Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Dress Decisions

I'm taking the plunge and starting to make some of those niggling design decisions that have been flooding my mind. So I brought out the dress maker and started draping the actual dress fabrics.

So here follows my slightly obsessed catalogue of 'looks'!

One layer of lace:
Left: without organza layer, Right: with organza layer

2 layers of lace:
Left: without organza layer, Right: with organza layer

One layer of lace plus extra motifs, including scallop at bottom:
Left: without organza layer, Right: with organza layer

I'm leaning towards an organza layer with one layer of lace. I'll decide later on whether to add the extra motifs and scallops because I can't quite visualise the effect once they're neatly sewn on!

So it'll be either of:

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Dress Lists

The dresses are the biggest job in my Homemade Wedding, so here are the lists
✓ = done ⬅ = where I am on the list

My dress:
toile corset and structuring ⬅
toile underlining
toile main fabric
toile lace overlayer
combine toile
add toile modesty panel
practice dress corset and structuring
practice dress underlining
practice dress main fabric
practice dress overlayer
combine practice dress
add practice dress modesty panel
alterations (closer to time)
dress corset and structuring
dress underlining
baste dress main fabric and underlining
dress main fabric
dress lace overlayer
combine dress laters
add dress modesty panel

Ruth's dress:
make toile 
adjust toile
make dress main layer
make dress overlayer
combine layers

Alex's dress:
make toile 
adjust toile 
make dress main layer 
make dress overlayer
combine layers

Ellen's dress:
make toile 
adjust toile 
make dress main layer
make dress overlayer
combine layers

Stella's dress:
make toile 
adjust toile
make dress main layer
make dress overlayer
combine layers

Jessica's dress:
make toile 
adjust toile
make dress main layer
make dress overlayer
combine layers

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Choosing the Bridesmaid Fabrics

After sending off for lots of samples in the main fabric that I wanted (Silk Dupion) I laid them all out on the stairs.
I then put my organza layers over the top (bought cheaper through eBay, and I dyed the green one because it was too bright).
I mixed and matched and tried different combinations then settled on these colours:

Friday, 27 January 2012

Layering up

The main fabric all sewn up:

Tacked to the corset layer.

Still seems to fit ok!

Positioning the lace layer (base layer of netting with lace motifs hand appliquéd)

I put the main fabric underneath so I could judge where to put the lace

Hand stitching the motifs around the edge of the lace - time consuming but pretty!

The List Update

The List

I think we might see this list again and again, but updated!

** THE LIST **
as of Friday 27th January

Make toiles - 2/6
Order fabrics 
Make dresses 0/6 (separate lists)
Make save-the-dates ╳⤫(we're just sending out invites!)
Make invitations 
Decide on bridal party gifts ✓ (we're not going to make the sword party gifts as we've got a great idea)
Decide church service designs
Make church services
Decide table names and name card designs
Make table names and name cards
Decide seating plan
Make seating plan
Choose a band 
Choose menu
Choose a photographer 
Update wedding website
Send out invites (partially complete - sent to some family and all family abroad)
Make favours (about 20/120 done)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Pattern Drafting the Skirt

I used large swathes of fabric that I couldn't see myself using any time soon (strangely enough, since using these fabrics for pattern pieces I've become more attached to them)! I pinned to both the mannequin and the floor to get the skirt shape and to help with straight seams.

The back centre will be laced up and the lacing will start within the skirt panels

These pattern pieces are cut flush against each other so I had to use more fabric to create a version I could use as a toile.

The good thing about using curtain weight fabric is its a similar weight to the final dress materials.

There is no way I could have resisted the urge to get out the 'proper' fabrics to have a look! This is where I started to change my mind about the all over lace and start to seriously think about hand appliquéing lace motifs!

I recommend pinning ribbon to the carpet to get the best shape. The train should be a circle or oval arc.

This is roughly how I intend to bustle the dress for the evening. Bustling like this on a standard dress is considered 'couture' and its quite expensive to have a tailor do it this way. Free if you're doing it yourself though...! I plan to have colour coded ribbons on the inside so that my hard done by bridesmaids will find it all a little easier.

After 'patching' the train to make a better circle shape.

Once I was truly happy I cut the seams away to have 0 seam allowance - ready for thread tracing later.

Remember to keep the darts though - these can be cut whilst the seams are still sewn for the best accuracy.

My practice dress is a much shorter version, but still from the same pattern. I didn't use thread tracing on this as its so time consuming, I just used 1cm seam allowance.

The underlining all sewn up.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Pattern Drafting and the Practice Dress

Heres my mannequin all measured up for the corset pattern (ignore the wonky boobs - that gets sorted)!

Drafting the corset pattern as per my corsetry video.

I always planned to do a 'practice' shortened version of my wedding dress - these are the fabrics I'm using - all from a charity shop. Total cost around £5. Other materials will be coutil, boning, horsehair braid and some black lace.

Heres the underlining fabric bodice

 And the coutil corset layer front...
...and back.

The two layer pieces all sewn up.