The motif is attached!
It’s a bit hard to see on the mannequin, because in this case she’s just not close enough to my measurements. But it’s looking really good!
I put in some fusible interfacing, but I’m not happy with it; the adhesive isn’t very good, and it’s causing bubbles. So once the lining has been attached around the neckline and armholes I’ll take the interfacing out – it can just provide a bit of extra support behind the motif and along the seamlines.
I am a little bit concerned about how heavy the motif is. I’m going to put in a waist stay, which should help. I’m also thinking that, maybe in addition to fully lining the bodice, I should add a facing around the neckline in a firmer fabric. What do you think?
The dress is coming along really well now. The silk satin is *beautiful* to work with, and I love it looks. The colour is just perfect. But now I’m up to the bit where I have to make these two pieces into one:
No, you’re not going crazy, it’s not actually Wednesday. I’m just too impatient to wait until Wednesday to post this!
So, I ordered the fabric on Saturday. I managed to find the perfect shade of grey in a silk satin and georgette – they didn’t have it in stock, but fortunately someone else had placed an order for the same material (for bridesmaids dresses, apparently), so I was able to piggyback on their order.
I was able to get a little sample of the fabrics:
And then somehow this fell into my shopping bag:
Isn’t it stunning? It’ll make an amazing centrepiece for my bodice. What I’m planning is to do a trial run bodice with a high neckline, position the motif, and then draw in the neckline in a way that suits the motif.
Also, I’ve gone back to the original plan for the skirt. I tried out the gathered effect, but I think you’d actually need to treat the fabric (something along the lines of fine pleating?) to get that effect.
I’m pretty nervous about it now that it’s actually happening – I just hope it all turns out OK.
I’ve been doing a lot of research and thinking on my wedding dress this week. I was still trying to get the back to fit, and doing some research on adjustments for “sway back”. What really concerned me was that all the information was saying you should only need to adjust by a centimetre or so, and I needed to do a lot more than that.
The other thought nagging at the back of my mind was, “I don’t want to have to do this every time I sew something” (when I stop and think, I’ve never actually sewn a dress that’s fitted me *well*).
I considered making a sloper, but last time I tried, I ended up with a Picasso-esque construction that bore absolutely no relation to my body.
So yesterday I drove across the city and visited a dressmaker, who is going to make me my very own sloper. I know there will be a bodice, skirt and sleeves. She sketched a pair of pants as well, but I don’t think I’m getting them (it’s something I might consider going back for later).
The great thing is that she’s willing to work with my budget – by making the toile and tracing the final paper pattern onto cardboard myself, I’m able to save quite a bit, which is good.
I’ll get the first draft in a week, and make up the toile, so hopefully I’ll have the final pattern the week after.
In the meantime, I’ve been playing around with the overskirt. I’ve worked out what I need to do to achieve roughly this effect, albeit without the flounce at the front (which doesn’t worry me):
But then, as I mentioned on Monday, this photo appeared on Pinterest:
I love, love, love how luxurious this looks. I wouldn’t have it as long, obviously, as I don’t want a train at all, but I can imagine having two layers of tightly gathered georgette (or maybe one less gathered one underneath with a very gathered one over the top).
Not only do I think this could actually end up looking lovelier, but I also like the fact that it would be more economical, as I could cut the skirt across the grain.
It’s a good thing I was able to get a bargain on 10m of chiffon – I think I’m going to have to make a trial of each to see what I prefer!
I’m heading back to Adelaide this weekend for a kitchen tea my mum and cousin are throwing for me, so things will be a bit quiet here. But hopefully I’ll be back with more news next week!
I’ve been busy this week organising wedding invitations. They went in the post today, which is very exciting – it makes the whole thing seem a lot more real.
This has meant that I haven’t had a lot of time for wedding dress fitting. I’ve done a little bit of work, and … it hasn’t been overly satisfying. The front is fine, but the back is just so difficult to work out. The big problem, of course, is that it’s really difficult for me to see my own back. To be honest, I’m not really sure what I’m going to do.
So today I decided to take a break and play around with some embroidery.
