Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Sewing Year

Something Old, Something New!  Lace design on dress combines appliques of new lace and lace taken from my own wedding dress, made in 1982 using materials purchased in NYC garment district.  Lace on the veil is from the hem of my wedding dress.      Portrait photography by Rebecca Keeling on location in Colonial Williamsburg.

Something Blue! Dan Post Blue Bird Boots.  Vintage pearl jewelry with sapphire clasps, gift from grandmother. Flowers by Williamsburg Floral, Williamsburg, Va.  Portrait photography by Rebecca Keeling on location in Colonial Williamsburg.
Ruffles consist of 10 yards of organza, cut on the bias, gathered and attached in rosettes and multiple rows to a base layer of point d'esprit .  Additional ruffles made with tulle. Ruffle layer attached to completed lace over-skirt. Portrait photography by Rebecca Keeling on location in Colonial Williamsburg.               

A year ago I began my journey to create my daughter's gown for her wedding on November 16, 2013.  Here it is!

Steps and timeline:

Bride-to-be tries on dresses and identifies design elements she likes
Select patterns to  create desired design
Take lace off old wedding dress and wash
Dye test samples with tea, ivory dye, and  coffee

Make muslin  of corset and dress for fit and design lines
Make samples of ruffles

First fitting. Make second muslins.

Purchase fabric, lace
Make samples of ruffles
Make second muslins

Make boned corset muslin and petticoat
Second fitting
Adjust fit of corset, make corset
Attach petticoat to corset
Adjust fit on muslin, cut muslin apart to use as pattern pieces
Examine inspiration dress to determine materials and technique for ruffles.  Select materials and technique (note:  should have examined inspiration dress first!)
Purchase organza for ruffles

Cut and hand-baste satin bodice and under-dress and taffeta lining
Third fitting:  Need to do over bodice. Mark hemline
Stitch skirt seams

(little to no activity  because of travel and family matters)

Make veil 
Make bodice
Stitch seams on skirt and lining,  baste skirt to bodice
Cut net over-skirt
Make narrow seams  on net overlayPlace lace appliques on skirt, baste
Fourth fitting:  Approve placement of lace. Bodice is still not right.  Purchase bra, start over on bodice (Note: should have bought all undergarments first!)
Cut tulle and organza for ruffles. Gather

Attach net overlay to bodice, place lace appliques, fell-stitch in place
Attach bodice to corset 
Order buttons
Hem satin skirt with horsehair braid  and attach lining to skirt at hem (4 rows of hand-stitching)
Make ruffles

September- Oct 5
Fell-stitch appliques on front skirt (DD appliqued lace on back)
Make ruffles
Sew side seams on net overskirt
Attach ruffle layer to lace overskirt
Place lace appliques to hide skirt seams, fell-stitch
Sew 45 buttons down center back of dress
Attach bodice to skirt by hand, using back stitch
Line bodice
Attach skirt lining to bodice-skirt seam
Make and attach button loops
Fifth fitting (two days before portrait appointment):  adjust fit by slicing net skirt and overlapping lace appliques.  Add additional appliques to side front seams.  Add one additional organza rosette for balance.
Sew 25-26 buttons, hook and eye
Make and attach tie

Attach 3 sets of bustling ribbons to satin skirt
Attach 9 sets of bustling hooks and thread loops to lace overskirt
Finish stitching lining into place

DONE!  Let the celebration begin!


me said...

Beautiful, stunning, gorgeous - what a labor of love.
marciae from sg

kbenco said...

What an incredible dress. I love the lace applique and cannot imagine the work it took for that astounding, show stopper hem! Your daughter is beautiful in this wonderful gown, I hope you all had a great celebration.