These past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of “tiny” things. It’s the fine details that take the most time. Here are just a couple of examples:
1. Hand-stitching the lining to the boned bodice.
2. Hand-stitching the flowers.
3. Hand-stitching the sheer bodice fabric layer to the zipper.
4. Hand-stitching the skirt lining to the main skirt.
5. Hand-stitching the outer skirt hem.
Did you notice a trend of the word “hand-stitching?” Now YOU can also become wedding dress snobs. The next time you go to a bridal store and examine the hem of the wedding dresses, I will bet you anything they are machine sewn. If that doesn’t bother you, well, that’s fine. You have not yet graduated to the level of “wedding dress snob.” We all have to embrace where we are in life and go with it. I can never go back.
The next batch of pictures I am going to share with you are actually from a couple of fittings. You will not see the FINAL completed garment on Rachel until I take pictures of her at her wedding party. Her wedding is this Saturday, so you are just going to have to wait. SORRY.
In this first picture, you can see the 3 flowers that have been constructed and sewn on her thin shoulder strap. Rachel found a pattern she liked and wanted the centers to be pink to add a pop of color and match her pink sandals. I made the flowers by sewing both layers of fabric into a tube and gathering one side. The flower had to be turned and hand-stitched into place. The center is a covered button of 4 layers of sheer pink fabric. All I have to say is that working with all those layers of sheer….well let’s not go there, shall we?
At this fitting I am working on the outer layer of her skirt. You can see the pins going up the sides. We’ll get back to that later.
Let’s look at the back of the dress. You can see that I joined the three separate tubes in the back with one tube finishing that up. The strap that extends to the right side of her back I sewed a snap on the end as well as on the inside of the bodice to keep it strong. If I had sewn that strap to the dress, she would’ve had a very difficult time getting the dress on.
Here’s a better shot where you can see all the detail in the bodice.
Let’s look at some hand-stitching.
This is a picture of the inside of the dress. The main fabric has been pressed into it’s final hem and the inside lining has been turned under and hand-stitched into place. The darker non-shiny fabric is the lining.
This is what the outside of the main fabric looks like. You can see tiny indentations from the “prick-stitching.”
In this next fitting I am working on her outer layer of fabric and pinning up that final layer. I had to let the fabric hang for 24 hours to get the bias to stretch out as much as it would before the final hem. You can see on her left side that the sheer fabric was doing something funky and I had to pin it in some more to take out the bubble. The outer layer has been pinned up for the final hem.
The back of the dress with the outer sheer layer pinned for it’s final hem.
The sheer layer also must be hand-stitched using the “prick-stitch” technique.
Here is the dress finished but not steamed. I used a string to help hold the dress up on the hanger. Those hanger things inside dresses annoy me. They always somehow end up sticking up out of the dress while you are wearing it. Personal pet peeve.
Oh, and I just noticed right now the time on the clock. Yes, it was 2:30 am.
I went and purchased a decent garment steamer and steamed the dress up nicely. Rachel picked up the dress today and I will see her on Saturday to see the final product on her all gussied up.
A Few Words
1. Well, it was a hard project. But, I wasn’t going into this thinking that it would be easy. If you are going to make a wedding dress and NOT cut corners (like you shouldn’t!), expect the project to be time consuming.
2. My sister Megan was right. (I should just stop there, she would like it.) She told me that once I got started I would really get into it and enjoy the process. She was right. I did. I have always been up for a challenge.
3. I am glad that it’s done. That is also true. It’s nice after a couple months of sewing mess (and those of you who sew know exactly what I’m talking about!) to get cleaned up and organized and VACUUM!
4. Rachel has a beautiful dress and looks absolutely gorgeous in it! I really can’t believe that she started babysitting for us when Rosemary was 1 year old. She is the reason that Jon and I started to date again. And THANK GOD for that. And thank you Rachel.
I’m Going To Stroll Down Memory Lane And You Can Come With Me
We love you, Rachel! May you have a blessed life and marriage for always.
Love, your second family,
Please check out Rachel’s wedding pictures HERE!!!