My sister got married this past September, and like all people with questionable decision making abilities and poor impulse control, I offered to make her wedding dress…
WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?
It all worked out.
I’ve been meaning to put together a post about the process for months, but I guess I needed a little wedding detox first.
This was my most ambitious project to date, and I was a little nervous about it, but I also really wanted to challenge myself and go outside the comfort zone of what I usually make.
My sister wanted a strapless dress with a fitted bustier top and a full skirt. She wanted the top to be lace and have built in bra cups and the skirt to be chiffon with some gathering at the waist for optimum floaty-ness and swishy-ness.
First skirt muslin.
At first we thought the skirt of the dress should have tiers, so I draped a version like that. My sister decided she wanted the skirt to have a sleeker look, so I draped a second one. This time I also used poly chiffon instead of muslin to get a better idea of how the finished skirt would look.
Second skirt “muslin” (chiffon).
I draped a muslin for the top as well and had my sister try it on several times so I could adjust the fit and get the style lines just right. She tried it on with the awesome beaded capelet she planned to wear at the wedding for the full effect.
Once everything was fitting correctly I made a paper pattern from my muslin and used that to cut out all of the pattern pieces for the dress.
Cutting, basting, sewing…
The bodice needed to be cut out four times – lace/satin/lining/fusible. Before sewing, I completely basted the lace pieces to the satin pieces, all around the edges. The bodice was also fully boned and needed underwires, so once the lining was constructed I stitched in casings along all of the necessary seams. I used flat steel boning for extra support.
My very professional method of weighting fabric down with Roseanne and Simpsons DVD boxes.
I had to cut the skirt out on the floor because it was so flared. To keep the silk from shifting (and also to keep it clean) I cut it between paper. To do this, just lay one sheet of pattern paper out on your cutting surface, then lay your fabric on top of the paper, then lay another sheet of paper on top of the fabric. Trace your pattern onto the top piece of paper and cut through all the layers as one.
It’s coming together…
So after many weeks, some back spasms and a few crying fits…
Oh yeah, we also decided to add straps to help keep the dress up. I realized it probably needed a LOT more boning and interfacing to help it stay up, with the weight of all that skirt fabric pulling it the other way. But I think the straps look really nice!
Well that’s it! The wedding was so much fun, but it felt like it was over in a flash! I think it should have been more like a wedding weekend:) It was awesome!!
I also made my dress, but I’ll save that for the next post!