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Jun 30, 2017

Two Wedding Gowns!


Readers, fasten your seat belts: I've undertaken two wedding gown projects and I hope you'll come along for the hopefully not-too-bumpy ride!

The first is for my client Christina, who's marrying Zack.  Her gown will have a corseted top which may or may not be attached to the skirt.  I've made a muslin of the corset and we've had our first fitting.  As my base, I used Simplicity 5006.  It worked well though I have yet to fit it with the boning inserted.  That's next. 


We're shooting for a strapless gown; naturally the final corset will be stiffer and laced tighter.  Right now we're thinking this dress will be a heavy ivory cotton sateen but it isn't definite.   The skirt will be full.


My second gown is for my client Val, who's marrying Walt.  She has chosen a Thirties-type silhouette.  I'm using Vogue 1032 for my base pattern, which I believe is still in print.  It has a raised waistline and an open back. Though the skirt drape looks like it's on the bias it is actually on the straight grain.

We're shooting for the skirt to be charmeuse overlaid with lightweight lace.

Here's Val at Metro Textiles where we picked up both fabrics.  I believe the lace is mainly rayon; Kashi wasn't sure.


I finished the Vogue muslin today.  It was fun to put together though even soft muslin doesn't really do the design justice, plus the dress form -- a second-hand, high quality 6 I picked up locally; I sold my Made in China PGM -- is a little too small.  I skipped the train for now.

I cut a Size 12, a 34" bust.



Can you picture the bottom in lace?


Anyway, I'm excited about both projects.  Both weddings are in the fall but you know how time flies.  I'll definitely be keeping you posted on my progress.

Have you ever sewn a wedding gown?  How'd it go?

Have a great day, everybody!

UPDATE: You can see Val wearing her muslin here.

32 comments:

  1. How special you are going to make both brides feel! I am looking forward to seeing both finished. Do you think the brides will model their gowns for us? BTW I think the lace on the "skirt" of the second gown is going to look very nice. I am sure that you have thought of this, but you want to make sure that both the lace and the underfabric drape together as closely as possible. Once many years ago, I did a similar project. I cut both on the grain and was not happy. I ended up cutting the lace on the bias and got much better results.

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  2. Kudos! These look like fun projects and beautiful brides. I'm so lucky to have had my wedding dress hand sewn by my mom over 20 years ago. She followed pretty much the same process you're doing. I had silk skirt with lace overlay on top--really pretty, kinda like Princess Kate but with short sleeves. Enjoy the process!

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  3. The gowns look like they'll be gorgeous! One tip from my mother, who made wedding gowns for 5 of her 6 children: I would highly recommend that you insist your brides wear the undergarments (bra especially) they will wear with the final dress to every fitting. It can make a huge difference!

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    1. Yes absolutely! We got my sister's undergarments sorted out first and it was the best move we made - it can change the fit tremendously!

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  4. I sewed my sister's wedding dress for her wedding this May - it was hard work but SUCH fun, and so wonderful to be able to customise the design and fit just for her. It pushed my skills to the limit and I learned a huge amount. I really enjoyed the whole process and I've no doubt you will too! Plus, working with good quality bridal fabric is a real joy. Good luck!

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  5. I'm breaking out in a cold sweat at the very thought of making a wedding dress.....but then I haven't made any clothing for women in 15 years! I can't believe that you're doing two!!! Of course I'll be glued to my screen to see how you're progressing!

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    1. Save me a seat, sister.

      We've got some "journalist covering the Olympics" whispered commentary to make.

      First up, we need matching blazers and bad toupee's.

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    2. Test you're just as sharp as ever! LOL!

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  6. The muslin you made for Val looks good enough to wear right now! It will be a beautiful gown and that lace is so pretty.

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  7. I'm so going to enjoy these two sewing trips of yours! I know you will do a superb job!!!

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  8. Wow . . . you will be busy busy! Glad you explained that horizontal seam because it's the first thing I noticed!
    Can't wait to see the finished gowns. I know they will be beautiful.

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  9. A whole new world of sewing.....

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  10. Both gowns look beautiful already! I made my own wedding dress, veil, and slip--silk satin dress very simple, with 38 self covered buttons down the back, and very lacy slip cut on the bias. Covering the buttons was the hardest part. It was the first time I made a muslin, glad I did. Lots of happy memories too. Kristina

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  11. I know these wedding gowns are going to be beautiful! I look forward to seeing your finished creations.

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  12. How wonderful to participate in such a creative way in such happy events! Hope you have time to post often. BTW, the lace is scrumptious.

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  13. In addition to wearing the same undergarments (including any slips), make sure they are wearing the same shoes! Also, if you don't already have a copy, "Sewing for Special Occasions" from the Singer Sewing Library is a very good reference book. "Bridal Couture" by Susan Khalje is excellent, but pricey, but maybe the FIT library has a copy?

    The gowns will be beautiful!

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    1. I own both! Thanks for reminding me about the Singer book -- I haven't looked at it in ages!

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    2. May I recommend a book I've found helpful? Sew a Beautiful Wedding by Gail Brown and Karen Dillon. It's a small Palmer/Pletsch book with lots about sewing with lace.

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  14. So beautiful! Especially the lace! Such goodies you can get from New York.
    I didn't sew my osn dress although I did think of it. My now-husband and mother were against it, knowing I'd end up stressing too much over it.

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  15. Good on you Peter. I'm sure both gowns will be gorgeous and tailored beautifully.

    Question. What's with the tiny skeleton? =)

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    1. Michael uses it in his bodywork. Good eyes!

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  16. I made my wedding dress 22 years ago. It was the best part of preparing for my wedding.

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  17. Drafted and sewed my own wedding dress, as a one-wear stage costume. It served duty later as Halloween wear, and as an actual stage costume for a high school play. Tried to get them to keep it, but it was returned to me and now hangs limply in a back closet. Sometimes you just have to go custom to get the dress you want ... in 1982, there was not much on the racks in the style of 1882.

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  18. You've nailed the fit on the bodice for Christina. Val's muslin is really good for a first fitting, and I like the pleats in the skirt. Looking forward to seeing the progress on both projects.

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  19. How fantastic for you to be asked to make two gowns. i love the shape of both & look forward to seeing your progress.
    I made my daughters dress last year...it was hours of work but worth every stitch��

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  20. I have made a few wedding dresses and I have to say it was fun as long as you give yourself plenty of time . My best friends were my nice long heavy pattern weights to hold all that slippery silk and chiffon in place while cutting and my old but beautiful singer sewing machine with its straight stitch needle plate and foot . It was amazing how much better they sewed these fine tricky fabrics compared to my modern machine .

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  21. Hi Peter, I've made hundreds if not thousands of them and if you need any expert tips on finishing, fitting, working with lace etc, do feel free to contact me, maybe we can skype!

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    1. That's very kind of you. Thank you!

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  22. I've sewn a couple (including my own, which was the simple one) and my piece of advice: beg steal or borrow a big table (we're talking ping pong size) or tabletop to cut the fabrics on. Layer with tissue paper if necessary. Grain is super important in those skirts and a big flat area will make handling the fabric a pleasure.

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  23. Good luck with the dresses. It looks like you're off to a good start with the muslins. Can't wait to see the finished dresses! I made my sister's wedding dress way back in 1987. Lace bodice and sleeves with a satin skirt.

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  24. ive made a wedding dress with 5006...turned out great. I did a whole series on making and fitting the corset on my blog. I;m sure yours will be fantabulous

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