After three weeks, and about 3-5 hours every evening, I cut out, placed, and hand appliquéd each piece of lace onto the corset. It was like a jigsaw puzzle. It took a lot of thinking! My previous post shows the different layout options for the lace that were in the running, but I decided on this one.
I hand carried this corset from Brooklyn to Houston, and back. I had it flat packed in an Urban Outfitter cloth bag, and carefully placed it on top of my carry on. Most of the lace applique was done in Houston, using my Mom’s sewing needles, scissors and pins. I had my own thread, as well as an extra dress form that I left at my parent’s house. On the way back to Brooklyn, I checked in my carry on, so I carried it by hand. It was a little challenging, but not impossible. My fiancé slid it underneath the seat, on top of his bag, and when he needed something, he would just place it on his lap (or mine). I brought it back in one piece, and that’s all that mattered to me.
Over the New Year holiday, I completed the hand sewing part of the corset. I decided to add the invisible zipper at this time. I sewed a running stitch by hand, because I wanted to be accurate, and also, if my weight should fluctuate right before my March wedding, then God help me. I felt the best method to adjust this would be at the center back seam, where the zipper is located. It will be much easier to undo a hand stitch rather than a machine stitch. Once the dress is at its final stage, then I will stitch it down.
When the skirt is attached to the bodice, I’ll also hand sew the zipper to the center back skirt seam.
The next step was to sew the lining. The lining is the same fabric as the self – Duchess Satin, because I wanted to feel the richness of this fabric. I fused it with interfacing, so I couldn’t sew the soft boning to the interfacing. I sewed the boning on the outside of the interfacing, so the sewing stitches are visible on the right side of the fabric. It really doesn’t look bad to me, so it’s all good!
Inner part of the lining. The soft boning is not sewn in the seams. Instead, it is sewn in between the pieces. It was not sewn in the center front pattern piece.
A close up of the soft boning sewn onto the pattern piece of the lining
The right side of the lining, in Duchess Satin. The soft boning doesn’t really show through. Hanger loops are also added.
I attached the skirt lining to the bodice lining, which is the only synthetic fabric that I purchased for this dress.
The lining of the gown
Once I finished the lining, I sewed the Duchess Satin skirt, which will be the inner layer between the lining and the chiffon. It’s not sewn onto the bodice yet. I just wanted a visual, to make sure that I wanted chiffon instead of Duchess Satin.
My first instinct was right. The Duchess Satin is too shiny, so I still want to soften it with chiffon. When I put on the chiffon, I actually began to tear up! I know, I’m such a sap. It was like as if I had an epiphany – Whoa! That’s my wedding dress!
Once I got myself together, I began working on the chiffon. Originally, I wanted the chiffon to be really drape-y, and to hug my hips more. I love that look. I experimented with a piece of chiffon (at the risk of messing up), and I realized that if I wanted to “flair” the chiffon, then that would require a center front seam. I didn’t like that idea. The chiffon is 45″ wide, and it would bother me if I had a seam down the middle. Also, the pattern is an A-line silhouette. I realized that I couldn’t fight this shape by making it more mermaid like, or else I should have worked with a different pattern. This is why the foundation, the pattern is very important. It’s much more challenging to manipulate the already sewn gown, than to manipulate the pattern. I can’t have it all! Realistically, A-line is still a much better shape for me, so I decided to cut out the chiffon in the same pattern as the Duchess Satin skirt. The chiffon fabric and pattern are placed on top of paper, because cutting chiffon is a pain in the arse. It is so slippery, that the best way to handle this is to cut it together with paper underneath. It’s just a roll of paper that I had, but if I didn’t have this, then dotted pattern paper would work as well. I was always hesitant to use my fabric scissors on paper, but I think I’ll take this chance because it’s not often I cut chiffon. Also, all I have to do is to have it sharpened again.
So, this is where I’m at right now, and exhausted! I did so much, and I want to keep going, but my brain won’t let me. It’s a little foggy. This coming week, I have to re-do our wedding rings, because it takes awhile for them to be 3D Printed in silver. Yes, I’m designing the wedding rings too. :) I’ll have to come back to my gown the following week….with a fresh mind!
More to come! xoxo