Wedding Gown lining

After reading through Susan Khalje’s Bridal Couture one more time, I cut out and constructed the lining yesterday.

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 inner construction will also involve a waist stay, that will be tacked to the boning and help with the weight of the skirt.

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.

40 thoughts on “Wedding Gown lining

  1. Sharon says:

    Hi Isabelle, I have been thinking about you and your family. It is nice to see your post. I am glad you are well- your sewing is lovely as always. I think you are making lovely progress. Take care and don’t rush yourself.


  2. Jenna says:

    Oh Isabelle, the lining looks absolutely gorgeous! I’m so glad that you took a week off and are focusing on the dress. What a beautiful way to remember your grandmother. And yes, although none of us truly knows what happens in the afterlife, I am certain that your grandmother knows that every stitch is filled with thoughts of her. *hug*


  3. Kathryn says:

    Although important parts of your family have passed on, you are lucky to have such a warm, loving family to surround you. No matter where you go you will carry Mamie in your heart to be with you always. And further generations are still there to give you comfort and delight.And look what she has passed on to you. Your exquisite sewing skills! If we don’t have an older generation to give us skills that we will use for the rest of our lives, we are poorer for that lack. With all the care and skill you are putting into your wedding, you will have memories to last a lifetime.


  4. Michelle says:

    THe dress is going to be beautiful (I especially love the photo with Miss Cutie herself approving the first step). I think that sewing your thoughts of love and memories of your Grandmother into your dress as well as thoughts of your love for Seb and your marriage is a wonderful tribute to her. Big hugs.


  5. Tany says:

    Dear Isabelle, you were in my thoughts all this time. I’m glad you are ok and already producing beauty. That is the right way to heal, the right way to protest against the unfairness of life. I missed you {{{Isabelle}}}


  6. Susimac says:

    Hi Isabelle, Your Mamie will be watching you stitch your dress and she’s there with you in every stitch you make. I’m glad tht you ans Seb didn’t postpone your wedding, I’m sure your Mamie wouldn’t have wanted you too. Please can you email me – I want to ask you something.Hugs Su


  7. Tessa says:

    Nice to see you back online Isabelle, it sounds like you had a beautiful tribute to your Mamie, singing at her service – you were so brave.Your wedding dress is looking, well, WOW!! It is so nice to share this with you, it is kind of exciting to be able to see the progress of this special dress as your day comes nearer. Looks like Miss Cutie approves too 🙂


  8. Vonna says:

    I know it seem surreal, but your Mamie is in your heart and helping to guide your hands with every loving cut of material you baste and stitch and work on. A woman as loving as your Mamie would see to it whether here on earth or in heaven. Big hugs to you for your look to the future.


  9. Ruth Rachel Vendsel says:

    How wonderful to see a post from you and how exciting to see such gorgeous progress on your wedding dress!! I am happy that your advisor was kind enough to bless you with some time off to sew and rest. I think you are truly honoring the memory of your Mamie with your dedication to this craft, and perhaps the joy in creating something so lovely will help your soul to heal. You are going to be a beautiful, beautiful bride!


  10. dawn says:

    It’s so good to see you again! I’ve been thinking about you. Your lining looks beautiful…it couldn’t fit any better. What a good idea to make the lining first.Why not go ahead and underline the over skirt? That way you won’t have to worry that you’ll regret not doing it. It doesn’t take that much longer, and it’s kind of nice hand-basting the layers together. Sort of relaxing and reverent, you know? and It’ll make the dupioni fall so nicely.


  11. Wendy says:

    I can tell its been such a difficult time for you, Isabelle. But I am sure your Mamie is guiding your hand with every stitch you lovingly place in your wedding dress. You look beautiful!


