ever been as a framer. He came up with the idea to get a magnet and we were able to relocate the pin to another area......but I knew it would show up again. Danged thing sat in my shop mocking me for 6 months waiting for them to bring me photos.

Wow, I feel so much better now getting that out. Thanks for allowing me the emotional cleansing.......
I had to bring the waist in on this one also becuase it was to wide. Women!
Jay, I wondered about that "Barbie Waist". But women were smaller-waisted then, and with those awful cinches they wore, it could've been. Did you take it in for the same reason Kathy had to (customer anorexia?)

I had to take in a chef's coat waist once. And had a football player once said of his jersey, "Couldn't you have made the shoulders look bigger?" Sure, give me those shoulder pads, and a frame 12inches deeper and wider and, btw, more $$$ He decided it was okay as it was.

I think that's called "vanity sizing". Ha!
Dumb question here....(sorry)

I understand you cut a mat the shape of the clothing, and then insert it... to keep the shape, right? But what next? How do you support the mat? Do you sew through the material, the cut mat, AND the backing board?

PS: Great color on your display wall.
Yes Susan, I sewed through foam, mat, material, and mat (inside the dress) and back again and tied a knot. I'm not saying its right but it seems to work well because it holds shape and requires a fraction of the stitches if you don't use a mat inside. There is a top mat to hold and shape the bust area and a bottom one to help me mash the train flat on the bottom. You can actually see the line across the bottom of the dress where under the lace.

Jo, the glass size was 32x65. The frame is about 2.5" after I widened the rabbit to about .5" to hide the side mats. So I guess that would make it about 36x69ish.
Thanks for the info, Jay.

Congratulations on the beautiful work.
Thanks, Jay. Did you do stand it up to do the fitting on back or lay it face down? It's interesting to hear how others manage large items.
Jay, beautiful job. Since you are using internal forms, you should check out Jim Miller's recent PFM article about using the AttchEZ gun along with internal forms to speed the job of mounting clothing items. He made it look pretty straightforward. (Gotta get me one of them devices.)

Kathy, I can understand your need for emotional catharsis on that project. The frustration of having to redo a big complicated thing like that is stressful enough, but having to babysit a big 10" deep shadowbox for that long would have sent me to the asylum (or to prison on a murder rap). Please tell me that you charged them a LOT for your time.

:cool: Rick
The framing is prettier than the dress.