The Wedding Dress Saga Part 1

One fated day before we were even engaged, I decided to sew my wedding dress. While I have cursed and cried and screamed and bled, I could not have asked for or found a more perfect dress for me.

Enjoy the show:

What on earth was I going to make? What fabric did I want to use? How long did I want it to be? So many questions that literally needed an answer before I started even thinking about sewing my wedding dress.

What I wanted:
Tea-length, demure, full skirt, vintage feel, sleeves, a higher neckline or illusion neck, not white, and a hint of sparkles, but mostly lace.

Good freaking luck finding that – still to this day have not found anything remotely close to my dress.

I found my pattern pretty quickly. A yoke waisted dress with a massively full skirt, high neck, and sleeves. A check on all my requirements and for an added bonus, the dress was meant to be made out of lace! Enter Claire Shaeffer’s Vogue 8943:

Well, this is perfect.

Thus began the search to find my fabrics! I searched online for expensive laces and embroidered organzas but nothing spoke to me, it all seemed like it was made for someone else. What was worse, it was overwhelming. So one day while doodling around on my favorite fabric site, I stumbled upon this gem:

Starlight Sequin Damask Mesh Gold on Ivory

The search was drawing to a close. This combined with an ivory flat cotton lace with scallops on both selvages would make my dress. Keep in mind, the dress requires scallops from the fabric to edge the hem, neckline, and sleeve. With no scalloping on the selvages of the mesh, I had to get creative. Looking at flat trim lace, I figured I could cut away the gold scallop from the white and use that as my edging. I selected two laces, one for the skirt hem that is large, and one for the sleeves and neck that is small:

The Big Lace

The Small Lace

By now you’ve realized that I didn’t want a whole lot of sparkle, but suddenly I have a disco ball type of fabric. Yup, that happened. I have no defense. Sparkles are the best. Solidarity with the shine sistas.

Now to find the buttons for the button back of the dress. This took forever! I finally found the buttons about a month away from the wedding while in NYC with my Mom. And yes, we were hunting for them! Bless the AMAZING selection of MJ Trimming!

The Saga continues soon with sewing and in progress shots! Check back soon for more!

Linen Petal Dress Creation

I have a few cuts of fabric that are solely dedicated for when I need a quick filler project to get my sewing fix. Yes, I am addicted, no, no help is needed. These two linen fabrics I’ve had for a while now, and finally decided to put this look together.

The petal style skirt was inspired by a look of Michelle Obama’s a few years ago – I love the idea of scallops without the actual hem being curved. The visual interest of this is something that I don’t see in most clothing stores except very expensive ones – because the seams cannot be set by machine, they must be worked by a seamstress.

So many petals!

 

To start – all the petals!

Full disclosure – I did mash-up two Butterick patterns for this dress to make the whole process as quick as possible: B5707 for the bodice and B5894 for the skirt.

 

 

 

Then I sewed them all together! Shocking!

Then I stitched over each seam with a pre-set decorative chain stitch from my Pfaff.

At this point, the skirt is nearing completion. After I did all the decorative stitches, I attached the hem of the black linen around all the curves of the petals. Once each side was done, I stitched up the sides and put the decorative stitch over the side seams.

The bodice was fun to work with and sewed up rather quick. I adore the box corners on the bodice and the kimono style sleeves.

Close-up of the box cornered bodice, dart, and sleeve style.

All that’s left is the keyhole neckline, which just required a quick rolled seam at the opening. I added a bit of decorative stitching to add visual interest to the bodice because it felt a bit flat.

Backside detail of the keyhole sewn open (before pressing)

Then just sew the bodice and the skirt together, throw in a zipper, and voile: dress!

Photo credit: Nick Ferris