Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bridesmaids Dresses (Wedding Sewing 2)

Sewing for children is easier and more forgiving than fitting and styling for adults in my opinion. I suppose this really just shows that my talent and knowledge doesn't lie in the fitting process.
I always have a certain idea in my head and just have a tad bit of difficulty seeing that idea come to fruition. There are probably several reasons for this:

1.  Finding a pattern that mimics what I have in mind is nearly impossible, and combining patterns doesn't always seem to work for me, even though I never make anything these days without combining at least 2 patterns.

2.  The styles that are popular have to be modified in order to make more modest clothing that I am trying to come up with. Bearing this in mind, I have to add some sleeves and raise a neckline or lower a hem without making the garment look frumpy. This is my biggest challenge.

3.  I haven't sewn enough for different body types to feel comfortable changing lengths, widths, shortenings, etc to ensure the best fit for each.

But ... A certain daughter of mine really wanted me to sew her wedding gown and if I agreed to sew her bridesmaids dresses instead, then she would let me off the hook.  Well, it's sort of a story along those lines anyway?

 So my trip to the crazy full fabric store "Fabrics R Us" found many different types of fabric in the turquoise, or Tiffany Blue, or Robin's Egg Blue that Steph wanted for the main color on the wedding day. I picked up some satin polyester, some poly chiffon, and some opaque lining poly to try out for different applications on the day. I also got nude lining samples and white lining to try with the chiffon, to see which one would look the best in a flowing long dress.
 Then I found some great crystal designs as well as individual sew-on crystals for a belt to match/blend with the brides belt.  I sent example pictures to her so she could give me her input on what looked the best and what was her vision of the bridesmaids dresses. We both thought the belts should be the same color as the dresses, and I looked far and wide for a wide matching grosgrain ribbon but in the end I couldn't find 2 1/2 inch ribbon even in satin that was the right color, so I made sashes out of the fashion fabric so it was an exact match.
 Stephanie's friend Nina was in town from Germany in February, so I quickly made up a dress like we had in mind for her to be fitted with. The cap sleeves are kind of a tulip type sleeve where there are two halves that overlap at the top of the shoulder coming off of the sides. I put pleats in them and we liked the look, so we decided to kind of mimic that in the bodice of the dress.
Here it is not quite put together yet, just to fit it on her. After that I put in the zipper, attached the sleeves and ironed more cover fabrics for the linings. I ironed those pleats in for HOURS, and they looked terrible to me when tried on, so I ironed a different direction and tried to get it to hang just so from the shoulders to the waist.
All 5 of them were somewhat different in the bodice pleating, because I never was happy with how it looked on the finished dress, so I would change it, hoping for a better result. I never really got one, but the little sleeves were cool and so was the flowing full skirt, and ultimately these 5 girls are beautiful so they really look good in anything they wear, so they were going to be just fine.
Here is one dress ready to try on. I would not put the zipper or sleeves onto the dress until after trying it on the girl, so I could easily change things up if necessary.
We ordered wooden hangers with the girls names on them so they could keep them apart if they were all in one place on the wedding day.

 I did like the look of the sleeves.
 The belts made on the fashion fabric turned out fabulously.
I also got a new tool for my sewing room for this project. It is a heat cutting tool. So no hem in these dresses needed to be sewn. I just literally cut the bottom off with this tool and no fraying.
It made them move in a flow that was even better than if they'd have had even a little rolled hem.
 I had to send many pictures to Stephanie for approval on design.
 Do you want the belt in a bow on the back?
Or just tied in a knot?
Maid of Honor, Kathryn, had her dress made last. (Cause she had a baby almost 3 months previous, so I concentrated on the other girls dresses first)
Very cool picture they posed for here.
Patiently waiting for the Bride and Groom to come out of the temple after the wedding/sealing ceremony.
Here are the 5 beautiful besties of the bride. Nina, Brittany, Kathryn, Hilary, Chelsey.

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