Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wedding Dress Progress Post #4

Cat checks out the new lace trim. 
Can you tell where I joined the two ends of the lace together? Am I awesome or what? Actually, it was just my luck that I didn't end in the middle of a scallop, because I certainly wasn't going to measure a seven yard hem that accurately.
Apologies for all the really yellow pictures...I've been working late into the nights!

I know it isn't Friday, but after a good fourteen hours of work over the last few days, I just had to share: Elaine's skirt is done, and the corset is somewhat assembled! I sewed on the 7+ yards of lace veeeerrry slowly, taking the entire two-hour Hobbit soundtrack to do so. And all the corset pieces are sewn together and boning channels have been created, and the busk was inserted with no little apprehension. Seriously you guys, I was hyperventilating a little when I sewing all these seams. Since the satin shows holes and the coutil is so tightly woven and my stitch length was so small, well, seam-ripping would have been a pain and everything felt awfully permanent. I knew that messing up wasn't an option (although I do have enough extra coutil and satin for another corset, I'd really rather not make a whole new one. Confession time: I actually cut and sewed half a "practice" corset so I could get a feel for how the fabrics handled and the seam allowances I needed to use. I even went to far as to insert a busk and then cut it back out), so I was extra careful and extra tense while I was sewing. I told Elaine afterwards that this is probably the most important thing I will ever sew, at least until I have a daughter get married, at which point I will have just forgotten how nerve-wracking making a wedding dress really is. Now I "just" need to:
  • purchase spiral steel boning, cut and tip it, and insert it all
  • wait for the front lace applique to arrive, then sew it on by hand
  • wait for the lace trim to arrive, then sew it on by hand
  • finish attaching the floating lining at the back, then insert all the grommets
  • bind the top and bottom
And then I'll be done! In the meantime, I'm eternally grateful for Steam Ingenious' tutorial on making a corset without having to be ultra nit-picky about everything matching up...I'm sorry, but I just can't do that perfect seam allowance thing. This way, I can just slap on a floating lining to hide my icky insides. 

Look at all those raw edges! I added a couple pieces of twill tape in the middle of the largest panels for additional boning.
I used this gray IKEA cotton for the lining since I wanted there to be a natural (but also somewhat coordinating) fabric against the skin. For the pieces closest to the busk, I fused the satin to the cotton so there would be no chance of gray showing through at the front. 

Steam Ingenious also has a tutorial about using heat-shrink plastic tubing to cap spiral steel bones, which I'm looking forward to trying. Thank goodness that Richard the Thread is not too far from me in TCOCC! It's tempting to stock up and buy all the hair canvas, coutil, batiste, and grommets I might ever need while I'm still so close, since I know most people don't have the luxury of having an endless supply of busks et al ten minutes away. 

In the meantime, I'm still trying to squeeze out one more vibrantly-colored item before the end of the month; it's too bad that AP exam prep is kicking my butt. Good thing the exams I'm concerned about are all over on the first day (May 6), so I can spend the rest of the time in between then and Elaine's wedding working on painting and calligraphing her ketubah. Goodness gracious, does she trust me too much, or does she trust me too much?

My rough sketch: it's based on Durin's Door, because, you know, I'm so good at that imagery, with the hammer & anvil replaced with a pair of cats, and the San Francisco skyline at the bottom between the pillars. The runes at the top are her and her fiance's initials, and the obviously the words I scribbled in will be replaced with the real text. Man, I have not painted anything in several years, so this will be a challenge!


  1. Wow, this is unreal! I can't wait to see the end result!

  2. I am loving seeing your progress on this dress! I pinned this very dress on Pinterest almost a year ago, so I'm dying to see how yours turns out. Great work as always.

  3. It's looking wonderful and what great artwork!

  4. Wow, it's looking great so far!
    I love the ketubah sketch :)

  5. I love it when trim ends in the right place and you don't have to cheat anything! How lucky - it looks great! You will enjoy all the handsewing part - it will be more control and less stress. =)

    I can't wait to see it on her when you've finished! She's going to look amazing! You are such a wonderful friend.

    Does finally finishing a dress that's been unfinished for years count as stashbusting? I have a brightly colored one that needs a little tweaking and a zipper. I just got bored with it and never finished it. (Too bad my pattern-testing for someone else is all new fabrics because that would be a great bright color thing for April.)

    ~ Brooke

  6. You are doing a great job! Looks like you are making a lot of wonderful progress!

  7. It's looking great, and you're really coming along! I really can't see where the lace ends, fantastic! It's going to be thrilling to see your dress fit into the final wedding.

  8. Wowzers!!! It's looking fantastic!

  9. I just keep looking at this post and going, "eeeee!" It's looking so great!

  10. It looks great! The lace trim is beautiful!

  11. Hardly a confession about the practice corset... seems like common sense to me!! The front of that corset looks gorgeous as payoff, too. Love how that lace trim fits perfectly around the hem... match made in heaven! It's looking grand :)

  12. It all looks beautiful! You are all over the corset making skills these days :). Seeing your lovely corsets and full skirts is inspiring me to do some of the (would be costuming except that I'll wear them as day clothes) sewing I've been putting off, haha.

  13. it's all looking amazing! can't wait to see the whole thing!

  14. Everything is coming together so nicely! You are doing a wonderful job!

  15. The ketubah is going to be stunning, and the trim is complete perfection!

  16. It's coming along so nicely! The ketubah is going to be beautiful as well!

  17. Oh my that is looking amazing! Such beautiful trim! And your sketch for the ketubah (which I had to look up) is brilliant. Can't wait to see more photos!


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