QUICK-STITCHING dressmaker Kevin Thornhill has won a race against time to recreate Kate Middleton’s wedding gown.
In just 24 hours, the 49-year-old managed to complete his version of the iconic dress – costing £350 to create – in time for a charity show.
Kevin had from the day of the Royal Wedding, to make his own version of the Duchess of Cambridge’s dress.
He said, depending on how complicated the design was, he would do his best to mimic the detail so he could showcase the dress during the fashion show on Saturday at All Saints Church, in Cleadon Village, which raised funds for the church.
And he did. At 4pm he dashed out to buy three yards of lace to copy the Grace Kelly 1950s-style dress, which had been designed by Sarah Burton, assistant of late designer Alexander McQueen and was the talk of the world.
Luckily, Kevin already had some Duchess satin in his home, similar to the silk used to make the new Royal’s dress.
Kevin’s dress features an 8ft train, the same as Kate’s, as well as a detailed bodice.
By 9am on Saturday, the corset-style bodice was done.
He spent the rest of the day working on the skirt and other details.
The Sunderland dressmaker trained under Terri Fox, who worked with David and Elizabeth Emmanuel on Princess Diana’s wedding dress which she wore to walk up the aisle at St Paul’s Cathedral to tie the knot with Prince Charles, in 1981.
He said: “Kate’s was silk, but when making a copy, you can’t afford to go all out on silk.
“I tried to copy it as much as I could, working off the images on the TV.
“I had to search for more pictures because the TV didn’t actually show a great deal of the back of the train.”
Kevin, who works for Durham County Council’s education department and is married to former teacher Mavis, said: “I thought Kate’s dress was fabulous. It was very traditional and lovely.
“It was a bit fuller than I thought. It was very much a 1950s sort of thing.
“I’ve just made a 1940s wedding dress for someone.
“Styles changed after the Queen got married, especially as in the 1940s, there wasn’t the materials.”
Kevin, who is originally from Peterlee, last year showcased his own version of the People’s Princess’ dress, which featured a 12.5ft train in a charity event at Peterlee Methodist Church, where he is a parishioner.