Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wedding dresses finished

My two dresses turned out better than I ever imagined. If you look closely there are lots of details that could be improved and knowing what I do now, there are many things I would do slightly differently or more neatly. However, I was delighted with the look and fit of each of them and have worn the maroon one several times for dances since.

First, some photos from our wedding: the white dress.

Getting ready


Processing with my parents

With the groomsmen

Matt has me by the veil :-)

Back to Blogging: The wedding dress sewing

It's terrifying to realise I have taken a year and half to get around to posting here. But I guess it's better late than never.

My wedding dresses came together well, though there was quite a lot of last minute work. There were some near heroic efforts the night before our first reception with my mother and I both hemming different parts of the dress at once and then the night before our wedding, I was still sewing on buttons and the seams between the lining and the silk at the back opening. Oh yes and I almost forgot the 1am help from my sister as I worked on the veil. (Who knew a veil would take so much time to construct!?)

Here are a few last minute sewing photos.... next post I'll show the finished products.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Syracuse dress - basted together

My Syracuse dress is now almost sewn together. Most of the seams are finished except I have only basted the bodice to the skirt (which is why it isn't sitting flat). The reason I have left that seam un-done is that I'm thinking about completely re-doing the bodice and wanted some second, third and fourth opinions.

You see, there are two problems, first I didn't leave enough space for a border between the seam allowance and the start of my embroidery, which means the embroidery is right hard up against the edge of the dress. And second, the embroidery is not as symmetrical as it could be. Close up it is pretty obvious. On the one hand, I'm not too keen on re-doing it. That said, enough time has gone into this dress, that the few extra hours to re-do it will be worth it to me if you think it looks funny.
The final remaining option is that I re-do the bodice but completely skip the embroidery. What do you think? PLEASE BE BRUTALLY HONEST!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Syracuse dress - final muslin

This is really the final draft of my dress for Syracuse.
Matt helped me adjust the waist to fit nicely and I'm pretty
happy with the way it fits. it's so hard to do it on myself,
so having a hand was a huge help.

The two-tone colour is because I was running out of
the basic muslin fabric and had to use some other leftovers
I had around.

The sleeves are the only bit that need work - I don't
want them to be puffy, but I think I know how to fix

Let me know if you notice anything else I should alter,
I just did the layout for the real fabric and am ready to

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another round of muslins.... hopefully the last

I know it's just about time to stop fiddling and get down to the real sewing. But before I do I wanted to try on my final muslins one more time and dance about the house to see that they fitted well and wouldn't fall off. I found out that the shoulders do actually come off pretty easily. So... I've since been working on two solutions --- first is to alter the lines so that they come up a bit higher and second to build some internal structure to help hold them on (a waist stay and bands reaching up the shoulders... think suspenders but iside the dress).

First let me show you the final muslin pictures.

1) Vogue (for Sydney)

2) McCall's (for Syracuse)

Now... here is my revised version of the McCall's dress.
I copied a smaller size AND added 2cm to the shoulders.
I think I over-did the shoulder-reshape and made new problems.
So, before I go back to the old one and call it a day, I'm going to
try cutting it back to the designed lines -- but in the smaller size
and see what happens.

Excuse the tiny skirt - I cut it short to save time and fabric.
The short skirt makes it looks a bit like a skating outfit :-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

McCall's 9126 and decisions!

I decided to make one more test dress, this one was based on a McCall's pattern (9126).
I made a muslin of the view shown in the top left. Here is a video of me in the dress.

I'm pretty happy with this dress. It fitted without any changes
to the pattern and I think I really like the back detail. It makes
the whole thing a little less conservative without being too immodest.
The only change I'm thinking about is to take the skirt in so that
it is less full and not wear a petticoat.

I have decided this will almost certainly be the dress I make for
Syracuse and I have the fabric picked and washed too!
Appropriately it is fabric I bought in Syracuse last December
from a wonderful little store downtown that had just opened.

Here is a photo of the fabric (right) and the lining (a super soft cotton)
drying across our entire living room.

And catching the light nicely :-)

I'm also toying with the idea of making the very same pattern for my Sydney
dress, just using different fabric and perhaps keeping the skirt full.

My only other news is that I finally decided not to make the bridesmaid
dresses, it's just one too many things for me to get done and was adding
to my stress levels. I was sad to admit defeat, but I'll come back to making
those dresses for Jane, Em and Rebecca after the wedding.

However, I do still plan to make a little dress for Madeline
(who will be 9 months by September!) to match the dress Jane is

The pattern I am planning to use for Madeline's dress is Simplicity 2668.
I will make both the dress in the top left and the coat. Though I'm not
too sure about the bow.

Comments welcome!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bridesmaid dress V1.0 - Butterick

I decided it was worth a try to make the birdesmaid dresses. Hey, if I'm going to sew my wedding dress, how hard can it be to sew a few more? Yes I know, you're all telling me I'm crazy - and I'm ready to accept defeat if the muslins don't work. But I think this is worth I try.

After some discussion, we decided to start with a Butterick pattern that is remarkably similar to a J.Crew dress.

I quickly sewed up a muslin in a size 10 for Emily to try. Note that the fabric I am using for the mock-up is very thin (the real thing will be much better quality) and I adjusted the seam allowances in the bodice so that it will be easy to alter the fit. That's why the mid-section has extra fabric that you can see protruding half way down on the inside of the dress. The final version will be fully lined, so no need to worry about that sort of thing.

Here I am modelling it (thank you Matt for taking the pictures!! Not that he is allowed to read this blog...):

So far I'm hopeful!
First fitting tomorrow.
Stay tuned!