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Wedding dress - advice about fit needed!
kateh
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kateh
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UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 1/14/07
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Date: 5/28/08 10:33 AM

Hi there everybody!

I'm making my own wedding dress (wedding is the 26th July) and I've got as far as making a mock-up with some super-cheap (and nasty!) polyester satin and lace. I have no-one nearby to help with fitting etc so I have done it all by myself - not an easy job! So I would appreciate your honest opinions on my mock-up and how it can be improved before I get started on the actual dress.

Firstly, here is the inspiration for my dress - a tea-length, full skirted dress (with petticoat) with lace overlay. I bought the lace on a recent trip to NYC but yet to buy the silk (recommendations on a suitable fabric appreciated - light, not too shiny...) I haven't yet decided whether to make a sash - may see how it looks without one first.

I drafted the pattern with Winifred Aldrich's pattern cutting book (tight fitting bodice + circular skirt), and followed Susan Khalje's protocols for construction, boning etc and I made the petticoat using a simplicity pattern. My mock-up consists of a polycotton underlining with boning channels sewn in, a polyester satin and the lace. Here are some pictures of my mock-up.

Bodice front (skirt attachment not even)
Bodice back (untidy zipper + missing snap at the top)
Bodice side
Full length (not hemmed - final version will fall just below the knee)

The mock-up fits well and is comfortable, but I have some issues!

1) Noticeable wrinkling under the bust
The waist is a little less fitted than the bust - maybe that would help? Or alternatively, change the construction to incorporate an inner corselette rather than have the boning on the underlining, to allow top layers to drape better?

2) Boning channels visible
Avoid in the final version by using a more dense fabric for the underlining? Or the mini corselette may help as the top layers would not be so tight against the underlining?

3) Gaping at the top front of bodice
(see here)
Not sure what's going on here - I don't want to tighten it anymore as the area under my armpits is already buldging a little. Maybe reinforce with something?

4) Area under armits is bulging a little - unavoidable?

I would be so grateful for any help with these issues! I want to get started on the final version as soon as possible..
Thanks!
Kate


-- Edited on 5/29/08 8:27 AM --

Luckylibbet
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Luckylibbet
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In reply to kateh


Date: 5/28/08 10:55 AM

The fit looks pretty good to me. ETA - maybe (????) a bit too tight right under the bust?????

I would recommend the inner corselet for all the reasons you've stated - I think it will help the top layer drape better and will hide the boning some.

For the top gapping issue - did you incorporate a stay? For DD's strapless prom dress, we sewed in gros grain ribbon at the top and at the waist, anchored at the side seam, to the inner corselet, and sewed elastic at the very ends of the ribbon, so she could 'snug up' the fit at the top of the bodice and the waist.

I don't think I explained this very well - maybe the article below will help. And although I don't have the Khalje book, I'm sure the topic is covered there.

Here's an article about waist stays - we did the same thing at the top of the bodice as well, except with elastic at the ends .

And I'm pretty sure Marji has done something similar - I just can't find the thread or the review!

Another ETA - Forgot to say that I really like the style you've chosen for your wedding dress! It's going to be gorgeous when all done.
-- Edited on 5/28/08 10:57 AM --

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Suo ergo maledicto

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. - Steve Jobs

goodworks1
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Date: 5/28/08 11:42 AM

I agree about using an inner layer for the boning and just 'hang' the outer layer and it's underlining from it. The looser cut and the underlining will eliminate the show-through. I like to use a medium weight firmly woven cotton for boning layer.

I found that a firmly anchored waist stay for the boning to "settle" on is the key to a comfortable strapless dress. Be careful to keep the zipper area non-stressed at the waist by putting in a slightly shortened piece to hook at the waist band/stay before you zip up the dress. (I don't think I've explained that well - it's been a few years since I tackled one of these and I'm having trouble remembering all the terminology.)

For the gaping, maybe you can curve the princess seams in at the top of the front bodice (especially the center section) and thus shorten the width of just the top front of the dress. {edited to add: Looking again at your photos, maybe you could fix the whole thing by taking in ONLY the front seam allowance at the side seam, maybe even letting OUT the back side seam a bit.}

Or if that doesn't help enough, you might do as Heather suggested and add just a slightly stretched elastic stay. (or there are other types of stays also.) You might be able to let out the back slightly to reduce the (admittedly small) skin bulge once you have the waist stay

I do think your dress will be fabulous! It's actually quite good 'as-is' but I think you'll be happier with the inner corselette.
-- Edited on 5/28/08 11:46 AM --

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blog: goodworks1.wordpress.com

jhansby
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Date: 5/28/08 11:43 PM

Your dress is looking great!! Fitting is well done and I agree with the other ladies about how to fix those wrinkles under the bustline. A waist-stay is a must, too. Can't wait to see the real thing when you are done!

kateh
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kateh
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UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 1/14/07
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Date: 5/29/08 8:31 AM

Thanks ladies for for all your lovely words and encouragement!

I didn't put a waist stay in this version so it definitely sounds like that, combined with the inner corselette will help. Goodworks, I'll definitely try your suggestions for the fitting at the top of the bodice. Thanks!

I'll do another mock-up of the bodice this weekend and will let you know how it goes!

kate

Leora
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Leora
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Date: 5/29/08 10:57 AM

I wonder if pinching out a small amount once or twice horizontally inbetween the underbust and waist would eliminate those wrinkles.

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Leah

My blog:
http://www.journeytocouture.com

My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

kateh
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kateh
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UNITED KINGDOM
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In reply to Leora


Date: 5/29/08 12:29 PM

Quote: Leora
I wonder if pinching out a small amount once or twice horizontally inbetween the underbust and waist would eliminate those wrinkles.

Hi Leah, thanks for your message.. sorry but I'm not sure I know what you mean by "pinching out"! Do you mean take it in a little in that area?
thanks!
Kate
FirecrackerKTM
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FirecrackerKTM
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Date: 5/29/08 12:32 PM

Oh, what a lovely dress. You've done an excellent job. I can't wait to see progress--it will inspire me since I am beginning to work on the muslin for my own dress this summer!

Sew it seams
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Sew it seams
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Date: 5/29/08 2:45 PM

What a wonderful job you are doing. I can't wait to see the finished dress. I agree with all above- a corselette, and a waist stay, and also I think folding out about an inch (a 1/2" fold) in the pattern pieces horizontally across the middle all the way around would help with the wrinkles in that area, as Leora said.
Keep taking photos. It's so much fun to see progress on these wedding dresses!
-- Edited on 5/29/08 2:46 PM --

Leora
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Leora
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In reply to Sew it seams


Date: 5/29/08 3:07 PM

Quote: Sew it seams
What a wonderful job you are doing. I can't wait to see the finished dress. I agree with all above- a corselette, and a waist stay, and also I think folding out about an inch (a 1/2" fold) in the pattern pieces horizontally across the middle all the way around would help with the wrinkles in that area, as Leora said.


She said what I meant but much more concisely!

I can't write or talk today

Oh, before I forget. I believe you can contact Thai Silks and request a swatch packet of bridal silks. Or let me know if they can't send one and I'll send you the contents of my latest envelope from them. www.thaisilks.com

------
Leah

My blog:
http://www.journeytocouture.com

My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

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