It’s really changed my mind about what I want to do. The embroidery? Meh. It’s not doing anything for me at all, and I just didn’t like the way the stitching sat on the texture of the fabric. But those sequins – be still my beating heart! I bought them from Alison Cole just after Christmas, and they’ve been sitting in my sewing room calling to me ever since. So now I’m thinking of just scattering sequins down from the shoulders of the bodice – it should be much more achievable than fully embroidering the bodice.
Of course I have to get a bodice that actually fits first. We’ll see what happens.
Has it really been almost two weeks since my last post? Sorry for my absence – but then it wasn’t unexpected! If all goes right, we should be in Brisbane in two weeks time, which is just crazy.
On the weekend I decided to fit it one last bodice fitting before we moved. I hoped this would be my last fitting, and used a polyester satin so that I could see how it worked with a softer fabric. Well, it’s safe to say things didn’t go as planned.
Firstly, sorry for the disgusting state of my mirror. So what’s going on here? Well, the first problem was the horrible, horrible fabric I used. That stuff is the rebellious teenager of fabrics – it’s going to do what it wants, when it wants, and if you try and get it to change it’ll just get even worse. This satin would not hold a crease, which meant I couldn’t fold the seam allowances under, and it was just really hard to manipulate in general. So I’m going to go back to calico for my next few fittings, then use lining fabric as an approximate of the crepe de chine I’m planning on using for the final dress.
The other big problem was that I took the shoulder seams in too much, so everything was just sitting too high. I also didn’t do my grading correctly, so the side seams in particular didn’t meet up properly. But given I’ve never done any grading before in my life, I’m not surprised I’m making mistakes! At least I know where I’m going wrong.
The good news is that last night I managed to score this amazing haul:
A woman my mother does embroidery with studied dressmaking years ago, and wanted to get rid of her textbooks. We traded her some new quilting books and fabrics in return. I’m so stoked about this – especially the Helen Joseph Armstrong – I’ve been wanting to get a copy of that for ages! The one on the front left, Modern Pattern Design, also has some fabulous retro designs. Would you be interested in seeing some reviews of these? Let me know and I’ll see what I can do!
I feel like I should apologise in advance for the decidedly unglamourous backdrop for the photos in this post. Unfortunately the only mirror in our current home is in the bathroom, so you’re going to get lots of lovely views of toilet paper.
I spent the weekend working on fitting the bodice to my dress. As much as I was keen to keep working on the skirt, I realised I couldn’t appropriately figure out the length of the skirt until the bodice was sorted.
I took my measurements and, being a Japanese book, I sat somewhere between the medium and large. Thinking that I’d be pretty miserable if I cut out the medium and it was too small, I decided to go with the large.
It positively swam on me. Also, it made it clear that the gathering wasn’t going to work with my plans to embroider the bodice. Fortunately the front lining in this pattern is provided with darts, so I could use that. I cut out the medium accordingly, and this time I basted in a zip so it would be easier to fit myself.
(The cat isn’t a very good fitting assistant.)
This was a much better fit around the waistband – in fact it’s a little on the small side here, but I’ll see how that changes with a softer fabric. The upper section was still way too large, though.
My next attempt was to cut out the small in the upper section, grading to medium in the waistband. I was feeling a bit better about this version, so I took the time to press under all the seam allowances, and insert the zip properly.
Getting there! At this stage I was beginning to think I would have to add side darts or some sort of princess seam, which I was a bit nervous about, especially as it would make the embroidery more complicated. But first, I thought I would just try taking in a bit extra at the shoulder and side seams.
I was so happy with this! You can see it’s still a bit gappy on the back, but the other side was much better – it’s not just because I’m holding up the camera. It’s also a lovely fit around the arm. So it looks like I need to take in an additional 1.5cm at the shoulder and side seams – I’m not sure what’s going on here, and just how weird my proportions are.
The Mister comes home tonight (sadly it looks like he’ll only be here for a week), so I probably won’t get any work done on the dress this weekend. But we’re having our engagement shoot done on Monday, so hopefully I’ll have some pretty pictures to show off!