And the creating continues! This post will be a combination of the last 2 fittings I have had with Rachel W. I have been super busy working away and the clock is ticking! My goal is to get this dress finished and out of the house on Saturday, October 1st. Less than 2 weeks! Ahhhhh!!!!
Starting the Straps
I started making tubes for her thin straps here. The fabric is cut on the bias so when it stretches with the tube elastic, it will look smooth.
Boning the Bodice
I am also separately working on the lining of the bodice and am boning it. I chose small plastic boning because both Rachel and the garment don’t need anything hard-core. Once your lining is sewn together, you sew the boning in on the wrong side directly over the seam lines. You want to make sure that the curve is facing the correct way once everything is put together.
I like to trim the ends of my boning after it’s already been set into the lining.
This is a picture of the “right side” of the lining with the boning in place. This is what you will see on the inside of the bodice.
The Outer Bodice Shell
I finished prick-stitching the initial draping on the right side and trimmed away all the excess fabric.
Rachel W. wanted the back to be smooth so I made a french seam on the side of the bodice and am laying out the overlay to cut out.
All pinned and ready to cut!
As I flip the bodice to the inside you can see that I’ve hand-stitched down the seams. I don’t want anything looking bulky or getting out of place once everything is put together.
Here is the right side of the bodice.
Here is the end of Rachel’s fitting after I draped the second side of the bodice. I purposefully didn’t get her face because she was feeling dizzy from standing for so long.
Time to start hand-stitching the second side!
and then it’s done.
Putting the dress together.
Now it’s time to start putting all of these pieces together. I stitched the boned lining to the main bodice piece and here I am carefully under-stitching the lining so that when I turn it it will be very crisp and clean.
And don’t forget about the skirt!
I know. The skirt gets some attention now too. I have already attached the lining to the main skirt fabric, but now it is time to attach the sheer overskirt to the other pieces. As you can see, I am doing a small cluster of tiny pleats in the center front to give her a tiny bit of fullness. Tiny.
And here is a preliminary picture of the bodice attached to the skirt. “What about all those other pictures I saw before?” you may ask.
“Well,” I will respond, “they were fake. The dress was either basted or pinned together. Now it’s SEWN!”
Now, the original sketch involves some flowers on the shoulder of the dress. Let me remind you.
Ahhhh…yes. The dreaded flowers. Well, today Rachel W. found a flower she liked and in the pictures below we are testing it out with fake “paper flowers” just to get a feel of size and position.
I want you to notice her bodice and how crisp and clean the top line is. The boning added that extra bit of hold (remember how the left side drooped a bit before the boning was added?)
The small flowers were agreed on. I kind of like the paper. Could be a bit avant garde, don’t you think?
Now this fitting is the last one before I do her hem. It’s a critical one because I need to get her straps and zipper perfect. Once you zip her into this dress, it needs to stay SNUG!
The zipper will be a challenge as well because the fabric panels down the center back seam are not cut on the straight, but on a slight bias. Sewing a zipper on a curve and while the fabric is curved is tricky. Hope I don’t screw it up! Hee hee.
The strap the goes all the way to the right side of her back will have a separate closure. If I sew it directly into her dress she will have a difficult time getting it on and off. I am going to put a hook on it so that it will be secure. At the top of her shoulder where the three straps meet, I will cover them with a thin finished tube of the same fabric so they all blend together and look like they are coming from the same place.
Next time I will be hemming this dress. Believe it or not, Rachel W. would like the tiniest of trains so the majority of this back fabric is going to end up in the trash.
I’ve had so many people ask me why the heck am I doing this? “You’re so busy. Blah, blah, blah.” All I have to say is….
“Look at this beautiful face. Well, her heart is even more beautiful and I would do anything for this girl.”