Isn’t this just a dreamy wedding gown? It is Wtoo Elise.
The lace is very heavy and looks and feels crocheted so the trick is to work with this very bulky textile and make it look airy. The nude satin layer will be bustled with the lace with a 5 point bustle.
You can see in this photo that both side seams have been pinned and have to be taken in 1 inch (4 inch total) so that included beaded and pearl encrusted lace, under tulle and under satin and lining. Oh, and did I mention…there is a side zipper and pearl embellished straps. The look the bride wants is tight, tight, tight like a second skin. And I am not to trim away any excess fabric. In this first front view the added push up “D” cups were not enough to make a difference and the area above the cups collapsed back unto her chest…not a good look but more later about that. Just a note…if I have to take out 4 inches in your dress, that is 2 dress sizes.
Originally, the straps were attached nearer the side seams and did nothing to keep the straps from falling down…always a design feature but not practical.
Here you can see the amount to move the zipper (left) side over…1 inch both sides. Have you ever seen a horizontal dart at the hip level?
Taking in a side zipper or side seam always involves a “step-down” at the very top edge. As the front gets higher, the back section gets lower and in this case I was able to remove sections of lace to camouflage the difference. Then I had to add back the zipper guard.
See the curved section that was attached by hand on the left side and the right side (non-zipper).
Looking inside the right side we have a real interesting situation. One side was barely 1/8 inch wide before taking in the needed inch and the other side was 1 inch but is now 2 inches wide. The lining is pulled away to show the seam allowances..
I decided to hand stitch the lining to the seam allowances in case we have to get back in there before the wedding. I’d rather open a seam with hand stitching than machine and at this point I could not possible get that section under the presser foot.
Remember the bust cups problem? The caving in of the top of the bodice…well, my idea was to use a flat bust cup and turn it vertical to fill in that indentation. You may notice that I had to run the cups through my serger to trim off the sides to make them fit. Size D cups are so wide that they can get in the way of the side zipper and add bulk to the side seams.
Once you explain to the bride that her dress contains no boning and it is essentially a nightgown with no structure, she understands that you have to add a little more.
What’s left? Oh, of course, the bustle! While the first try-on had a 3 point bustle, the bride’s mother wanted every single lace edge very level with the floor so we had to go with a 5 point bustle. Each 20mm satin covered metal backed button has a clear backer button to hold the weight. Man, that sucker weighs a ton! While it looks a little flat and lifeless, once the bride gets her shape/bottom into that bustle, it will rock!
Now that this dress is finished, I can make plans to get to my son’s wedding. We will fly to LA and spend 2 days before flying back to tackle the July brides.
Try to stay cool, everyone!