Monday, June 10, 2013

Wedding Sewing 1 - Brides Dress REDO

I was planning on making many dresses for our DD's wedding. I'll do a post about each of the types. But I was not planning on doing the most important dress sans perhaps a little alteration after we received the dress in mid May. Plans change.
So here's my list.
1. Brides Gown - redo the whole bodice lining and reapply beading
2. Bridesmaids -5 of them
3. Flower Girls - 4 of them - matching accessories for little grandsons (2)
4. Mother of the Bride (Me - MOB)
5. Temple Dress for Bride
6. Alter my Wedding Dress for Steph to wear for the ceremony

Today I'll show a little of what I had to do to Steph's dress to bring it up to her dream.
It arrived from the shop in a built up modest bodice that looked beautiful and not frumpy. We had ordered the lace build up on top of the bustline and down the cap sleeves with a nude liner so the lace would really pop. Lace that is on top of it's own color of liner is pretty, but if it is lined with a contrasting color you really see the design of the lace.
Here are a couple of examples:
 This fleshy colored dress has obvious lace, but if it had a dark or light lining, the lace would show off more, like in the next example.
This lace shows all the little details of the design. It is because it has a darker lining than the off white lace.

Well... we were trying to get that lace to pop and instead, the design shop which is a very reputable one called Casa Blanca, just lined it with an off white that they apparently had in their shop for off white orders.

 I kinda was disappointed when I first saw the lining, but the rest of the dress was so cool and Stephanie-esque that I just hoped she'd think it was just right. (and sit right down to eat the porridge)
I mean, just look at that train and whole skirt. It is made up of vertical strips of lace, organza and these are set set about 1/2 inch apart and ruffling all the way down to the ground and beyond.
very up to date, yet classic. We loved it on her.
However, it did kind of look like they had just picked up the closest off white they could find and it didn't show off the lace hardly at all.
When she came home a couple weeks after I received the dress, my suspicions were confirmed and we went hunting for "nude" colored fabric to line the top bodice in.
Here are the fabrics we used and didn't use. The pink on the bottom left is the inside of the dress next to the body. The light off white on top was what the dress came with under the lace, and the tan color,  middle right is what we used for a better result under the lace. This underlace and the lace together made up the "fashion fabric," or the fabric that the dress appears to be made from.
I had to take off all the bug surface beading that was attached to the liner. I'd say that was about 1/3 of all the beading, but the threads were all connected to all the beading, so they just kept falling off of the threads whenever I moved me or the dress. Probably 1500 beads fell off.
The lace that connected the pieces also had to come off and then be reapplied. These were the time consuming jobs of the project.
I also had to take off the sleeves, top back bodice and top front bodice. Then I took those pieces and used them for a pattern to make new pieces out of the darker nude fabric. After attaching these new pieces, I could sew up the seams and just treat the new nude/lace combination as the outer fashion fabric.
 Now you could see the contrast and the lace really shows off well.
Stephs measurements had been taken previous to purchase, and we had ordered the dress to come in three different sizes. At least that was how the dress expert at the bridal boutique needed to express it in her order.  One for the bust, one for the waist, one for the hip. Stephanie's bust and waist were the same size and her hip was 3 sizes larger.
Well the fit was really pretty good, except the bust was too tight, and the waist and hips were too loose.
You are supposed to be able to alter these dresses using just the two side seams, but the dress had been cut too small in the bust, so didn't have enough fabric in those side seams to take out. I probably got another 1/8 inch in each of those 2 seams (times 2 sides of the seam) for a total of 4/8 or 1/2 inch total for the two seams and we needed more I let the bust line out. So I had to take out the princess seaming down the bodice front and back to get another inch of space for her.
They probably didn't believe the measurements at the sewing shop and so cut a more smooth connection between the bust/waist/hips. It should have been one size larger in the bust, then down one size then up 3 sizes, or something like that.
Oh, I forgot to mention that the zipper top half and the buttons down the back had to come off for the replaced liner. Yeah - I forgot to mention that. Therefore more beads falling all over the couch.
To solve bead loss somewhat I had a cereal bowl on my lap at all times and when I stood up, I would quickly turn around to the couch where I was sitting on a plain colored tightly woven blanket and let beads fall. My new rule for anyone leaving the couch area was that they had to locate a few beads on the shag rug below my work space before the person vacated their spot.
Good rule huh?
Well before the end of the 3 day weekend that Stephanie was home for her bridal shower, I had the large portion of the dress fitted properly and put back together. Then I made another rule for myself. "Whatever I can get done on the rebeading and lacing of this gown THIS WEEK, I will do. Whatever I don't get done, will NOT get done." That is all the time I could use because our house was hosting a wedding in 2 more weeks, and I had other things that had to be finished.
I was able to put many beads back on this beautiful dress, and tie off other loose ends of thread throughout the next week, and then I had to be satisfied that it was done. The largest beads were all back on unless lost, but there were many smaller beads that are in a little baggie now. They were difficult to even find a needle to get through them, but are like little mirrors of reflection in circular lines throughout the dress. Very elegant addition to the lace embellishment these beads are.
At least they were not still falling off the dress in droves. Just a few here and there on the wedding day fell off of their unsecured threads.
And she looked gorgeous!

1 comment:

  1. I cannot believe you managed to do all of that. It is beyond my ability to even imagine.

    You are a wonder. And that's the truth.