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Bias-cut Wedding Dress
silk charmeuse/chiffon -- underline?
mamafitz
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mamafitz
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Date: 1/16/05 3:31 PM

i'm making the wedding dress for my brother's wedding (may 28), and we are copying a vera wang dress. well, we are kinda morphing a few styles, but mostly this one:
#23 at this link:
http://www.verawang.com/maids/fulllength

anyway, yesterday we purchased the fabric: silk charmeuse and silk chiffon. it's divine. my question, would you underline the skirt? i'm using simplicity 5187 for the base pattern:
http://www.simplicity.com/assets/5187/5187.jpg
with the skirt on the bias instead. top part will be charmeuse and chiffon, with straps extending to the back into ties, out of the chiffon.

my thought about underlining is then it would help hide the seam allowances, but i don't want to ruin the softness of the charmeuse -- the bride (julie) really likes the feel of it. i have oodles of silk organza, but i'm thinking that will make it too stiff. what about china silk? would that be a good plan? i plan to line the dress in ambiance.

i fit the muslin on her friday night, and it looked beautiful. i think i want to do one more muslin before i cut the charmeuse, just to be safe.

linda

------
Linda

Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves, and of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys, they’d just walk around naked at all times.
-- Betsey Johnson


http://mamafitz.blogspot.com

AnneM
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AnneM  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/16/05 3:49 PM

When I made my wedding dress, the skirt was on the bias. I did not underline. I did self-fabric line, though. That gave the skirt more substance.

It seems that underlining might change the wonderful way that the charmeuse flows when cut on the bias. I suppose you would cut the underlining on the bias as well, though. China silk or batiste might work. I don't think I would underline it, myself, though.

Ambiance is lighter weight than the charmeuse. Perhaps a heavier lining would work nicely? Or underlining the lining to give it a little more substance?

I'm not nearly as experienced at sewing as you are, of course. Just relaying what I think based on my encounter with this.

Anne

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With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.

mamafitz
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mamafitz
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Date: 1/17/05 7:50 AM

thanks anne -- what was your dress made from? i don't think i have enough charmeuse to self line (we bought all there was -- about 8 yards -- you know how bias eats up the yardage!). and it's not a very full skirt, so i'm not concerned about giving it oomph (she won't be wearing a crinoline or anything like that).

hmm, wonder if i could underline in ambiance......i just don't like it when the seam allowances show through, and she won't be wearing a slip or anything. if i underline, i would definitely do it on the bias as well. i see a lot of samples in my future... :)

linda

------
Linda

Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves, and of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys, they’d just walk around naked at all times.
-- Betsey Johnson


http://mamafitz.blogspot.com

ClaireC
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ClaireC  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/17/05 11:29 AM

I've not made a wedding dress and have not sewn charmuse on the bias so I have nothing to add to this.

However, a white dress with thin fabric, and no slip on a sunny day could make for a naked looking bride. I'm not sure *how* to underline, but I would recommend this for modesty sake.

Georgene
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Georgene
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Date: 1/17/05 12:27 PM

Rather than underline, where you treat the 2 fabrics as one and sew them in to the seams together, I would line it with another fabric (preferably silk) set in at the seam at the bodice. Charmeuse is is a good candidate for pinking shears, if you look at some of the vintage gowns from the 1920's and 30's, they are all pinked.

French seams are best for chiffon if it is seaprate from the fabric underneath, and of course baby hems. I never use a roll hem foot for chiffon as it is harder to control, I prefer the 'turn, trim, turn' method.
-- Edited on 1/17/05 1:28 PM --

AnneM
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AnneM  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/17/05 3:57 PM

My dress was charmeuse. I bought a lot of charmeuse. :o

Based on my (limited) experience, I just wouldn't be comfortable with underlining it on the bias. I did underline the bodice of my dress, but it wasn't on the bias and I wanted more substance for that part. I would be concerned with the other fabric having a different stretch factor on the bias than the charmeuse. I suppose you could buy a flesh-tone or white charmeuse to underline it with; you can get natural charmeuse from Thai Silks for only slightly more that ambiance.

I would think lining would take care of the issue for you. That should prevent show-through. Of course, if you want show-through (silhouette picture), then perhaps use french seams.

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With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.

GoSewGirl
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Date: 1/18/05 9:22 AM

Hi, Just putting in my 2 cents...I would definitely not underline. If you have the book Couture Sewing techniques by Claire Schaeffer, check out the self-bound seam p. 40. This is a version of a "lingerie flat welt" seam that I learned in a class. This is a great inconspicuous way to finish a seam in a soft drapey bias cut seam (like the charmeuse), and it is done by hand. Otherwise, I'm with Georgene on the French seam and just pinking the edges on the chiffon. And I would make either an attached "slip" as Georgene suggests also, or a completely separate slip to wear. I checked out your link to the Vera Wang site (amazing dresses!) and the thing about the dresses that make them so special is the luscious swinging drape of the skirts. I really think an underlining would ruin this effect.

Can't wait to see this project!

Liz H
-- Edited on 1/18/05 10:25 AM --

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Liz

Sew it seams
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Sew it seams
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Date: 1/18/05 9:31 AM

Linda, I had a similar question about lining or underlining this dress which is cut on the bias. I ended up doing exactly what Georgene suggested and it worked very well. The dress hung really nicely and there was no show-through. link to review
-- Edited on 1/18/05 10:33 AM --

mamafitz
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mamafitz
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Date: 1/18/05 12:09 PM

wonderful review, debe, thanks for the info. did that dress have a zipper? i usually interface or stabilize the zip area, but wonder if that will show through. ah, another sample to do. :)

so, you all think i should use silk for the lining too? ok, i think that'll be good. i can see if the local shop here has it, otherwise, i'm sure i can find some at Vogue in evanston.

the chiffon is only on the top -- no exposed seams, though if there were, i would do french seams.

when i get farther along, i will prolly be asking opinions on some type of wrap.....i took a picture of the muslin on my body double, but she's smaller than me, and it doesn't fit well on the body double. and i forgot to take a picture of the muslin on her. i plan to do another muslin, out of 45" fabric so that she can see what the piecing will look like (i have to piece the skirt). so i'll try and take a picture then.

linda

------
Linda

Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves, and of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys, they’d just walk around naked at all times.
-- Betsey Johnson


http://mamafitz.blogspot.com

Mandolin82
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Mandolin82  Friend of PR
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In reply to mamafitz


Date: 1/18/05 12:57 PM

Another place to purchase silks is Thai Silks .

They have a huge selection, very reasonable prices and I have pleased with the service when I have used them. Maybe a china silk for the lining would work.

Susan

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