Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lindsey’s Wedding Dress – March-May 2010

Corset & Crinoline

My first task was to make a corset fitting, and after a few minor adjustments, we had our foundation for the dress.  Next, I worked on the crinoline.  I designed it from scratch, and based it on the simple design of the crinolines found in almost every ready-to-wear wedding dress.  We had to have a couple of fittings before the tiers were in the right spot, and poufy enough.

Crinoline pinned to the corset
Crinoline sewn to the corset 
Green underskirt

I was confident enough in the pattern I chose for the green satin skirt that I cut and sewed it without making a muslin first.  I made sure it would be too big, not too small, so I could take it in if need be, and that turned out to be the case.
Green Satin Underskirt

I made a cotton muslin for the overdress.  I used the front skirt pattern from my favorite Burda dress pattern.  I actually made these dresses for 2 of my bridesmaids.  I’ve been in love with this pattern since the first time I laid eyes on it, and I’m glad I get to use it again for this dress. 

Burda 8321
I made up the back of the dress using yet another pattern.  It has princess seams and a center back zipper. 
Back of dress
I was pleasantly surprised and a little bit shocked that the overdress fit perfectly, aside from the bodice pieces.   The pleats in the front of the skirt drape perfectly over the crinoline and full green skirt.  I couldn’t have asked for better results.  Yay!  The first bodice was a crossover style, and it was pleated.  It fit fine, but the pleats were all clustered in the center. 
First overdress fitting
It wasn’t quite what we were looking for, so I tried another gathered version, and it was awful. 

I was so miffed with the results, I threw them out without getting a picture!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lindsey's Wedding Dress - Stage 1 - February 2010

In the Fall, Lindsey asked if I would design and make her wedding dress and bridesmaids’ dresses.  In February, we met for a day of brainstorming, going over patterns, sketching a design, and of course, fabric shopping!

We chose a design made up of a few different elements taken from a handful of patterns.  We picked a skirt from one pattern, a bodice from another, an underskirt from another, and of course I had to include my favorite corset pattern.
Skirt Front pattern
Bodice pattern
Underskirt and Back of dress
Corset pattern
We had a general idea of what colours and fabrics we wanted, and we had pretty good luck finding all the components of the wedding gown at one store.  We chose a green peau de soie satin for the underskirt, and the most gorgeous lace for the overlay for the green skirt, as well as the overlay for the bodice pieces, and cap sleeves.  Lindsey fell in love with a delicate ivory silk satin for the overdress. 

Lindsey in front of the wall of lace at the fabric store
Silk satin, lace, and green satin
Somebody's excited!
The bridesmaids will be wearing simple knee-length skirts and stretchy tops, each of a different design.  We found a sumptuous drapey lineney/rayoney fabric for the skirts.  It’s my personal favorite out of the bunch.  It feels like butter, and I can’t wait to sew with it!  At the end of the day, we made our final lucky strike and found some gorgeous ivory stretch satin for the tops. 

Skirt fabric.  Look at that texture!
Stretch satin on the left, skirt fabric on the right
Skirt fabric with green ribbon
We also bought some darker green ribbon and a few different sizes of green beads to add embellishment to both Lindsey’s dress and the bridesmaids’ skirts.

Assortment of beads

Monday, July 19, 2010

Amy's Renaissance Wedding - July 17, 2010

I found these on Facebook today, and I thought I'd put them up.  I'll put up more as soon as I see them!  You looked beautiful, Amy!  I love your hair and that awesome headband!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Amy's Renaissance Wedding Dress - Final Fitting - June 2010

Amy came for her final fitting in the middle of June.  I did one last fitting in the morning to check that everything was working.  I pinned the back of the dress to the wedding dress so that it would fit nicely around the ruffles.  I also checked the length of the hem and a few other minor details.
I did a few hours of last-minute sewing, and then Amy came back in the evening to try on her dress for the last time before she took it home.
This shows the close-up detail of the front of the bodice.  I love how it ties up in a slight V shape.
I love the way the back fits!  One of my favorite parts!
This is what the back of the dress looks like with the train down...
...and this is what the back of the dress looks like with the train bustled up.
This side shot is one of my favorites.  

Congratulations, Amy!  I hope you had a wonderful wedding day!  I had a blast making this for you.

Amy’s Renaissance Wedding Dress – Sewing – June 2010

Everything fit very well at the last fitting, so now it was time for me to get down to the nitty gritty and put this whole thing together! 

I cut out the bodice pieces in the main fabric.  I sewed them together and sewed on gold trim on all the seamlines.
I attached this new layer to the existing white bodice and sewed them together at the necklines and down the center front.  I turned it inside out and topstitched it, then I stitched the armholes and the bottom edge together.
Next, I cut out the skirt pieces and sewed them all together.  I topstitched the center front and back of the skirts, and I sewed trim onto the center back edges.  I gathered the top edges and pinned them to the bodice, then sewed them down.
I applied 4 grommets to the front of the bodice, making sure they would fit between the scallops on the trim.
I sewed the silk sleeves with elastic on the inside and trim on the outside.  This silk was like the icing on the cake.  The texture was amazing, and it was a little bit shiny, which brought out the gold embroidery on the trim.  Gorgeous!
I sewed the sleeves into the bodice, then I sewed the trim onto the center fronts and neckline of the dress.
That’s it!  Now I just have to wait until Amy’s final fitting, and I can pin up her hem and do a couple minor finishing details, and then it’s done!  I can’t wait to see what it looks like on her over that gorgeous white dress!  My poor little dress form just doesn’t do it justice.