dresses · Wedding Dress

Silk Dress: Day 1

Finally got to work on the silk! Back in the middle of March, when my mother came up to help out with the dress, we spent almost all our time together fitting the muslin version. It was incredibly helpful, but it meant that we didn't get to the silk until almost the last day of her visit. I cut out most of the under-dress pieces and began underlining them with silk organza. But that was about as far as I got, actually. So the basted pieces sat on my table for about a month and a half while I graded and taught four classes.

Classes ended though, which meant that I could finally work on the dress! So here's what I got done on Wednesday:

1. Cut the front drape piece in the silk.

2. Cut the split bodice pieces in the silk and silk organza.

3. Underlined the split bodice pieces with silk organza. [Actually, I had to re-do one of the bodice pieces because (of course!) the fabric had a dark mark right across the bust area that I didn't notice until I had finished sewing the whole thing together. Curses!]

4. Hand-basted and then sewed together the split bodice pieces and the under-bodice.

5. Stay-stitched and then sewed together the front and side fronts and then the back and side backs, leaving the sides of the dress unsewn.

6. Hand-basted and then sewed the completed bodice to the dress front.

7. Pleated the front draping and fit it to the front of the dress.

8. Hand-basted the side seams of the dress to check the fit and the front draping.

So far so good! I was worried that the front draping would be overly stiff and not lie correctly, but it looks great so far. There are a few wrinkles in the photo on the draping, but that's because the dress doesn't fit the dress form quite right. Also, I had to take in the dress through the hips a bit, which is fine. Here's the pic from this morning:

The silk is pretty wrinkled, unfortunately, since I've been handling it, but it's looking good! I'm a bit worried about the collapsing that's occurring in the knee area, but I think that should go away once the skirt is put in and the dress has been reinforced with the corselete and the lining. I'm also hoping that will reduce some of the wrinkling, as well. Ah well, I knew going in that the shantung would wrinkle. The sheen is lovely, though, and the dress is super light. The silk was completely worth it.

So, for today, I need to:

1. Pleat the second front drape piece.

2. Pleat the back draping pieces.

3. Hand-baste in the three remaining pleated sections and check the fit.

4. Insert the lapped zipper.

5. Sew the side seams once I'm happy with the fit.

6. Begin working on catch-stitching and finishing the inside seams.

I'm saving the skirt panels for last so that I don't have those huge pieces of fabric floating around our bedroom and getting dusty. So, once I've finished all the seams, then I'm going to insert the corselete and cut and sew the lining. That way the lining will be all ready to go once I cut and sew in the skirt panels.

Whew! Pretty exciting!



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