The Wedding Dress

I have been a remarkably bad blogger over the summer, and I feel crappy about it, to be blunt. I hate it when bloggers disappear for months, while randomly posting apologies about not posting, and promising a change for the better. Which is exactly what I did. So sorry for that. Not blogging for so long has also made it harder to start again, but here I am!

Now for the grand reason of not posting: my friend’s wedding dress! Followed by another reason for not posting, which was a 2½ week trip to San Diego, where the wedding was held, and where said friend now lives.

The dress itself has a simple and even slightly non-formal look to it, but it’s great. And a perfect match for the bride in question. The groom seemed to like it too, and none of the guests gave me any backhanded compliments or anything, so apparently it wasn’t too controversial for the mostly american audience :D

I promised myself that I would take lots of photos of the process of making the dress, but unfortunately I failed at that, since my schedule ended up being tighter than I expected (as it always does), and I was very stressed out, because making this dress meant a lot to me, since this is the first time a friend of mine got married, not to mention moved so far away. But San Diego is a great place, and I’m sure she’ll do great there. babble babble.

Here’s what I have left of months of work: quick pics from the wedding (complete with anonymous decapitated bride), some rare photos from when things were not done yet, and some drawings.

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The wreath was supposed to go all the way around the head, so the veil could have been attached to it neatly from underneath. When it arrived on the wedding day, however, it was a little different, so I had to improvise with attaching the veil, but I think it worked out fine.

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Illusion neckline-thing. Really like this.

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Beads at the hem, each one lovingly sewn on by hand :D

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The back was very tricky to handle — getting all the layers to work with the lacing thing was hard to figure out, and it’s not perfect, but still one of my favourite parts of the dress. Especially the little button at the top.

Thoughts on this dress:

The cotton sateen I used for the non-see-through parts should have been thicker, especially with the corset part, since then it would have taken being stretched out a little better = fewer wrinkles along the waist, etc.

Having two hems that are the exact same length is annoying, since in real life they will always go their separate ways from time to time, as you can see from the pictures above.

I should have studied corset making A LOT more before starting this whole thing. It turned out ok, but again, way too thin, and with too few bones in it. I did add one pair that is not shown in the pic below after the dress was almost done, just because the back was wrinkling waaaaay too much there (might’ve been useful to adjust a bit more for a sway back too, but alas, I missed that while fitting the toile). Also, there were/are annoying wrinkles at the front seams, which I’m fairly certain now are due to the centre front piece having too much of a curve at the top. I managed to fix this problem a bit, but there’s only so much you can do to a problem that should have been fixed during the pattern drafting process.

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Cotton tulle, which I used for the see-through parts, was really easy to work with, and has a nice look to it too (I bought it here). Also, I think it really added to the overall vintage-feel of the dress. Of course, it wrinkles more than synthetic tulle, but it also has a better drape to it.

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I really enjoyed sewing the beads to the hem, bizarrely enough, though it was not a quick process. I might even do some more beading in the future, whenever a little extra formality is required.

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The layers of the dress are as follows:

The see-though part

The non-see-through part

a layer of lining the same shape as the previous part

a layer of cotton flannel (added after everything was pretty much done, to counter the fact that the fabric above it was too thin)  shaped like this:

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The corset with the petticoat attached to it:

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And finally a lining to keep the petticoat from directly touching the legs, as it is a little itchy (I used this tutorial to construct the petticoat, by the way).

That’s six layers all in all. Whew.

 

In the end, I feel nothing but positive feelings towards this dress. It looked very flattering on the bride, she liked it, I like it (despite being terribly neurotic and such), and I learned so much. So, so much. And I just feel so awesome about having had the privilege of making such a dress for such an awesome friend.

And seriously, look at them being all married and stuff:

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- Sadie

 

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Apologies

Wow, have I been a lazy blogger lately! But to be fair on myself, I haven’t been lazy at all. Who knew making a wedding dress would take so much time and effort, right? :D

But I promise there will be updates on that, as well as other things, in the very near future. There might even be a tutorial or two :)

 

- Sadie

 

 

 

 

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A Parisian Borderprint Skirt

I made a quick skirt a while back from the leftovers of a wonderful borderprint fabric I bought from Paris in the summer. Simple, but very handy and wearable and overall great. Basically a circle skirt with a separate rectangular portion of the scalloped border.

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I put an inseam pocket and a zipper in the same seam, which was fairly interesting.

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Always remembering some fusible interfacing on the pocket edges so they don’t stretch.

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Yay!

 

- Sadie

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Wedding Dress in Progress vol.1

Hi!

As I announced a while ago, I’m making the wedding dress of a good friend of mine, who is getting married in July. So far I’ve been very busy with making the patterns and the prototype of the dress, which is part of the reason why I’ve been such a bad blogger lately and have posted so little.

But anyway, here’s a little of what I’ve been doing so far:

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Making the patterns was fairly straightforward, and I didn’t really run into any problems there. I started with a basic dress block drawn with the measurements of my friend, and drafted the patterns for all of the parts of the dress from there. I will do a more detailed post on the inner workings and construction of the dress later.

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The prototype or toile I made was very detailed, since I wanted to test some of the features, like the curved french seams on the overlay part of the dress, and the undercorset that will keep the whole thing from falling off once it’s on.

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Here’s what the prototype looked like before the first fitting. I made it from some bedclothes and a see-through curtain I had, which had been left over from some halloween costume. In the first picture there’s even a petticoat I’m making for myself (there will be a post, in case anyone’s interested) under the dress, so that the silhouette would be the same as in the finished dress, which will definitely have a petticoat.

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The changes I made after the fitting were as follows: taking in the dress a few centimeters at most seams, so that it would be sufficiently tight and not fall off or feel uncomfortably loose; I also curved in the front seams above the bust a bit, so that there would be as little a chance of a wardrobe malfunction as possible; I shortened the back a bit, as seen in the last picture; and finally, trimmed the neckline and armholes rather liberally.

Now the next step will be transferring these changes to the patterns, and then starting the actual dress. So exciting!

The dress for the party in Finland I’ve already finished, since I made it at school as part of my studies (I’ll do a post of that dress as soon as I get some decent photos).

 

In other news, I bought a sewing machine from the 1960s, and I’m in love! It is in near perfect condition, weighs about a ton, and is just about the prettiest machine I’ve ever encountered. It even has a handy compartment for bobbins and presser feet and such.

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PS. Spring has finally arrived in Helsinki, and all this sunlight and birdsong is almost overwhelming!

- Sadie

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School Projects: The Button-up Shirt

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We had a project at school where we had to design and make a shirt/blouse based on sketches by an entrepreneur who’s collaborating with our school. The sketches contained the basic idea for the shirt (some of them were very vague), but there was still room for creativity.

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The sketch I got was pretty similar to the finished product, but I did come up with some things myself, like the bias tape between the curvy seams — and I altered the sleeves by making them long (in the sketch they were t-shirt sleeves) and adding the curved seam. Truthfully the sketch I got to work with was pretty clear, and I liked the design, so there wasn’t really much to change. In a way it was refreshing to work on something designed by someone other than me, since even though I liked the look of the shirt, I probably would have done something very different on my own.

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The curved seams decorating the shirt were my favourite part of making this blouse, though at first I was worried that they would be too difficult, and would ultimately lead to swearing and disappointment. They really were pretty tough to pull off neatly, but in the end I felt like I learned a lot from making them (I would even want to make something with similar seams again). Bias tape never fails to amaze me, as silly as it may sound, and I love steaming it into curves and seeing how effortlessly it can be molded into almost any shape.

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- Sadie

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