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Pattern Reviews> Self Drafted Pattern> 0000 (1-Shoulder Tulle Wedding Gown)

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Reviewed by:Terri A
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About Terri Astarstarstarstar
United States
Member since: 1/16/08
Reviews written: 110
Sewing skills:Advanced
Favored by: 76 people
patterns reviewed: 95
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Posted on:7/17/08 1:00 AM
Last Updated:9/14/14 6:13 PM
Project Photo:Self Drafted Pattern: 0000 by Terri A

  Self Drafted Pattern: 0000 by Terri A  Self Drafted Pattern: 0000 by Terri A  
Pattern Photo:

More Info provided by Terri A

Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people    Very Helpful by 9 people   
Filed Under: Wedding Dress  gown  satin  tulle  
Fabric:Satin  [See other projects in this fabric]
The bride informed me it is their 6 yr Anniversary! As I was hunting photos for her, I realized that this review (One of my first and pretty terrible) needed updating VERY BADLY!!! So I have tried to add the correct photos in links.

I had drawn the entire skirt myself, and although starting off with the bodice from a pattern, I ended up drawing the bodice myself too. This ended up being entirely drawn up by myself, so I changed the description to match that, as it bears zero resemblance to the commercial Vogue pattern I wanted to use to begin with.

Bustled using the ribbons and loops...


I have learned a lot so far, and am a bit humbled at everything involved in making a dress like this. There are so many things to consider.

Really wish I could have had more time and get it done faster but there was no rush actually as the dress is not needed quite yet.

I added a waist stay and snaps at the upper edge of the back. I hand sewed in all the inside areas so everything is attached and neat looking. I also sewed in all the buttons on the back and I have to say that is quite a challenge with the weight of the dress and pull with the very tight bodice and waist. It would be impossible without a waist stay of some kind to really hold everything in and allow the closure to lay straight!
I didn't realize just how important that is until now.

Will post a photo when totally done with the dress as it is still WIP-
I am so humbled - this was HARD. My hat is totally off to anyone who can do this for a living What a challenge!!!

I have tried to post as many helpful elements as possible as I worked on this, as the process of pinning and cutting multiple layers of tulle to a given shape was the most unusual part of this process.

I also learned to pay attention to the instincts that say: "Maybe that seam should change...." If it doesn't look good to you, do something about it. Also, never give up on something really important - keep thinking about it until you have a solution!

This may seem a bit much, but during time that I cannot sew, when engaged in other important life chores, I try to construct the garment in my mind, step by step and visualize it. I imagine it all going together and what issues might come up. I find by the time I actually sew it, I have a game plan, and I feel I have sewn it before.
(I was apparently taking this very seriously lol!!!)

I have underlined in a sturdier fabric. I added boning to the front on the interlining to make sure it will hold up well. I added a panel to both sides of the back closure area.

I wasn't paying attention and with the first pass of the iron over the silk ironing cloth imprinted one of the boning strips on the front. It was just *barely* there but I had to redo that whole piece anyway.
Afterwards, remembering to slip a ham or something in there to keep the boning from being pressed against the satin.

Still WIP... I have completely redrawn the front and back bodice, since the straight seam was there on both sides, and this time cut it out couture style in the back incorporating a placket for the satin buttons from the start on the right back piece.

The other thing inherently wrong with the original bodice I hoped to use is (now oop Vogue 8387) you have essentially a c cup on the one side and more like a b cup on the straight line side as the pattern was designed. This is because the actual pieces that form the straight side curve only very slightly by nature. This leaves very little room for the bust on just one side and plenty on the other. After redrawing the lines both seams allow the same bust room on both sides.

The tulle skirt portion and bustling mechanism are finished and now I need to make the bodice and add satin button and loop closure.