  12. stitcherw says:

    Your sewing is so pretty. It looks great so far, so I’m sure it will be spectacular when done. The dress will even be more special with all the time and love you are putting into it. I’m sure your grandma is watching over you and enjoying seeing you make such a lovely dress. Life is really a big circle, with some things starting and others ending all the time. Your grandmother would be thrilled and proud to be seeing everything you are doing, and also that you’ll be starting another stage in your life shortly with your wedding. She’ll always be with you in spirit. {{hugs}}Sue


  13. Barbara says:

    I thought of you when I sewed a strip of ric-rac on a bag for an exchange. I remember you had those vintage red ric-racs for a dress. I wondered how you were coping.You know what they say, the people we love never leave us. Their always around somehow. Have a great sewing and the wedding’s going to be beautiful.


  14. Claire says:

    Isabelle – she knows. Trust me, she knows. She is very proud of you, as I’m sure your mother is. You will be a beautiful bride, and if anything can give you solace, please know she is probably closer to you than you know. Blessings and hugs to you.PS – glad to see you back and sewing.


  15. Bliss says:

    Nice to see you back, Isabelle. You are getting married on the same weekend that Paul & I were married only 2 years ago. I know step by step of the way how you are feeling at the moment (though my regret was that both my parents died before I met Paul).The dress is superb! Can I get you to send me via my email, your snail mail address. I’d like to send you & Séb a little something to honour your wedding day. The address is on both my blog site (DailyBliss & Blissxstitches)Hugs from me in AustraliaBliss


  16. Vicki says:

    I am sure she is there with you as you make the dress. And would not want you to delay the wedding – she will be there too.And the lining is looking like a perfect fit. I am sure your Mamie will guide you.


  17. Anonymous says:

    I am very happy to read that you took a week off and have spend it doing crafts. I am sure that is what is helping you most, being in company of those that you love and doing what you love to do most. The wedding dress will be gorgeous and you are doing so great so far! Thanks for the sharing. I have no idea about the dupioni overskirt, but for the other question…I am sure that your grandma knows. A soul is immortal and I am sure she is very near of you, always has been and always will as long as you want. I am sure that you will get the inspired ideas and help whenever you need them. Ann.


  18. Justine says:

    Hi sweet heart, how are you? You know I’m sure that your grand ma will be proud of you, having a look at your wedding from the sky… She will always be with you, in your heart. For your dress, you’re really beautiful, I love the way it’s sewed.I’m on your total disposal, if you need something.Friendly your


  19. KarenV says:

    I’m sure your grandma is looking down on you and smiling to see your beautiful dress Isabelle. And I’m sure she would want your wedding to go ahead as planned. I’m glad you’ve taken a week off to do some sewing and to remember your grandma. It’s nice to see you posting again – I’ve been thinking of you every day.


  20. Cathy says:

    She’s with you, Isabelle. If you’re thinking of her, she’s with you.I’m going to love to see the process of this gown. The photos look lovely against the blue background, good thinking on Seb’s part.You’re looking very thin, are you eating? [hugs] and e-mail or message me if you need anything.


  21. Margaret says:

    Oh she knows Isabelle. She is up in heaven watching down on her dear granddaughter preparing for the most wonderful day of her life.You are doing a fabulous job on your wedding dress – the lining looks like it fits perfectly.Have a good weekend.{{{hugs}}}


  22. Catherine Michèle says:

    Allo Isabelle! J’ai bien pensé à toi ces derniers temps. Je suis certaine que ta Mamie garde un oeil sur toi et te protège de là-haut. Prends bien soin de toi ma belle. Ta couture est tellement magnifique. Ta finition est délicieuse. J’aime vraiment la façon dont tu travailles. Cependant, je suis un peu inquiète pour ton jupon en batiste (la jupe de ta doublure) avec le tafetas. As-tu fait des tests avant? Je sais par expérience que la batiste “colle” beaucoup et que ta jupe risque de grimper sur ton jupon si le tissu n’est pas suffisamment soyeux. Le tissu de ta robe semble suffisamment soyeux pour ne pas causer de problème, mais je ne connais pas assez le tafetas… Quand j’ai fait ma robe de mariée, je voulais uniquement des fibres naturelles, mais j’ai dû me résoudre à avoir la jupe de mon jupon en polyester car la batiste était beaucoup trop collante.J’adore lire sur l’avancée de tes travaux. Bonne semaine de repos.Catherine Michèle


