Are you ready for more adding?
On the second try-on, the top edge of the new panel was not cupping back unto her chest so I made darts to make it do the right thing. The bride wanted the amount to be 1.5 inches taller than the original bodice edge. See the red thread tracing line for positioning.
Two darts would not be enough so I added one more to really make it curve.
Then the cotton muslin layer was darted and added and boning was attached to the muslin.
The bride asked for more 1 inch wide panels to be added to the side and back edges so I pinned another strip of cotton to those edges to make a pattern piece to cut out all 3 layers again.
You can see the final fabric used for the sash. Before I removed the test black sash, I traced the exact placement lines on the lace bodice as I know brides lose track of what they want. The green tracing lines helped me position the new fabric exactly where she wanted…for now.
The new back panels have to angle down and disappear at center back:
Layering and making the new back panels:
Pin on the outside making sure the tension is tight enough to hold back loose skin and back fat:
Tuck everything inside and baste all the layers together. New sash is basted unto the placement lines…for now.
Flip to the inside for a look…what a mess! But once all the outside is perfect, I can trim away all the excess and attach a lining strip.
Third try-on…notice the new panel is wrinkling? Have to add boning strips to this piece as well at the underarm and back princess area to keep it from drooping down.
Also notice that the sash has been lifted up from the original green thread position. Once the sash is attached on either side of the zipper, I have to add lace covered buttons all down the back because without them…well, just because, I guess?
Front panels in place and curving nicely. For this third try-on, the bride brought a friend for “moral support” and her friend’s comment was, “Wow, you didn’t have much coverage without the new panels!” Again, notice the lower green thread position has been changed.
As the bride scrunched the sash more and more to make it narrower, I explained that it would not be very nice to have all that fabric all wadded up under the pleats and it would add bulk. I pinned under what she wanted and said I would trim it all away later.
The rhinestone motif will be attached by hand later. Every inch of new panels will be covered in new lace motifs that the bride ordered from the factory. I asked her if I could have any of the curvy lace stick up above the top edge to soften it and look like it had come that way. You know, thinking of how to slap lace over all this mess and make it look original…just a thought…she quickly snapped back…”It has to be perfectly smooth with no little bits sticking up!”
Bummer, it really would have been very pretty to have tiny bits over the edge to look more feminine. What do I know? After sewing for clients for 50 years, I must be brain dead by now!
What else do we need? How about a 5 point bustle for the tulle and a 1 point bustle for the now trimmed shorter satin train?
Here are 3 points pinned up and tulle trimmed shorter to be just 3 inches longer than the satin train. I trim the back tulle train starting at the side seam and ending at center back so I can use one trimmed bit as a pattern to trim the other side to match (mirror image).
Now for all of you are trying to imagine what all the labor will be for this….what about at least 11 hours and $120 for the bustle. Yes, totaling that up in your head takes us over $700 not to mention sewing 14 buttons down the back and steaming every last wrinkle out to be perfect.
After all this messing, did I mention that I have 8 other dresses to finish before the end of the month? Thank God they are not all like this!
To reward myself for not losing my temper with crazy brides, I bought myself 2 new books.
First one is by David Page Coffin:
and the second one is by Kenneth D King:
Great reading and some fabulous photos by two very experienced men!
Wishing you all more successful sewing and nice temps for seasonal veggies and flowers this week! Thank you all for sticking with me through all this chaos!