The tulle skirt portion is seamless and includes 12 layers of Bridal illusion over a base layer which is essentially an altered version of McCalls 4109 Evening Elegance petticoat view D in a light satin and simple lining. This forms the underskirt and support and a bit of a waist-stay

The tulle was cut from a 50 yd bolt 120" /128"" wide in the following dimensions:
back 50" for train

I cut the circle and slit out of the center of these layers of tulle after pinning them together to minimize shifting.

I used the typical math to determine the diameter so as to draw the circle with a string and pencil (I know I know!) in order to gather it at a 50/50 ratio and have it come out at the brides waist measurement.

diameter= circle circumference (twice the bride's waist measurement) divided by pi (3.14) or something like that.

When I was done with that part I cut a slit down from the back of that circle for accessing the zipper in the satin underskirt.

I didn't have a table big enough to cut the lengths in graduating fractions all the way around so my husband helped me pull a line off the waist and carefull mark and then cut all the way around to arrive at the final lengths all the way around.
So, you would divide the distance like from the front at 43" to the sides at 46" and determine what fractional increase every two inches you need to mark. Then do the same thing from the side point to the back and so on.

Since it is all one pinned together section of layers with no seam it is very important to pin everywhere with safety pins to keep it from getting completely out of whack.
Also when I layered those original 50 yards I cut them in lengths that covered the front and center and back total length. This is really important!!!
The tulle layers were already the correct width to cover the sides.

I stabilized the slit with satin ribbon and attached me-invented ribbons and loops to create a bustling mechanism and a pretty concealment for the slit and the zipper access area.
All of this is to be worn over the petticoat/slip in my other review.

End result: Happy bride.

This is the *FAVORITEST* dress I ever made...

