Sunday, 18 March 2018

Making my wedding dress: part four

My wedding dress will have a laced up corset and pleated skirt as the base. I chose some ivory satin from Truro fabrics after ordering lots of different samples through the post. I chose this particular fabric because it had the structure I was after and the colour together with the shine was like ice cream. Delicious 😋

 I made the corset up in three fabrics. The satin for the front, an interlining of cotton on to which I attached the boning and then a lining fabric.

 I then used some more lining fabric to make a petticoat. I didn't do this the full length that intended on making on making the outer skirt because I thought it'd get wrapped up in my legs once I took my hoop off!
 I next draped the satin around the bottom of the corset with my hoop beneath it so I knew it would fit around it. I tried to match the pleats up with the seam lines of the bodice. I then sewed the two layers of the skirt to the top two layers of the bodice. I left the bodice lining free so I could hand sew this down later and encase all the raw edges.

The next step for the corset will be the all important back. This is something I've not done before so I've been researching and planning it out in my hair before I attempt it....

Making my wedding dress: part three

Still practicing techniques I finished of my mocha corset and skirt... I made some bias binding to neaten the top of the corset and addef a horsehair braid to the hem to add some shape and structure:

Once it was finished I didn't think I'd get the chance to wear it anytime soon but luckily for me I was invited to a posh do last minute and had the perfect outfit 😁 
Since then... We've booked a venue and it's game on! I won't be waiting around to start making my dress tho, not now I have some practice under my belt. I've always been a fan of lace and decided I'd make a top out of tulle which I could attach lace to so I set to work on that next. I already had a pattern of drafted that I knew I could use as a template.

I searched for a while to find the lace I wanted to use and finally settled on a lace from Minerva craft. It had a good repeating pattern I thought I'd be able to cut and place well. I started by covering the bodice and then embellished the sleeves.

The lace top is still open at the back I considered whether I could attach it to the dress but it's just too delicate, I don't want it to come under any tension. I can't think of a way to secure it in yet but I'm working on it. Maybe a broach, maybe little pearl buttons... Anywho, with this bit 90% done its time to start the dress itself...

Monday, 1 January 2018

Making my wedding dress: Part two

 My first attempt at a bodice was lacking structure so I thought what kind of bodice will give me structure? A corset of course! Maybe I could have drafted a corset from scratch? I dunno, what I do know is one of my trusty sewing bee books already has a corset pattern I can use!

I made the corset up in some muslin first with the plan of making alterations to it if necessary and then using the pieces as my pattern. As it turned out the first attempt fit well so I made it up in some satin.

I'm awaiting the boning now, channels are all in place ready. Prior to that I think I'll attach the bias binding to the front top edge. Then I'll be able to insert the boning all the way to the top before hand stitching the back of the binding. The original pattern has a lace up back but I prefer to use an invisible zip.

Whilst I'm waiting for bits and bobs in the post I moved onto the skirt. I like the idea of having some big pleats, maybe all the way around or perhaps starting on the hips. I've looked at millions of pics online and big box pleats just catch my eye.

Im going to make my wedding dress floor length. This outfit is purely for trying out some techniques I've never done before. I decided to cut the hem to mid calf left just to take a bit of drama out of it and I may stand a chance of actually wearing it... Somewhere...

I've added a waistband and invisible zip to the skirt, there's some horsehair braid on order to give the hem some structure. This is another thing I've never done before so learning lots with this project. My next posts will cover finishing off the bodice and the skirt hem. The grand finale will be adding some lace to the mix. I have a few more YouTube videos to watch before then though!!!

Making my wedding dress: Part one

Sew..... This happened!

Obviously my thoughts quickly turned to making a dress!!! I pretty much jumped straight in and starting drafting a bodice using my dress form.

 My original idea was a satin bodice which I'd then drape tulle over.

 I added some shoulder straps partly for stability but also to have something to anchor the tulle to. I had some mocha coloured satin which matching chiffon knocking about so decided to play around with draping. The way the bodice is connected below the bust requires gathering and I quickly realised this wasn't going to give the sleek under bodice I was after.

 It was back to the drawing board to adjust that bodice and take out the gathers!

I spent many frustrating hours trying different ways of draping the fabric. Having never done this before I really was winging it. I just couldn't get the tension right; the chiffon was either too taught and pulling on the bodice underneath or it was too slack and looking like a baggy mess. In hindsight, chiffon wasn't the best fabric for this style and I was planning of using tulle anyway, with it's sturdier structure I might have achieved what I had in mind... However I got frustrated and decided to start all over again with a different look. We'll, I haven't set a date yet so where's the hurry? 😂

My own sewing room!

Haven't posted for a while after a busy year of moving home, decorating and most importantly setting up my first sewing room!! Obviously my sewing machine were some of the first things that got unpacked 😀

Along with a few other rooms the sewing room received a lock of paint

Lots of sewing has been done over the last 12 months. Having a dedicated space has left me brimming with ideas....

Monday, 13 June 2016

Pattern blocks: Bodice

Today i have been making my own pattern blocks so i have the made to measure foundations of as many different clothing patterns as i can imagine! I have been using a great book called 'How to use, adapt and design sewing patterns' by Lee Hollahan.

The book contains basic pattern blocks for a bodice, sleeves and skirt. Firstly take some measurements of your body so you know what size pattern blocks to cut out. Then, you simply scale them up onto some pattern drafting paper in the correct size for you. Today i have worked on the bodice. I found that the length of the shoulder was going to be too long for me so i adjusting the pattern at this point. Once i was happy with my paper pattern i added 1.5cm seam allowance and drew the design onto some medium weight calico:

Next i sewed up all the darts and then finally attached the pieces together at the shoulders and side seams:

Now it was time to try it on and check how close the fit was.... turns out the neck hole was too small...

I cut into the fabric to make the neck slighter wider. The fabric i removed from the toile was then used to update the paper pattern.

Time to try it on again...

 Ta da! Now we have a very well fitting bodice :) The paper pattern can now be used as the basis for many different types of tops and dresses that will fit me perfectly every time. The next task is to draft some sleeves....

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Embroidery bird

This year Santa brought me my first embroidery kit! This is a Nancy Nicholson kit that, once finished, can be framed or turned into a cushion, or whatever you like.

The kit come with a printed cloth with markings showing you where to sew. You also get, your needle, threads and a guide to the different embroidery stitches. I found i had to google some of the stitches to get a clearer idea of how to do them. Here's my progress so far...

The kit came with a light grey for the back ground but i've decided to keep it bright and go with green instead.

Still undecided what to do with it when it's finished, leaning towards framing it to protect it from cats....