Wedding Day

The wedding was this Saturday and the bride was beautiful

 Here are the promised pics of the completed dress.

The dress back.  I spent tons of time on this and if I had just one more fitting would probably have cinched it in even more.

The dress back. Wish I had a better picture because I did so much work on the back. For some reason the camera doesn't pick up white on white fabric very well.

Applying tulle to the hemline was the idea of Joanne, one of the clerks at Banasch’s Fabric Store.  At first I had a hard time believing that 8 inches below the lace was correct but it turned out perfectly.  My cousin is 4 inches taller than the original dress owner, and of course, she was wearing the obligatory high heels adding another 4 inches.  Eight extra inches of hem and the dress just grazed the floor and my cousin is so tall that the deep hemline looked so graceful as she moved. 

The dress front. We are in the dressing room still getting ready.

Just one thing I would do differently.  The tulle sometimes caught on her heel.  Adding the tulle was a great way to add hem length, but in the future if I use this idea I will also add a simple piece of lining to the back so the tulle does not catch on shoes.

It was a happy day and one of the most relaxed enjoyable weddings I have attended. 

Blessings to the Happy Couple!


Bridal Dress Alterations:Finished, At Last!

What’s Done is Done.  Thank Goodness!

Ornamentation on the left side of the back needs to be sewn on.

Tidy up loose beads on front bodice.

Hooks for the left side of the train must be affixed.

Attempt to clean the lace at the hem of the dress that was sullied on the first wearing.

Attach tulle to the lining that will hang below the current lace to increase the length of the skirt, making it more in proportion to my cousin’s height.



   I wasn’t able to get very clear pictures of the dress today for some reason.  Would have put it on the mannequin except that my dress form is currently padded to be pregnant and the wedding dress would not go past the bustline.

The wedding is this evening.  Promise some better pics of the dress worn by the bride.

Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

Sewing, Sewing, Sewing. Finishing the Back Insert to the Wedding Gown.

Sewing along.  And sewing. And sewing. 

What is done so far.

  • Second fitting is complete.
  • The back insert is sewn to the body of the dress.
  • Lace discarded from the butt bow is sewn onto the back insert to cover the zipper and provided some visual continuity.
  • Those annoying little snaps are sewn down so the applique that crosses the zipper doesn’t flap around.
  • The pearl ormanentation on the right side of the back is complete.
  • Hooks for the train to attach to the back have been replaced on the right side.

What is left to do.

  • Ornamentation on the left side of the back needs to be sewn on.
  • Hooks for the left side of the train must be affixed.
  • Attempt to clean the lace at the hem of the dress that was sullied on the first wearing.
  • Attach tulle to the lining that will hang below the current lace to increase the length of the skirt, making it more in proportion to my cousin’s height.

Had a doctor’s visit this week and turns out my nagging respiratory infection is bronchitits.  My ribs hurt from the coughing and holding this dress up for hand-sewing has been hell.  I’ve only been able to withstand 30-45 minutes at a stretch until I came upon this unusual solution today.  We have an out-of-town visitor so the futon is laid flat instead of in its usual position as a couch.  Wanting to watch a little TV while doing the repetitive work on this dress I decided to lay the dress flat on the stretched out futon mattress.  It worked like a charm!  Sitting on a nice firm kitchen chair that was supportive of my back pulled up to the futon, I had all of this wonderful room to lay out the dress.  I didn’t have to worry about it dragging the floor and I was able to work for about 2 1/2 hours.  I got so much more done than I anticipated.  I am going to keep the futon in mind as a work surface for other large projects.

Tomorrow I hope to finish the left side of the back and then onto the next bit of uncharted territory, spot-cleaning bridal lace.  YIKES!

Bridal Dress:Sleeves off, Armholes Bound, Side Back Darted and Zipper Inserted

My cousin’s bridal dress is coming along. 

The sleeves are off and the armholes bound.

The armholes are bound in simple white cotton binding. I liked it better than trying to match the fabric perfectly. And I hope the cotton binding strengthens the armhole as the dress was not meant to be sleeveless.

Darts are taken in at the side back.

Not by the book but I am leaving the darts on the outside. During the initial fitting the side back panels showed some gaping. More than I can put up with and I decided to go ahead and dart in an inconspicous place. When I apply the insert I will lightly sew down the dart. I didn't want the lace to go to the inside of the dress as it might not age with the dress. This dress has lasted so well that I think it will last for the next generation. If someone later must release the dart I don't want the lace to look radically different from the body of the dress.

The zipper is inserted and the triangular insert is basted onto the dress.

Absolutely non-canonical but it saved me a lot of grief. I attached my lining to my fashion fabric, turned the seams, and then inserted the zipper with both pieces not yet sewn together. The material underneath the zipper I laid down and topstitched neatly. They aren’t in the picture but I also put in a double-headed shallow dart to each side of the zipper to lay smoothly across the small of the back. The good thing about this style of wedding dress is that so much lace and frou are applied that the seaming is no longer a focal point. At least that is what I am telling myself.

Tomorrow we have a second fitting for me to check the back panel.  I will have more pictures how I handled that.    Keep your fingers crossed that the back panel insert is a go!

Blogging the Bridal Dress

The photo is a bit dark but you can see that it is a typical 80's Victoriana wedding gown.

This summer my little cousin, (age 24,) is getting married.  Her mother-in-law-to-be has given her the wedding dress she wore in the 1980’s.    My cousin likes the dress but hates the sleeves and the butt bow. Also the back will not close. My cousin is 5’10”, athletic, with br0ad shoulders and the original dress owner is 5’6″ with narrow shoulders. 

The butt bow was snipped off in ten seconds leaving two things to contend with.  Getting the sleeves removed and making the arm acceptable. Then inserting a back panel so the thing can be zipped and provide enough coverage for a standard bra to be worn.

Alterations, especially bridal, are not my favorite.  Because the thing is, once I remove the back zipper and sleeves, I have to get it right, or I will have dismantled the mother-in-law’s wedding dress for nothing.  No pressure there. 

Here you can see the full leg of mutton sleeve. The lady at the fabric store also called them bell sleeves. I pulled out the tulle that hold the pouf and tried to get my cousin to reconsider but she hates the sleeves. So they have to go. They are a bit fuller than is fashionable and it is an August wedding.

I plan to work on it over the next week and will keep you posted.