I am not typically in the habit of sewing bridal wear, and it was a complete coincidence that two very important people in my life got married one year after the other, and both needed dresses!
After sewing my sister's wedding dress last year, I felt I had learned a lot of useful lessons, and this one, while challenging, was not quite so intimidating.
She showed me a few inspiration pictures, and we came to a final design of lace bodice with a skirt of satin and a soft, sheer overlay. The final result was fabulous!
Most of these great photos are from our friends Kelly and Matt Haupert at Haupert Photography.
The skirt was absolutely diaphanous and moved beautifully.
Very good for dancing in!
Okay so let's get down to the bones. I started with a New Look pattern (6341) for the basic shape.
We went through multiple muslin mockups to perfect the fit. Lainey was very patient with me!
Cutting into that lace and sewing those princess seams was terrifying. I started with a base of poly/cotton broadcloth lining, then placed the silk/cotton satin fashion fabric over it, and the lace on top.
I did several test swatches with the lace to figure out how best to cut and sew it. At first I thought it would need to be fussy-cut around the motifs and hand-appliqued onto the base fabrics, but surprisingly it didn't really look best that way. I ended up just cutting and sewing right through it, right sides together like any other fabric.
The lace had a decorative scalloped edge that I utilized at the waistline. I cut it so it would hang slightly over the waist seam.
Once I made it to here, I felt I had conquered the scariest part.
I hand-stitched a traditional zipper. I figured this was the best way to get a zipper into a lace dress.
There is a single hook and eye at the top. The bodice is fully lined with Bemberg rayon.
The skirt made up of two layers. The base layer is the same silk/cotton satin as the bodice, cut with gores to flare smoothly from the waist into a very full hem. The overlay is a very soft tulle netting. 5 yards of it are gathered into the waist with a single seam in back. The bottom is cut and left raw. There is also a short inner lining in the skirt made of Bemberg rayon. It falls to about the knee.
Finished, on the dressform.
Here she is wearing it when everything is done except for hemming!