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47 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
Rpolston said... (9/15/14 11:29 AM) Reply
Dmd4106 said... (9/15/14 1:18 AM) Reply
What a purty gown! I love tulle skirts. Thanks for the information post
Terri A said... (9/15/14 0:53 AM) Reply
Thank you guys so much - it's so awesome to share on PR...
Lagolden2 said... (9/14/14 11:23 PM) Reply
Wow what a gorgeous dress. You did a fantastic job working with materials that are not forgiving or easy to handle. You deserve a million bucks and a lotta love.
Debbie Dabbles said... (9/14/14 10:45 PM) Reply
What an adventure. Read both of your updates today. Just amazing.
Jill A. Johnson said... (9/14/14 9:36 PM) Reply
So Pretty! :)
carolynw said... (9/14/14 6:27 PM) Reply
Heatherrique said... (9/12/08 5:24 PM) Reply
Breathtakingly beautiful, Terri! Thanks for sharing your sewing journey!
nancy2001 said... (9/11/08 7:52 PM) Reply
The dress you made looks stunning on the radiant bride. It really is magnificent.
Mufffet said... (9/11/08 5:05 PM) Reply
What a beautiful dress!! looks so professional. I like that photograph - it looks professional as well!
Karendee said... (9/11/08 12:39 PM) Reply
Amazing work! Beautiful.
MagpieJen said... (9/11/08 12:25 PM) Reply
*swoon* It's like she's walking on the clouds or something. Truly a work of art.
Em's Summer said... (9/11/08 11:07 AM) Reply
You worked hard on this and it turned out beautifully!
carolynw said... (9/11/08 9:09 AM) Reply
This is just so beautiful - you did an extraordinary piece of work here - bride should be totally happy with the end result - truly beautiful
alisono said... (9/11/08 4:37 AM) Reply
Such a beautiful dress. I'm not surprised she's happy -- she will look stunning.
Terri A said... (9/5/08 7:20 PM) Reply
Thanks for your help in the making of it:-) Really appreciated it!
nancy2001 said... (8/29/08 10:30 PM) Reply
What a stunning gown -- fit for a fairy princess. I love the redrafted bodice -- it's exactly right. Congratulations.
Nancy Anne said... (8/29/08 8:02 PM) Reply
How breathtaking! I am having a hard time trying to envision any bride being anything but thrilled with such a stunning creation! (And by the way, that is no longer a Vogue pattern- I don't even think it qualifies as the essence of Vogue 8387 anymore.)
celeste said... (8/29/08 12:19 PM) Reply
congrats! what a professional job you did on such a difficult dress! any bride would be proud to wear it.
michellep74 said... (8/29/08 11:14 AM) Reply
Wow--what a gorgeous dress and an inspiration to those of who someday might choose to sew a wedding dress!
amy in mpls said... (8/29/08 8:46 AM) Reply
Yowzas!Great work....such a beautiful dress. She is going L O V E it!
cindyann said... (8/29/08 8:14 AM) Reply
That is so beautiful! Very nicely done.
Lori V said... (8/29/08 7:11 AM) Reply
Terri, this dress is stunning. You do such incredible work.
senaSews said... (8/29/08 2:10 AM) Reply
this is a stunning dress. it looks absolutely fabulous. wow
Terri A said... (8/29/08 1:14 AM) Reply
That just makes my whole year:-) Thanks!
Annette1 said... (8/29/08 0:56 AM) Reply
Oh my gosh, I LOVE looking at formal dresses, and this gown is STUNNING: the tulle, the buttons, the bodice, the satin, everything single thing about it. :o) The BACK is so pretty. :o) BRAVO!
Puppy said... (8/28/08 9:19 PM) Reply
Oh, NICE, really, really nice!
nancy2001 said... (7/22/08 9:10 PM) Reply
I love the modified bodice. It's very feminine and blends perfectly with the tulle skirt.
chacha45 said... (7/22/08 8:38 PM) Reply
That skirt is breathtaking, like a fairytale princess would wear!
Terri A said... (7/22/08 5:51 PM) Reply
Well, I think it would work especially in the casual dress it was meant for. You could make it a bit loose and it would never show. However, I think the blame lies in the narrow choices for a one shoulder bodice of any kind... and then trying to put in in a tight fitted bodice application, right? I really appreciate everyone's comments. Thanks for the help.
frogs2 said... (7/22/08 5:48 PM) Reply
Terri - Great job on redrafting the bodice. The new lines help emphasize the bust curve and the taper at the waist too - I really like this! Nice job!
ryansmumAria said... (7/22/08 5:29 PM) Reply
Terri, I am fascinated to learn that you figured out the differenc cup sizes. That never would have occurred to me! Not only are you learning massive amounts but now you are teacher- hahah. Can't wait to see it done. Too bad that design didn't work-I loved it!
Terri A said... (7/18/08 2:06 PM) Reply
What great tips - thanks! Yeah - since I am just doing this as a friend and not for profit I am sort of stuck in that regard ... and she isn't planning to wear a veil! No where to hide for me:-) I am learning a lot and I think you are right - it's just brilliant to have en enclosure that can adjust (like lacing) to weight changes! I think lacing is very very elegant too.
Bernadette W said... (7/18/08 1:37 AM) Reply
