This post is long overdue! The dress is actually finished, but I will save the final result photos for later...
Let's talk about the skirt on this dress. It was a lot more difficult than I expected, and I'm still not too sure I like the result, but it's almost too late to do anything about it.
I'll start with the pleats. There were a LOT of pleats, and some of the smaller pleats did not seem to have a purpose because they were hidden underneath the larger pleats, but I went with it anyway. This is the front skirt pattern piece, with pleats A, B, C and D.
And here are the instructions:
So here is what it looked like after I basted:
At one point I feared that the petticoat may not provide enough poof, so I added a layer of tulle as an underskirt:
Like the bodice, the seam allowances just wouldn't say flat, so I catch-stitched them all:
Finished side view, with 4 small pleats on the side:
Finished front view:
Looks very vintage, no?
I added some hanger ribbon to the sides at the waist line, and joined the skirt to the bodice. I let it hang on my dress form for a few days, then it was time to hem! This part made me very nervous! I am accustomed to cutting off up to 4 inches sometimes, since I'm only 5'2", but I did not want to mess this up!!
The pattern instructions called for horsehair braid in the hem, and I was happy to try it. I've never used it before, so I was glad for the experience.
But alas, on this particular dress, or maybe because I hemmed it a bit shorter, the horsehair braid made it too stiff on the bottom, and because of all those pleats, the skirt flared out almost into a square! It looked really weird, so I took it out and hemmed it by hand with a catch-stich. :(
In retrospect, I wish I hadn't used the drapery lining to underline the skirt. It seems too heavy and stiff, and that made the pleating much harder, not to mention joining it to the bodice. In the end, I'm not sure I like how the skirt is draping, but we'll see.
Just for fun, here is the dress inside out, after finishing:
And here are some His and Her garment bags I threw together from McCall's pattern 5600. Thinking ahead!!
Sometimes when you take a wrong turn, it turns out to be a wonderful thing!! For instance, last weekend, we were driving around town, and my fiance took a wrong turn, and we came across a yard sale. We've been known to stop at a few! Something in particular caught my eye this time, and I just HAD to check it out.
I found this beauty and decided to take it home with me :)
It came in its original cabinet, with a nice box full of feet and accessories:
Now I had been dreaming of finding an old treadle sewing machine at some point, but I wasn't actively looking for one, due to space constraints, but this one was in pretty good condition and the price was right, so I made room for it! I'm so glad I did!
It took me about a week to clean it up and oil it, and get a new belt. I found a wealth of information here: www.treadleon.net . Here it is, ready to sew!!
Next I will have to learn how to thread it, and practice stitching. Then I can relegate some of my wish-list projects to this machine. Oh the possibilities!
So the big day is looming. I really wanted to my make own wedding dress. I struggled with choosing a style. I pored over Pinterest and "liked" a bunch of different dresses. I made 3 1/2 muslins. Finally, it was time to decide. I found this lovely vintage pattern on Etsy, just my size!!
I'm going with the shorter, less formal version, since we are eloping!
With some minor fitting adjustments, my muslin is looking good!
I've already made the petticoat (wearing it!) and of course I will be hemming it quite a bit.
The plan is to use French Satin (diamond white) and I have some drapery lining that will work well as an interlining. This dress will be nice and structured! This is one of my inspirations, only not quite as fluffy:
I've been so busy, not nearly enough time for sewing projects :(. But now that the warmer weather is here, my very patient fiance allowed me to make him a man's short sleeve shirt from a vintage pattern. He helped me pick out the fabric and buttons (good choices!).
And here is my handsome honey, modeling the finished product!!