Sunday, 24 January 2016

Wedding Dress Progress...A Finished Toile

So far my New Years resolution is going rather well. I've resisted going to any fabric stores, (my last trip was before Christmas!) and I've not sewn anything at all apart from cushions ordered from the shop and my wedding dress.

Before Christmas all I had done was purchase a pattern to work from, Simplicity 4070 and made one toile of the bodice part of the dress. Skip forward to now and I'm waiting for the silk I've ordered to arrive and I'm ready to start the actual dress!

I found altering the toile really difficult at first because I've only ever made alterations to bodices with darts, rather than princess seams. Its also something you really need the help of another person for, and as I just live with Mr-soon-to-be-Makes it was difficult to find the time to get someone else to help. I ended up putting things off (so unusual for me...) for most of December, and then a few days after Christmas whilst back at my parents, I did another bodice toile which was a lot closer to the mark.
I actually lost the bodice pattern pieces I had originally traced from the paper pattern, so had to retrace them and start again. This time I decided to cut a straight size 12 rather than grading up at the waist as my measurements suggested I should do, and the resulting fit was much better. ...I really don't understand why in a pattern that is designed to be both strapless and an occasion dress, there should be any ease at all in the bodice. Other alterations I have done are as follows:
  •  I took in the seams above the bust point, as the bodice was sticking out rather than following the curve of my bust.
  • The neckline was not particularly sweetheart at all, so I deepened the curve and made it much more pronounced.
  • I also added around 3/8 of an inch or 1m at the front of the bodice, as it was sitting lower at the back.
My first go at using boning I found to be very straightforward, I'm not sure what all the fuss is about! The only issue I have had is that I should have cut it a little shorter, as the seams either side of the sweetheart neckline are sticking up into a bit of a point and the lining is rolling to the front.
The skirt pattern of Simplicity 4070 view E, is actually a half circle skirt. I did sew this up first but found it just wasn't going to be full enough for what I had in mind. I then used the skirt pattern from my Betty dress instead, but the seams don't line up, so i'll be moving them for the real dress.
The Betty Dress pattern from Sew Over It has also come in handy when it comes to the overlay. I used the bodice pattern as it already had the v back and straps I was looking for, but moved the straps over a bit at a time until they were in the right place. I also straightened the back edge from the slight curve it had already.
Last weekend I visited a seamstress friend of ours who's coming to the wedding, for her help on fitting. I was so chuffed to find there wasn't much I had to do at all, just take in the front bodice seams a little more above and below the bust point. It really has to be so much tighter than you think! But on the plus side that should mean its not going anywhere after a spot of dancing and I won't have to do the dreaded un-bridal like pull up of the dress. Also as it's not tight actually on my stomach...plenty of room for CAKE!
I also made a quick mock up of the overlay in extremely thin cheap tulle, that you can barely see on the photo, which also fit surprisingly well!
So what's next? The silk should be arriving on Monday... my brand new Fiskars shears arrived yesterday. I have new needles for my machine, thread and hand sewing needles, and new pins. I even bought a new ironing board cover as the old one is looking pretty icky.
I think i'm about as ready as I can be!
Just doing some spinning...
Emily Kate.


  1. Looking really good so far!! I really hope by the time I get married I can make my own, just seems so special!

  2. Well done! You seem very organised and its looking good! Cassandra

  3. Well done & good luck with the real dress, I'm really excited to see how it turns out. I made my own wedding dress too (with my mum's help) for my wedding in December. I used the same bodice as you've used, it was a nice one to work with. Claire

  4. Just WOW! The toile fits you beautifully, great work! Definitely the mark of a perfectionist with an eye for details - your dress is going to be gorgeous and I can't wait to see it finished.


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