Kate Middleton's Handcrafted Wedding Gown and Veil

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    Kate Middleton's Wedding Gown

    Kate Middleton's Wedding Gown
    Kate Middleton and Prince William. Getty Images

    We honestly didn't expect to cover any of the details when Kate Middleton married Great Britain's Prince William in 2011. But we knew that quilters would appreciate the hand appliqué and embroidery used to create Kate's wedding gown and veil, both designed by Sarah Burton for the British label Alexander McQueen.

    Kate's Wedding Gown

    Kate Middleton's wedding gown was made from ivory and white satin, with a skirt that was designed to resemble an opening flower. The ivory satin...MORE bodice is narrow at the waist and padded at the hips, with 58 silk and organza covered buttons on its back.

    The underskirt of Kate's wedding dress was crafted from silk tulle trimmed with Cluny lace, a closely woven type of bobbin lace that often resembles floral designs or leaves. Bobbin lace is made with threads wound around long narrow bobbins -- not like the bobbins we use in modern sewing machines. Stitches are held in place with pins that are placed in a pattern on the working surface, usually a pillow filled with styrofoam or another type of material.

    The wedding gown's train is over 4-1/2 feet long (take a look on page 3).

    Members of the Royal School of Needlework worked with the gown's design team to cut out and apply each rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock motif from lace fabric.

    Royal School of Needlework members who worked on Kate's wedding dress included current and former staff members, tutors, graduates and students (the youngest was 19 years old). They pinned the shapes in place and then appliquéd them to the fabric with very closely spaced hand stitches -- a stitch every 2 or 3 millimeters.

    Craftspeople washed their hands every 30 minutes in order to keep the materials absolutely clean, and hand sewing needles were changed every three hours to prevent the snags that can occur when sewing with a dull-pointed needle.

    Kate's Wedding Veil

    Kate Middleton's veil was made from ivory silk tulle trimmed with hand-embroidered flowers, another task completed by members of the Royal School of Needlework.

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    Hand Appliqued Lace on Kate Middleton's Wedding Dress

    Hand Applique Lace on Kate Middleton's Wedding Dress
    Appliqued lace along the bottom of Kate Middleton's wedding dress. Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

    A Closer Look at Kate Middleton's Wedding Gown

    This picture offers a much closer look at the intricate appliqued lace along the bottom of Kate Middleton's wedding gown. 

    Quilters Make Wedding Gowns, Too

    Some members of our quilting community have made wedding gowns for family members, and many of the quilters added heavy embellishments of embroidery and quilting. Devoting expertise to such an important and time-consuming task is a labor of love that requires both dedication and skill....MORE Everyone within the quilting community applauds the designs and the commitment it takes to finish these much-loved projects.

    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
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    Full View of Kate's Wedding Gown and Train

    Kate Middleton's Wedding Gown
    Kate Middleton's Wedding Gown. Getty Images

    A full view of Kate Middleton's wedding gown, with her sister Pippa holding the 4-1/2 foot train.