  23. Zohrah says:

    Sending you lots of warm hugs. I know how much love Seb has doing the photographing work…is it all right for the bridegroom to see the bride in her steps by steps wedding gown before the grand wedding?? *wink* *wink*


  24. Lavender Rose says:

    Isabelle, You even look a vision in the lining!!! LOL I can’t wait to see the actual dress!! Your hair looks so pretty down with it, as well. Have you thought about how you’ll wear it? You’re doing a very good job of creating the dress of your dreams…Lots of love,Deb


  25. coonie says:

    That’s great to read you again, sweetie 🙂I’m glad that you and Seb didn’t postpone your wedding, I’m sure your Mamie wouldn’t have wanted you too. I know she’s looking down on you and that she is very proud of you. You’re going to be a so beautiful bride!Have a lovely WE, my friend(((hugs)))


  26. Summerset says:

    Your dress is coming along very nicely, I’m sure your grandmother would be pleased and proud of you. I think it is good thing that your mother is looking forward to the wedding. It’s giving her time to heal and something to look forward to as well!I’m glad to see you back, and I hope all your efforts for your book and dress can move forward smoothly!


  27. Tracy says:

    Oh, Isabelle–so wonderful to find your post here today, so good to see you back! I’m sorry to be so late getting here…But what a treat to see you–so fine in even the lining! Luckily it is just the lining, for Seb cannot be seeing the real thing, you know ;o) You’ve done a splendid job on the lining. I amdire your tackling such a big project as your wedding dress. It’s going to be fantastic! Take the week off, enjoy it as much as you can, get some of your equilibrium back. It was very lovely some of what’s been happening laterly for you all. And it is so good to know that your mother is looking forward to the wedding, and planning, and that all shall come to pass as it should. I feel sure you’re Mamie is seeing your now, seeing your working on your dress and is very proud of you for it. Her spirit is everywhere, and mostly in your heart…Be taking good care of yourself and find comfort in the love that surrounds you ((HUGS)) Looking forward to hearing more of you sewing adventures! :o)


  28. Von says:

    Oh, Isabelle, I’m so sorry that your dear grandmother has passed away. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you adjust to life without her, but your dear memories will keep her always near. I’m so glad you’ve had some time off work. Life so often consists of a strange mixture of bitter and sweet. I know your grandmother would have been so proud and delighted with you and the wonderful progress you’re making on your wedding gown! Exquisite! Hugs


  29. lena-lou says:

    Hello Isabelle, so nice to see you around again. I’m pleased you have had last week off, it would have given you time that you needed. I love how the lining looks on your dress, it really flatters your figure. It is going to be so beautiful.Take care :-))


  30. Tini says:

    Isabelle, sorry that it took me some time to be able to answer, but my 92 yr old granny isn’t well either so reading that your Grandma passed was just too much for me.I strongly believe, that the ones we loved will always be around us and wake above us.My gran, who died 2 yrs ago, sewed a lot for us and was a kind of inspiration for me and I think, she is quiet happy now to see me all crafty, sewing and knitting. I inherited all her notions and needles and they bring up fond memories all the time.The lining is already so great. I bet you’ll look amazing on your wedding day ( my 4th aniversary will be on thursday! )hugstini


  31. Shashi Nayagam says:

    Dear Isabelle,The dress is going to turn out stunning. The lining is giving just a hint of what a beautiful dress it is going to be. Your decision to go ahead with the wedding is a good one because I am sure your Mamie would not have wanted it otherwise and I am sure she is blessing you every step of the way as you prepare for your wedding day.


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