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Message Board > Bridal and Formalwear Sewing > wedding dress with stretch lace??? ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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wedding dress with stretch lace???
ALTmentalities
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ALTmentalities
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Date: 7/24/13 6:02 PM

My friend is getting married in a few months. And I am going to make her wedding dress.

I have never made a wedding dress before, HOWEVER!

1. She has nearly identical measurements to mine. (just a little smaller in the bust, and slightly shorter-waisted... but otherwise exactly the same!)
2. We are using as our foundation a pattern I have already made (B5780). She tried it on and really liked the fit (though, as I said, I think the bust is a little loose on her).

Here is the design we came up with together. She wants it sage green (she is a redhead). No train (thank God!) or bustle. The skirt will probably be a sheer chiffon layered over the lining, though she is still making up her mind about that.

B5780 is a knit pattern. I was thinking of using this stretch lace, and underlining it with a stretch silk charmeuse for the bodice (possibly lining with this, too, or do I need something with more support??). Having stretch lace in the back will make fitting that triangular opening much easier, without gaping... right?

So my first question is: are these good fabric choices?? Is it unheard of to do a gown in stretch fabrics?

My next question is: what support/structure do I need underneath? She will not be wearing a bra (because of the back...) so she needs some built-in support... I've just never done that with a stretch fabric before. She's small-chested so her needs are not great. Would a stiffer lining (stretch) with boning and perhaps cups be sufficient?

A waist stay is a good idea, right?

I really appreciate your advice, ladies. I want this to be beautiful.
-- Edited on 7/24/13 6:10 PM --

carry
carry
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Date: 7/24/13 7:55 PM

My concern with a stretch lace bodice underlined with stretch silk charmuese especially in a light color and no bra would be way too sheer.Even if small busted the garment would cling to her form. revealing every bump and shadow.Stretch lace although used in some lower end formal wear was introduced I think, as a sportswear fabric,kind of a surprising little play on texture borrowed from more formal styles. Maybe you are unsure because of that.The trouble with stretch is that it is hard to mold or structure with un stretch underlining..its meant to drape.I would look for the design lines of the pattern you both like in a woven geared pattern that will make up a solid under bodice. The lace overlay could be a light lace or you could use a stretch if that appealed. The style you came up with is really pretty,but since the lace top is the major decorative element why not spend a bit more on a fine lace, you'd probable need as little as a yard. Just some thoughts. carry

carry
carry
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Date: 7/24/13 11:41 PM

I did a little hunting for regular lace Gorgeous fabric has a sage green and also an olive green and gold

Skaapie
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Skaapie
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Date: 7/25/13 4:50 AM

firstly, wow - what a beautiful design.
I also think that the fabric choice is too light weight for the bodice. To give some body to the silk charmeuse you could underline it, then treat that as a single layer. I did this recently and it gave the flimsy fabric the heft it needed to support the bodice. The skirt just had a lining so it was still floaty and beautiful. (I used a poly stretch charmeuse)

As for support, you could probably do a double layer of fabric with the boning sandwiched in between. I also sewed in cups to my dress - since the wearer was also small busted - and while they didn't necessarily add any oomph, they made her feel more confident.

And definitely yes on the waist stay. Those things are the best.

ALTmentalities
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ALTmentalities
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Date: 7/25/13 8:38 AM

Much appreciate your great suggestions so far!

What I'm hearing is:
- might make more sense to do the bodice in a non-stretch fabric
- definitely going to need more than two layers of silk charmeuse and a layer of stretch lace

Some of the attractions of the stretch for us was:
-no zipper closure
-really good fit
-our base pattern is a knit pattern

I don't think it would be very difficult however to switch to a woven approach for the design. I'll just need to make another muslin (the first muslin is actually in a stretchy woven with spandex, but it fit very well). One thing I'm questioning is: how does she get it on if it's not stretchy?? I suppose one way would be to add the button element at the base of the neck on that piece of fabric there, though we both really liked the clean line of no visible closure on that piece.

