When brides ask me what was the most difficult dress I have ever worked on…this one tops the list. It is a Melissa Sweet from David’s bought in the Boston store and flown all the way across the country to land on my doorstep.
I could not find a good website back view of the train and the 8 godets/triangles that are added to all the vertical seams to make the skirt as wide as possible and a huge headache when producing a bustle. Can you see how wide each godet is? Each one of the 8 was over a yard wide at the hem.
Yes, those are baby blue tennis shoes peaking out from under the satin skirt. The satin layer and lining can be bustled up with one point on their own but the remaining layers gave me fits and over 5 hours of trying and swearing in the process.
Here is a side view of an attempted solution to gathering up that train into something manageable. Yes, you see correctly…we have a pink layer lurking under the white embroidered tulle.
Trying a halter to help keep those under bust wrinkles at bay. The halter suggestion was quickly dismissed.
What was needed was to insert more boning for support:
One new center one was attached to the inside lining. Note the fact that this heavy strapless dress was only supported by 2 under bust strips so no wonder the bodice collapsed into wrinkles.
Two new side bonings will be wedged between the existing side seam ones.
The covered boning can be easily and quickly attached by hand as this dress had an inside lining and an outside lining.
Now unto the bustle…pull everything up and clamp tight to reveal the satin and lining layers and the point for bustling.
Using the top of each godet as the attaching point, I quickly realize that no matter what I do, each godet just hangs down extra long.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just pull everything into a pony tail??? Wouldn’t that make quite an entrance?
OK, try another technique…pick one point with all layers together and attached at the waist.
Then hike up 4 more bustle points to clear the ground…this is not working either.
Is this a mess or what?
The side view looks OK but not the most flattering having wads of fabric on her hips.
The front view shows what could be moderated panniers.
The bride agrees that this train is a real problem and says whatever I can come up with will be fine. I really cannot send a bride down the aisle looking this sad and droopy.
So, after a full Saturday afternoon wrestling for 5 hours pinning up and down and all around…it hit me! Make the pink and sheer under layer bustled on its own. Yes, it will add 5 additional buttons and loops but it might just lay flatter and more even off the floor…could this be the solution?
With the pink layer bustled first and the white embroidered tulle layer bustled over the top with also 5 points…we see a flatter bustle and less bunching and clumping. The embroidered tulle layer will be trimmed even with the floor with scissors.
For some reason the salesperson convinced her that adding a bronze metal flower headpiece as a belt would be wonderful. It only reaches from side seam to side seam and had to be hand tacked to stop falling off the dress.
These delicate headpieces don’t come cheap!!!
One last trick to making this train work. To manage the godets, I hand stitched the top 12 inches of each to close them up before adding the loops 12 inches down. Yes, all 5 of the back ones were done this way. The front 3 godets were trimmed at floor level.
So happy to hand this dress over to the bride knowing that all was accomplished for her special day.
As our nighttime temps drop to almost freezing, we have just enough time to harvest the remaining veggies of the season. Corn, green and red papers, spicy peppers and zucchini, patty pan squash and on the front left…scarlet runner beans have made a nice final showing with more corn to come.
My friend Nancy is back in town the end of this month so I can share what I have been working on for her soon! Thank you to all the followers for your comments!