Thank you for the interest in the bourse class. If you popped over to Focus on Finishing, you must have realized by now how easy a bourse is! I was even a little ashamed to be writing this tutorial… But that was a request from many of you on the Focus on Finishing blog. The bourse got the most votes in the poll Anne and Karen created when the blog opened. So, I hope it will help some, even though I know many of you don’t even need a tutorial for this.
Today, I wanted to post an update on my wedding gown. I’ve been working on the muslin last weekend and at evenings during the week.
I’ll share pictures of the muslin later, but first had to tell you about the pattern.
I changed my mind quite a few times about that! Finding the right pattern has been an ongoing process for the past several months.
I had finally decided to make McCall’s 5383 (pictured to the left), but…
Once I got the pattern, and could look at it close and personal, while I still liked the simple lines, I thought the bodice was… wanting. It wasn’t classy enough. Too flimsy. Never mind, I can still use the pattern to make a cute shorter dress some day!
My mum also told me she thought princess seams would be more becoming on me, and I thought she was right. (My dear mom is not always right when it comes to my style, but this time I think she was spot on!) The last time we were together, I was wearing my red roses outfit (the first I machine-sewed), and the top has princess seams, which is why she thought about that.
My mum sounded honoured that I emailed her pictures of prospective patterns and asked for her advice, but it meant a lot to have her opinion. If I was shopping for that kind of dress, instead of making it, I would be shopping with her, right?
Another reason why I like the idea of princess seams, is that I know her wedding dress, which my grandma made, had princess seams. That is about the only thing I know about that dress: it was lately cut apart to make a suit. Sigh. The only picture I have seen of my parents’ wedding is a bust portrait and my mother is holding her big bouquet of marguerites in front of her… So I never saw the dress’s style.
I still wanted an empire waist, and after putting my thinking cap on again and browsing some more, I finally decided to use New Look 6318.
I am very happy with my final choice and have not had a flicker of doubt ever since I purchased it…I guess that is the same feeling you get when you shop for your wedding dress and find “the one”!
Of course, I want the dress to be completely and utterly mine – otherwise what would be the point in making it oneself, right? So I am changing a few things to make it fit my own idea exactly.
First, I am going to use the bodice in view A over the skirt design in view C. The bodice, dress and overskirt will be in blue dupioni, while the underskirt (which is actually the dress’s front skirt panel) will be in a contrasting white.
I was thinking of making the contrasting underskirt in batiste (like the lining and underlining), but my friend Becky treated me to a very generous birthday gift certificate to fabric.com yesterday! Thank you Becky!!
So, I am now thinking of spending a little more and using a lightweight white taffeta. The weight and drape should be closer to the dupioni, which should be much better for the general hang of the dress. I didn’t want dupioni for the underskirt because I want to play with contrasting textures (I want a smoother look for the underskirt).
That means I’ll have to wait for the fabric to arrive before making more progress on the dress, but that’s OK. I can make something else in the meantime and read more from the fantastic Bridal Couture book.
The other main alteration concerns the straps. I am going to redraft the straps so that they are wider, and also tapered where they meet the bodice (or maybe I should do the opposite and have them wider on the bottom and tapered on the top of the shoulders? I’ll have to try both).
Dupioni update: I cut out another swatch and this time simply soaked it in cold water for an hour or two. After a careful ironing, the swatch was still beautiful. The fabric may be slightly less drapey, but that is not a problem. The texture is almost the same. I shall therefore soak the whole fabric piece before using it. Knowing the dress won’t be ruined by a drop of water is a great relief! Which just gets to show, it is always good to experiment. Even the fabric books don’t agree on how to treat dupioni, by the way. (I have to thank Tany for her help with sewing books!)
That is the beauty of sewing – the freedom to experiment and achieve the exact result that you have pictured in your mind’s eye.
That’s it for now. I’ll be posting pictures of the latest muslin fitting later.