Thursday, October 25, 2012


It is a beautiful day!  Zippy my cat and I went to scope out the leaf situation and I think that about half of the leaves have fallen off my trees.  I swept off the walk only to come back later in the afternoon and see all my hard work  covered up with leaves again.  That’s what happens when you live in the woods.  I opened the doors to let the warm air in and settled down to work on Brittney’s wedding dress.

It is a whole different ball game making a dress pattern on your own.  If I get stumped while I am sewing I just pull out in the instructions.  But with this dress, since I designed the pattern it’s up to me to figure out how to put it together and write the instructions myself.
Right now I am working on the neckline (still muslin) and I have finished it to see what it will look like when I make it up out of silk.  At $80 per yard I don’t want to cut anything out until I know it is going to go together properly.  (Sorry about the crazy color this fabric is white).
I sewed the dress to the lining from center back to center back and turned it inside out.  I gave it a good pressing and then sewed really close to the edge on the inside. 
The lace comes around from the center back, around the neckline and then back behind the neck.  If you look close you can see a little seam where the sleeve and the front attach.  Right now it is about 1 1/4 inches wide.  When I finish off the arm opening I will need to take an additional ½” on the left up to the pin.  That leaves the seam only ¾” wide.
The lace is nearly 3” wide so when it comes across that seam there isn’t a whole lot of dress to sew it on to.  Plus that leaves some of the vine on the lace hanging off  the shoulder. I’m not really worried... just thinking out loud.

I think that I will add ½” around the arm opening, that way I will have 1 1/4" of material to attach the lace to.  The lace is attached to netting so I am going to cut very carefully in between the vines to see if  I can coax the lace to make a beautiful turn. 
I know that this is a bit technical but I thought it was worth noting especially if you are following along and you too want to make a wedding dress.
This week I learned:

1.   As much as I am tired of using is valuable to make sure my pattern is accurate before cutting the real deal.
2.   It is pointless to rake leaves until they have all fallen.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

On Sunday Brittney and I draped the lace on the dress form, tied the coral sash, pinned on the waist applique and took a step back!  WOW  It really doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see how beautiful this wedding dress is going to be.

We did a quick fitting.  I have a few minor adjustments to make on the pattern and then I can sew in the lining and figure out where to put in the boning.  It will still be a muslin but it will start looking more like a finished bodice with no unfinished edges, chalk lines or pins.

I think about Brittney’s wedding dress all the time, it is how I am wired.  I have sewn it over and over in my head.  The other night I had a dream about it.  I know you are saying ‘who dreams about sewing’….I do!  The neat part of the dream was that it revealed the solution to a problem that I had been struggling with….puckers!
The next day I pulled a wedding train out of the closet that I had bought at the Goodwill and cut the pieces out using the heavy weight satin.  I lined up the curved pieces and seamed them up…no puckers. 

LESSON:  I learned is when in doubt I should always use a fabric closer to what I will be sewing if for no other reason than to just feel good about what I am doing. 

AND it is also okay to make up my own rules, regardless of the design text books tell you to do. 
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Embelished Lace & Pure Silk

A couple of weeks ago we purchased the fabric for Brittney’s wedding dress. The outer dress is embellished lace.   Here's what it looks like.  This photo is a little dark but you can see the scalloped edge, the beautiful diamond shaped pattern, and just a little sparkle.

We decided to make the under dress with a silk and rayon blend. This fabric had a beautiful sheen and because there is no polyester fiber I will be able to press it with an iron.  We measured it out…sadly there was not enough fabric on the bolt.  However a quick call to the manufacturer and they located a piece in the same color and they would send out a swatch that would arrive in a few days.

On Friday that same week I received a call that the swatch has arrived.  Since I was already in town I went to Les Fabriques to check it out.  It did not match the partial bolt that they already had in the store.  Who knew that there could be so many shades of white? I came home and dropped Brittney a line about the swatch so we decided to go in and look at together. 

We planned to meet up at Les Fabriques after Brittney got off of work.  I arrived a few minutes early and checked the colors again.  This time it looked like it had lightened even more!  How could this be?  We left it on the counter for Brittney to look at and then Esther one of the employees at Les Fabriques helped me search for alternatives.  We found three bolts, two of them were polyester (not my favorite) and one of them was 100% silk.  We laid them on the counter and spread the lace over them.  They were ALL stunning to look at each one was a little different shade of white.

When Brittney arrived we shared the remnants and we decided the match was too far off.  Esther showed her the three alternate bolts of fabric.  I kept quiet.  She went right to the SILK because it really showed off the pattern of the lace.  How awesome for me!

On the way home I went to Michael's and bought a large box covered with wallpaper to put the fabric in and have it stowed in my sewing room in a place of honor.
Lesson for the DAY:  Silk has a nap!  Like corduroy the fabric feels smoother going one way and actually the color looks different depending on which way the fabric is turned. It doesn’t matter which way the fabric is cut as long as the nap all goes the same direction.
PS I have a photo to share of the silk but it rotates every time I try to insert it.  Stay tuned.