Next post will be about the wedding day, today will focus on the dress.
I'd like to start out by saying what an honor it was that my dear DD trusted me to make this dress. That said, I was clearly in over my head more than once. Making a dress for an occassion this important should be a well thought out decision. Mine was made with my gut.
What made this so difficult?
- My fitting skills are rusty
- The Bride lives 300 miles away and fittings were spread too far apart
- There are parts of the inspiration dress that I didn't even notice until it was too late to make changes
- The lace was a NIGHTMARE to work with. The manufacturer couldn't possibly believe that this would be used in a garment that would be worked with or worn anywhere outside a clean room with no rough or sharp surfaces. ANYWHERE.
- The Bride made some last minute decisions about foundation. This changed the already tenuous fit of the dress. Everything had been stitched up solid at that point and there was no going back but no changing her mind either.
The lesson here is that perfect is not my perception of a stitch or a wrinkle, a shadow or a gap. Perfect is the sunny day, the love of two people pledging their love, the laughter, the friends, the smiles and the recorded proof in photographic form. "Everything was just a beautiful as I remember it."
I've recorded a lot of what went into this dress on previous posts. When I last left off, I had most of the pieces fabricated and I just needed to put it all together (Progress Pics). The next post was in March, when I had a day to refine the fit and added a bit to the sides seams. In late April, I drove to Pullman for another fitting. She'd lost weight and it was now too large, back home, take a bit off, and then to final assembly.
For review, I used New Look 6401 and David's Bridal T9612 as jumping off points. There were quite a few pattern modifications required to get there. Here are the notes I kept.
Skirt, lace and satin:
Front should be cut as one piece, use side seams from pattern, create darts where side seams appear on pattern. All front shaping should be done in this manner.
At low hip, insert Godet/gore. Cut at least full width.
Back should be cut similar to pattern, but with piece cut straight down side after low hip to accommodate gore. Piece 7 should also be cut straight at center back. Insert gore at center back just below zipper.
Train will need to be lengthened and shaped with center gore and both back pieces. Lace train should extend approximately 2 inches beyond satin @ train.
Bodice, lace overlay:
Redraw bodice to create crossover @ center front.
consider joining pieces 1 and 2 at shoulder.
Bodice , satin:
The lace is a Ivory corded floral rayon, 60" wide purchased from Nancy's Sewing Basket in Seattle.
The lace trim is Ivory Bridal Veil Trim purchased from Pacific Fabrics in Seattle
The crepe back satin is Champagne colored, purchased at Joanns.
Interlining and lining are silk broadcloth, purchased when the bride was 10 with the intent of making her a gown some day. I am seriously deranged...
All the beads were purchased at Fusion Beads in Seattle. They were terrific to work with!
Here's what things looked like in the first week of May:
I finished the dress a week before the wedding. The hem was the last thing I had to do. I used the same trim that I used for the bodice to trim the lace. The trim caught on the rayon lace something fierce, and that was hard to deal with.
In all cases where the trim is applied, I used a fusible tape on the back of the trim, then fusing to the rayon. I went back and hand stitched everything, but getting it in place this way kept the yards of trim from snagging the rayon while I was working with it. Note of caution, use the lowest heat possible to activate the fusible. The "pearls" on the trim melted on my trial piece. Testing is really IMPORTANT.
So that's the dress!