Sunday 6 May 2012

Finish sight!

It's been a while since my last blog post - but I'm back! After a business+holiday trip to the sunny Prague (fabric purchased there to show off when the projects are finished...), I found myself stuck in my sewing room for the bank holiday weekend here in the UK in the still very cold May (seriously... what is up with the weather here?! shouldn't it almost be summer?) 

After a day and a half's work on the wedding dress, I have a lot to report back. The short version is - it's almost done! I think the only outstanding things are the lace-up back (with a zip at the bottom), the hem and the bustle! I couldn't believe it! 

Here's a sneaky preview:

So all the layers have been attached, and the dress is now in one piece! The longer version of the story is that I  did the following in the last few weeks:
  • All pleats tacked in;
  • Diagonal drape hand finished and hemmed to the underlining;
  • Waist stay attached to the corselette;
  • Corselette lining back seams re-opened for the waist stay to come through;
  • The relevant sections re-sewn and hand finished;
  • A suitable bra dissected...
  • Bra cups sewn to the corselette lining;
  • All layers other than the corselette lining hand basted together as they are;
  • Corselette lining layer and the rest, with RST, hand basted and machine stitched at the neckline; 
  • I skipped the grading (I was too scared to cut into the seam allowance on the corselette lining - I decided that it was thin enough to not make a difference, plus the benefit that I won't worry about it fraying and breaking) but understitched all 7 layers of seam allowances to the corselette lining. 

I think that's about it! I was really worried that something would go terribly wrong... especially as I was clipping into all 7 seam allowances at the neckline! Thankfully all the practice on sweetheart necklines has really helped - and I am really happy with how smooth the neckline has turned out to be! 

Here are some work in progress and inside out photos:

So I can definitely see the finish line now... thankfully! I'm going to order some strong cord (the one that I liked from Liberty was not in stock when I popped into the store) for the lace-up loops and some (non-spiral) steel boning for the back closure before going ahead and finishing the dress! I'm so happy with how it's turned out so far and can't wait to finish it and wear it on my wedding day!


  1. Wow! You go girl! You got a lot done. I can't wait to see you in the finish product esp on the big day!

    1. Thank you Susan! I would like to finish it 2 months before the wedding so that gives me just under 3 week... I'll be sure to post lots of (too many probably) photos of the dress on the big day!

  2. I love this dress. I had the same pleated bodice on my wedding dress. its so flattering its wonderful. but i did not make my wedding dress.
    Could you explain the steps in making this pleated bodice.
    Im using simplicity patter 4070 for my dress (wedding guest)
    and i'd love the pleated top and simple wide A line skirt for the bottom. Please! :)

    1. Thank you Nadia. So my wedding dress is originally based on Simplicity 2959, and I’ve made lots and lots of changes to the pattern, including using the bodice of Simplicity 4070. In terms of the pleats, I used tissue paper to “draft” the pattern, using it as a guide (and a guide only – leaving lots of room for errors/changes) to cut the fabric. There are 2 pieces – one large one including the diagonal drape, and the other to cover the “empty space” on the other side.
      I pleated the silk dupion, pinned the pleats, and then cut organza underlining to match the finished pieces. Then I underlined the piece, pressed the pleats and sewed the piece (dupion with underlining as one) into the side seams. Once I was happy with everything, I hand basted all the pleats into the bodice to secure them and so that it’ll survive the dry cleaning later on!
      And then depending on how many layers you have, the assembly will be a little different.
      Does this make sense? There are quite a few posts when I made the pleats, including pictures of the tissue paper trick, if you wanted to have a look? I think they would be quite helpful 
      HTH – and good luck with you dress!

  3. Thank you Im so sorry i didnt even notice older posts.
    I used your tissue paper technique today. and after much folding and tucking, pinning and pressing. i've realised that it wont be the same on my material
    But thats okay it will be VERY close. but im usign a satin material its not to thin and flowy but i cant descibe it anyways. i gathers well and im going to have to baste the pleats to get them to hold where i want them but :) thanks to you I have a GREAT tutorial to go with. my only question is from your tissue paper you cut around the bodice and then open it up flat on the actual material. how do you get the same pleats?

    1. Hey, no problem - I'm very pleased to be of some help. Satin would be more tricky with the folds - perhaps gathering would work better with the fabric but the folds will be less structured I think. The dupion that I used was pretty well behaved.
      When the folded tissue paper was cut, the edges should follow the shape of the bodice. When I opened it up, the edges were a zig zag shape so it was relatively easy for me to know where the pleats were. However I did not try to do the pleats on the fabric exactly the same as the tissue paper. After a lot of trial and error, I ended up with something I was 100% happy with and that was it.


Thank you for stopping by! Leave a comment before you go ;)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...