It all got pretty busy. Here’s the timeline of the work so far. [I think I got slightly ahead of myself in the last post!]
BLOG POST #1 Ele-mentary
November- project first broached.
December/January- styles discussed, budget and deadline set.
February- visit to Bridal shops, further style decisions reached, pattern ordered, toile and main fabrics purchased.
BLOG POST #2 Ele-vation
March 13th- first fitting of toile
BLOG POST #3 El-aboration
March 27th-blush tulle and illusion mesh collected
April 8th-fitting: mesh bodice attached, and we played with lace from my stash to consider proportion and style
BLOG POST #4 Emb-EL-ishment
April 13th and 24th- lace orders collected, buttons and elastic delivered
April 28th- ivory tulle arrived
May 20th- another fitting to play with appliqué and make any final choices
BLOG POST #5 Ele-gant
June 16th- final visit, to trim tulle, tweak any tweakings, and work out bustle points.
BLOG POST #6 Ele-fun!
Now read on…
I used the toile as the underlining and pattern for cutting out the main fabric, an ivory poly dupion which we’d found at Barry’s Warehouse. Nice weight, good value for money. It sewed up again very quickly, and I pieced in the fabric from that pinned-together train extension, sewing with a herringbone stitch for a flatter finish, fewer seam ridges to show through.
I finished the underbodice, binding top and bottom with bits of bias, which would have been very important if I’d remembered to add it into the construction at the very end, instead of sandwiching it between dress and lining. More of that later.
I didn’t take many pictures of this stage of the construction, nothing much to say really.
We eventually found a tulle that was wide enough to [almost] cut circles for the skirt length, and they chose a blush pink. I said it would need at least two layers, so we got enough for that.
I wrestled with that damn tulle for hours trying to lay it out on the floor so I could cut it more or less to size [erring on the long side of course] Evil, evil stuff. [E-veil get it?]
Of course, when I’d basted it to the dress, it was miles short at the back. So I started cogitating, then codging. First I just made a slit in the tulle a few inches down the back, and sort of wriggled and juggled it, angling it down so the front was at waist level but the back dropped to the bottom of the zip, gaining several inches. Not quite enough ‘as the crow flies’ but good enough, considering how a train and its over-layers shift about in the real world. I gave up on trying to level it, as I have no dressmaker’s dummy.
Once we were doing the fitting, I could trim it. Sort of. Oh boy that stuff FIGHTS BACK!
I draped the illusion bodice at this stage, staystitching the neck and back until the buttons were chosen. That stuff is DELICATE!
Then we got googling, hit eBay at the run, and started looking at more lace options. We spent some time debating lace appliqués. Should she go with the beautiful ivory-on-ivory of the sample dress, or go with her original choice of black? I explained that a large part of the total budget could go on lace, and that the wrong choice would potentially ruin the final look, so we approached it with caution.
I got out lots of oddments and samples from stash so she could think about the type of lace patterns she liked, and those she didn’t. Nothing too flowery, but swirls a go-go please.
Good old eBay had lots to offer, but mostly [of course] in white or ivory. We talked about scale, and I tried to guesstimate quantites depending on different size choices. I largely considered the scale of the piece or pieces required for the back, and for the train.
Here are some of the ones we looked at. Gorgeous, I love lace!
And we stopped at this point, as she was getting overwhelmed, and needing time to think it through and debate with her mum.
Off she went, and things were ordered. Want to know what? On to the next post then!