... Most lace has some natural stretch and give to it, as well... right?Really she's not going to need much stretch to be able to slide this thing on over her head. There's a lot of room up there!

I agree that a finer lace would be better. My plan is to locate the lace first, than order swatches of the charmeuse to find a color that goes well. I'm a little concerned about color matching... I have never dyed fabric before and don't want to try for this project!

Do people think that the silk charmeuse is a good choice for the skirt fabric (with the possibility of a sheer silk chiffon overlay? I am not as familiar with these fine fabrics as I ought to be. Most of my sewing for myself is in lightweight cotton, linen, wool suiting, denim, etc. Silk! Ah, the luxury!!

If I do switch to a woven fabric approach for the bodice, what do you suggest as far as lining and underlining, support, etc.? I'll also see what Susan Khalje has to say when I get her CD in the mail!

Thanks again for your help... I will keep you all updated on the dress progress. Her wedding is in October (which is not as far aways as it sounds!!!)

ALTmentalities
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ALTmentalities
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Date: 7/25/13 8:51 AM

And thanks for the tip on Gorgeous Fabrics. I found this lace, and also this one, which I like.

Anyone else have a good source for buying sage/mint green lace with nice selvages?

carry
carry
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Date: 7/25/13 12:25 PM

One of the pretty things about your design would be the skirt seaming to get that shape.If you use the silk charm.it will fall closer to the body and the seaming element will get kind of lost. Charmuese is often used for bias cut,drapey light styles.1930's look.How about silk dupioni?Check out Silk Baron fab. colors inexpensive.It has body. The other fabrics are Dutchess or double faced which is 100% silk or a rayon /silk...Bridal Satin...,Crepe back silk satin and Italian silk satin which is like peau de soie heavier and more expensive.Silk faille,Dutchess and Dupioni are mid weight. Lighter weight would be crepe de chine and a silk cotton blend called silk radiance,which has a silk sheen and is a cotton/silk blend. If I were doing this dress,I'd use the dupioni or silk satin.I'd underline the bodice pieces with silk organza[mount the organza to the satin].I would construct the lace overbodice seperately and connect at waist and closure.I might put organza or net under the sheer upper lace bodice for a little support.I would make the lining for the bodice in crepe de chine or habotai,boning the front back and sides. I think a zipper lower back and down into the skirt,maybe crystal buttons and loops at the upper back-remember this not stretch- it will be difficult to get over the head.The skirt could be lined with crepe de chine or rayon Bemberg[especially good under dupioni] If you want a chiffon overlay,that would get connected in at the waist and would be another layer. A waist stay is a good idea to hold the gown closer to the body.If the top looks too flat I'd handstitch bra cups in the lining. So essentially you'd have a mini corset hiding inside all those layers. carry

Sewliz
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Sewliz  Friend of PR
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In reply to ALTmentalities <<
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Date: 7/25/13 6:54 PM

I wouldn't hesitate to use regular spandex, as in bathing suit or leotard spandex, under a stretch lace. It is often done in ballroom dance costumes and works really well. It looks much better than it sounds, the spandex has a bit of sheen and the lace disguises the leotard look of the spandex. I love a dress that can be pulled over the head, no zippers to fiddle with!

Spandex at Spandex World I like their products but the shipping seems high. There are other places to get regular spandex, even JoAnn has some in solids.

------
Liz

thefittinglife.blogspot.com

ALTmentalities
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ALTmentalities
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Posts: 20
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 7/26/13 7:38 AM

Thanks everyone for your input! I am working on adapting the pattern to woven fabrics and am making a wearable muslin (with a lace overlay, underlining, and lining) this weekend. I will post pictures so you all can see when it is done.

Still puzzling over fabric choice for the skirt. I think the bride and I might go to a bridal shop to see the fabrics in action so she can make an informed decision. She seems to be leaning away from a lace skirt and towards the dupioni, but we'll see if that changes after she sees these fabrics in real life.

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