I know this isn't a TiLT. I will get back on that bus next week but I still have so much catching up to do after my own wedding it is still insane.
This is the Epic Blog post about me and the most recent wedding dress I completed for my brother's fiancee. Before my wedding we had discussed her and they had sent me links for some things that they liked. Then as we got closer the link for their favorite dress was no more. In hindsight I should of just taken a screen shot and made a JPEG to keep in my Evernote files.
Anyways we found a J-crew one that she also keen on. It took me about 18 hours of time to complete over a week and a lot more hand sewing then I had expected because she wanted some extra draping that wasn't part of the original dress. The dress is a silk crinkle chiffon strapless sweetheart.
A little background, we never had time between my wedding and theirs to meet in person for a fitting. The only fitting we did was a muslin mockup of the bodice which I mailed to them and they tried it on over the Xbox 360 Kinect so I could see her full body and proportions.
For a strapless dress of any kind you start with the interior structure. You need to make sure that this puppy stays up and holds all your bits and pieces in as well. I had an inner portion with boning sewn in for support. If I was hardcore I would of used Steel boning with casing. I think that would of been a little too heavy for the fabrics in this dress. Rigilene boning is also convenient and sturdy. The inner lining with the boning gets sandwiched between another outer lining, the silk and another layering of lining that goes on the the inside.
A lot of times when doing corsets if you muslin was a good mockup they will sew the casing and boning to that as your insert for support.
These are the lining fabrics and the silk Chiffon that I ordered
Whenever I get silk in the mail I'm always confused because the packages are so small and I am always making such voluminous garments from them.
You should already know this but before cutting anything out you always want to iron your fabric to make sure you aren't unintentionally make it bigger by cutting the fabric out with wrinkles. Personally when I am working on such an important piece for a client I want full perfection wherever I can. I will iron out the entire yardage of fabric that I am cutting on.
Also do not just cut off the amount you need from the entire yardage. That is wasteful. you want to keep the yardage together because you never know when you may need to do some shifting and adjustments. Cutting off the extra 2" just adds up when you could of have plenty of extra yardage left over for another project if you hadn't of sliced it off to begin with.
Firstly because my patterns are of heavier stock (butcher paper or painters paper) so it is not very easy to pin through them. Secondly every time you pin up the fabric it changes the shape and pulls more the fabric so that you actually cutting slightly bigger from the pin ups.
Just to show you how sheer the silk was that I was working with and delicate!
Then I drew out how I wanted the fabric to be draped in the shape.
The pieces that I drafted did not fit at all! This is one of those instances where no matter the good intentions and effort you put into drafting a pattern when it comes to something with a draped look it is just better and easier to go ahead and drape that cuss.
Starting over and with draping
More Hand basting of the draped pieces on the the plain bodice to keep it together when the final sewing on the machine.
All the Layers lined up and pinned ready to be sewn. There were 5 layers to make the bodice and at the waist seam there are 8 layers of fabric sewn together. Everything was doubled lined due to how thin the silk was.
The completed draping with the hand basted and gathered skirt attached.
Sewing in the last back seam before working on the hem!
What I did was I made my seam allowance for the hem 3". I do a machine basting stitch across the bottom 1.5" from the end of the fabric (I also tore the fabric so it would all be on the same grain line instead of cutting it, that way I knew i was getting the right and even measurement all the way around. Tearing the fabric is something you need to plan out and put into your pattern before you ever first cut any yardage.
I played around with some ideas for the back since I was attached a mid section sash. I didn't like the gap between the draped bodice top and the skirt gathering. It just looked strange so I add the sash to make it all more cohesive.
I head for the wedding tomorrow morning in Madison Wisconsin with my sewing machine and hand needles ready to make the adjustments as soon as we arrive.
Wish me luck!