I chose pure white 100% cotton batiste. It should feel very smooth and fresh against the skin, even on a hot summer day.
The boning has been sewn onto the seam allowances of the side and front side seams.
I basted an invisible zipper to double-check the fit.
Obviously, since this is the lining, it will be worn the other way around once it is attached to the final dress: the finished side will be against my skin, and the wrong side with the seam allowances will be against the outer fabric’s wrong side. But I don’t have a mirror large enough in the flat to see myself properly, so those pictures are very helpful to check the fit and overall effect. (I did check the fit both inside out and outside in.)
I sewed the bodice by hand, as the point in the middle front was difficult to get to lay perfectly smoothly otherwise. Once I was sure it was looking right, I sewed an extra row of machine stitches above the hand-stitching. The empire waist seam holds the whole weight of the skirt, so it seemed better to do a double row of stitching.
The finished dress will also have wide straps.
Sébastien had this nifty idea of pinning a blue cloth against the window to create a background. How sweet of him. He seems to be enjoying this photographing job more and more.
And of course, our P’tite Mignonne (Little Miss Cutie) has to check every step of the sewing process.
So you see, this is really a joint effort from everyone in the household.
Today, I washed, pressed and cut out the blue silk, white taffeta and batiste underlining, and hand-stitched the batiste underlining pieces to the silk pieces. All the careful pressing and hand-stitching took longer than anticipated, but I so want it to be done right. It’s OK – gives me time to think and remember.
I am still undecided whether to underline the dupioni overskirt. It will open out onto the taffeta underskirt and I’m not sure which is best – to have a single layer of blue dupioni or to have it underlined with batiste. The pattern instructions say to have one single layer – there is no lining at this point – but then, the pattern never mentions underlining.
I simply hope it may be possible that somehow my grandma knows what I’m up to, and knows how much heart I’m putting into it. Every stitch of this gown is being made with her in mind.
Right now, I don’t know if she knows. I don’t really know where she is.
All I know is, she must have been so happy, making her own younger daughter’s (my mother’s) wedding dress, 31 years ago. And she would have been so happy, seeing me making my own dress.