Terri-First of all, amazing work on all of these dresses! To give you feedback on the dress bodice--I would agree with nancy2001 about curving both sides of the bodice seams--I found it odd that Vogue used two different seam treatments in the dress pattern that you are using as the basis for this gown. The other point that I would like to address is the issue of size fluctuations so typical of brides. One of my teachers in apparel design classes designed custom wedding gowns--and she finally had to incorporate sizing "rules" into her contracts. Any measurement changes greater than 1/2" up or down after the final fitting would require x-amount per hour of rework time and x amount doubles or triples on an emergency basis! So many brides either pack weight on or lose it due to stress, or decide to go on a strict diet four weeks before the wedding, and hand beading, lace placement and the designer's life all get disrupted. This is harder for the friend/seamstress, with a personal investment in long term bride happiness. I have experienced this first-hand. The one work-around that I can offer that will minimize YOUR stress levels, is to incorporate a lacing or buttoning feature in the back of the bodice which will allow fine tuning ON THE WEDDING DAY. See Vogue 2810 as one example of this treatment. This is unobtrusive, and will be covered by her wedding veil anyway.
indiaw said... (7/17/08 6:30 PM) Reply
I am in awe of all the layers of tulle you worked with in the skirt. Very lovely. And I agree with nancy about curving the short seam too. Great job.
Terri A said... (7/17/08 4:43 PM) Reply
I will do that - thanks so much:-) Yes, I am definitely learning what *not* to do each time I sew something! LOL
ryansmumAria said... (7/17/08 4:26 PM) Reply
Terri, If there is enough time I would mail her the bodice muslins and have someone pin it on her. I'd include some instructions. Remember to add and EXTRA 1" side seams (a la Sandra Betzina) This means side seams are 1 5/8 inch wide. I'm sure you have learned so much from this project and will emerge a wiser seamstress! I tell myself this each and everytime I sew up a miss and it really is true! I know what NOT to do....
Terri A said... (7/17/08 3:32 PM) Reply
The bride is visiting out of town for an extended time (her wedding is in September). Maybe I should do a muslin of each and send her photos. One thing worrying me is that her size fluctuates a lot from like a pattern size ten to a twelve and then back. I had done all this work and made the muslin had fittings used a dressform and thought I covered all the bases:-) haha ----but then when she came over the "real thing" that was interlined and everything was too tight. I pointed out the importance of wearing what you plan to wear for undergarments at the wedding etc... I have to start all over on this bodice and make it bigger and then I wonder will it be too big? After all the work on the skirt I needed a break and made the green dress for my daughter and the ottobre toddler dresses for my friend for fun, just to get my head out of the process and color for awhile. I am learning a lot but I am not a professional and I had sort of thought I was home-free after the skirt was done - but now I am thinking the bodice is the most critical thing. Thanks for all your help and input. This is a new experience for me. The other wedding dress I did was very easy and a different construction altogether. My fav part is when the dress is done and the bride looks happy and proud in her dress!
Re Becca said... (7/17/08 3:22 PM) Reply
That looks like it will be fabulous. I don't envy you working with all that tulle! Keep us up to date.
Athene said... (7/17/08 3:14 PM) Reply
I will continue to watch your updates with fascination. This gown design looks so beautiful and inspiring.
ryansmumAria said... (7/17/08 11:46 AM) Reply
I had a second thoght about your bodice. I recall when making a prom dress that the client was torn between two bodices. I quickly made 2 test outs and immediately she knew which was the right one. I spent minimal time on both. HOwever, I do love the lines on this bodice. It's unusual. Good luck
Allie in Hong Kong said... (7/17/08 8:26 AM) Reply
Wow that looks amazing - 12 layers and 50 yards? what a great friend (and brave sewer!) you are.
Lori V said... (7/17/08 7:12 AM) Reply
This is such a beautiful gown.
nancy2001 said... (7/17/08 6:52 AM) Reply
The tulle skirt looks wonderful, and the gown will be magnificent. To answer the question you posted on your blog, I would definitely curve the short, straight bodice seam so it mirrors the longer one on the other side. I think the asymmetry should stop at the neckline and not extend to the bust. Also, a curved seam would flow with the curve of the neckline and seems much more appropriate in a romantic, ultrafeminine dress like this one.
squirrellypoo said... (7/17/08 6:19 AM) Reply
wow. I had to do a double-take that the pattern you linked to was the one for that dress! Thanks for all the details in construction - I'm still in the planning stages of my dress but I've got over a year to go... :)
Terri A said... (7/16/08 9:26 PM) Reply
Thanks for the feedback. Any thoughts are appreciated! I checked my blog and found my settings were causing people (non-members of blogger) to not be able to post. I changed that now and so thanks for bringing that to my attention:-) Thanks a bunch for the input!!!!
ryansmumAria said... (7/16/08 9:09 PM) Reply
I couldn't post on your blog for some reason. Wanted to let you know the bodice has a great flow. It is a wonderful design- what a great friend you are. That's ALOT of work. I hope you are enjoying the process.
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