If you had to choose a wedding dress and you had a large mature bust would you select a rhinestone encrusted nightgown with NO BONING and sheer panels all around and a front “V” opening down to your waist??? Maybe?
My next bride tried on every dress in our valley and then drove 5 hours north to order this dress and ask for a rush delivery from the manufacturer.
The website photos show the unlined version of the dress so I was thinking…Sweet Jesus…I have a second-time-around bride going to wear this down the aisle…this will not be a good look!
Meet the Lunella wedding gown:
She says that her whole goal was to shock the guests and make them think she was a fairy snow princess for her Christmas wedding date. With that deep “V” in the front revealing everything and those extra long heavily embellished sheer sleeves it is not the dress to feel comfortable in for a long night of dancing and feasting. I told her that she should be careful when dancing as she could damage her partner’s eyes with flying rhinestones.
Let’s start at the top:
The shoulder seams will be taken up along with the top darts in the sleeve caps. Being this sheer, there is no chance to wear any undergarments for support or modesty. The weight of all the glued-on rhinestones is unbelievable! Weighing in at 10 pounds, this dress has NO boning or interfacing and surely was meant for a tall, thin flat-chested bride as shown on the website with a gold tiara.
Also, the long back closure is just a series of tiny elastic loops which can stretch thus causing the dress to loosen as she moves or sits. Did you notice that there is nothing behind the loops so the bride’s skin may be revealed as the loops stretch? Nice.
Since the sleeves have a top end dart, they can be taken in along with the shoulder seams at the same time. In this photo you can see I have had to take them in twice. The red thread line is the final stitching line.
The sleeves will be shortened 2 inches.
When the elastic has been removed, you can see the bell shape of the sleeve…shorter in front and extra long in back. In the website photo it looks all regal and romantic…in real life, think about the weight of the sleeves as the bride dances all night long.
At the first fitting, the bride was pleased with all of her cleavage being on show but her best friend told her that no one wanted to see all of that and asked if I could make a modesty patch from the lining that would be cut off the hem.
Here is that section hand basted with red thread.
The inside of the new insert:
The insert is machine sewn along the front edge of the “V” and hand tacked to the front lining layer:
Being basically a beaded nightgown, I added some boning sections under the new really thick and stiff bust pads. When the bride ordered her dress from far away, the salon salesperson told her that the seamstress would be adding lots of wires to help hold her into the dress and lift her breasts.
Really? Yes, really. So it was obvious that 8 boning strips were needed.
After paying over $2500 for all this heavy fabric, the bride wants the hem/train cut to the floor level like the 2 layers of satin and lining have been done. With the satin and lining hand basted, I attached a safety pin through all layers to show what will be cut off. Striking, no?
The good-bye train:
The side section:
What about the sleeves? Just folding under the new hem line, I see that there is no great way to work around the rhinestones, never mind inserting clear elastic and topstitching by machine.
The original hem with elastic was un-beaded so I decided to cut that off and use it as a tube filled with new clear elastic. Once the strip would be removed, I would have no idea what was the front section or the back so I placed a safety pin in the front.
Once removed, the plain strip is pressed and ready for clear elastic.
Here is the first side of elastic. I removed the safety pin and added some thread to denote the front.
Using the original elastic as a guide, you can see that it was tied in many knots to make a nasty clump with a circumference of 8 inches.
Once the strips were made, they were pinned to the green thread line and hand basted with white thread. The red and green thread will be removed.
The underarm junction to be dealt with after the next try-on when the elastic will be pulled tight to the bride’s wrist.
Machine stitching is not that easy with so many beads in the way!
Trimming away the excess:
Ready to flip all this to the inside:
On the second fitting, the bride wanted the dress to fit even tighter for more support so once again pinning out the side seams and marking the boning positions. Yes, the under-bust trim will be involved but I’m not removing it, just stitching it into the new seam. Pins denote the boning positions.
Hand basted side seams:
Trying to machine stitch without hitting those beads using a zipper foot.
Let’s not forget to take in the satin lining. Since it is not attached to the netted beaded layer, the excess can be folded inside and eventually hand stitched down to remain soft without a ridge. The final two strips of boning will be attached along the new folded edge.
Train removed front and back and front insert and sleeves shortened…almost ready for the big day which I was told will be from 2 pm to midnight. Most brides tell me that their wedding preparation…hair, nails and professional make-up starts at 9 am so total up the hours…15 hours to be the star of the show and 10 of those hours wearing the same dress and shoes.
With Christmas excitement over, just had to share a small job that came in. Remember the flag covered gi? Well, just before the January competition, an eagle patch had to be attached in a way that it could not be ripped off or the tips of the feathers dislodged. First, I stitched a straight stitch all around and then went back and did a tiny zigzag over every edge…that bird is never going to fly away now!
Best wishes to everyone for a healthy and happy 2020!