Saturday, November 22, 2014

Wedding Dress - Complete!

My darling friend's wedding has come and gone! Just thought I would follow-up and post a few pictures documenting the final gown - which ended up being a bit different than any of my original sketches.

At the beginning of August, I flew out to San Francisco to meet her, and discuss things in person. While there, we paid a visit to Britex, and found a GORGEOUS eyelet charmeuse. That completely altered the trajectory of designs for the dress. 

There were only 2.5 yards of the fabric available, so we decided to use the largest block of embroidery for a deep hem, and cut the medallions off to be used on the bodice. In order to achieve a full skirt, we purchased a matching charmeuse to be used for godets beween each skirt panel. 

 About a month later, I drove down to FL to fit a toile (made with cheap poly silky fabric), and much to my delight, it fit with minor adjustments! So back home I came, cut up all that lovely fabric, and started assembling.

The bodice was constructed with an outer layer of charmeuse, interlined with silk organza. Overall this was quite successful, but one thing I should have done was fully baste the organza to the perimeter each charmeuse piece. The front and back of the bodice assembled nicely flat, but I belatedly realized that when I assembled the final side seams (after our final fit), the fabrics shifted slightly against each other. So that is the only thing I would have changed!

We had a hard time deciding between two bodice options, so I partially constructed both options and then took photos of each bodice pinned to the skirt. I texted these to Sarah, and after a quick phone convo, we decided to move forward with OPTION 1, using the embroidered medallions at the neckline.

Embroidered medallions @ neckline.
Embroidered medallions @ neckline.

Narrow contrast piping @ neckline.
Narrow contrast piping @ neckline.
Piping pinned in for photos.

In order to keep the deep V-necklines in front and back to keep from sagging out (as this sort of neckline is wont to do, especially in thin fabrics like charmeuse) I stay-stitched all necklines by hand immediately upon cutting. However, in order to give the necklines a little more stability, I also added a straight-grain strip of silk organza (approx. 1.5" wide) to each neckline edge. This strip was sandwiched between the interlining and lining layers of the bodice.  

Meanwhile, my helpful pals fell asleep directly between my sewing machine and ironing board... The best place to sleep when mom is sewing, obvi. 

A few days before the wedding, my Kenny and I drove down to FL (where it would be held), and I was able to squeeze in one last fitting of the dress, in final fabric! I had basted the bodice onto the skirt, in order to double-check the fit before permanently sewing them together. There were a few minor adjustments, like nipping in the waist at sides and back, but otherwise it fit great! 

The skirt was a bit hippy,
so I noted to slim them down a bit.
As seen above, there was originally a CB
godet. I decided this looked wonky and took it out.

I whisked the dress back to my hotel room, and stitched for another 20ish hours over the next couple days. Finally, it was complete!

Over the duration of two 9-hr car rides and all my sewing, we listened to 30+ hours of Harry Potter. I can't believe I hadn't read these books sooner, they are AMAZING! I decided that I absolutely have to make Kenny a Weasley sweater. It will be awesome and awkward.

The wedding was beautiful! There was a spot of rain that forced the bridal party under the covered balcony to be used for the reception, but it was still lovely. These folks are the best, and I was honored to be able to be a part of their wedding in a small way. 

Photos below credit to Catherine Coons