Since the wedding is really creeping up on us now…I’ve had to really pull my finger out and get on with my dress. And actually… it’s finished! Well the dress is, and the petticoat is very nearly. What I’m going to share with you today though is actually the stage it was at a few weeks ago, before the big move.
After spending a few weeks just cutting out fabric, the actual sewing was all done in a few short weeks. I used the tissue paper method to cut out the habitai silk lining, laying one layer of paper on my wooden floor, then the fabric, then another on top. I avoided cutting pieces on the fold where possible, but for the circle skirt my floor just wouldn’t have coped with the size of it had I traced the whole front piece out. So I added yet another layer of paper between the fold of the fabric so it didn’t slip. When it came to the dupioni silk, as it’s a much more stable, medium weight fabric I found I could just cut it easily without needing anything to stabilize it. I did buy myself a brand new pair of Fiskars shears at the start of the process as my cheap John Lewis pair are seriously blunt nowadays. I also used silk pins and tried to stay within seam allowances.
When it came to the tulle for the skirt, I didn’t use tissue paper within the seams as I demonstrated here for the polka dot bodice, mainly as it would have taken forever, and there was less need to be so precise on a loose skirt. I decided to do a double layer tulle skirt, so the skirt section has 4 layers in total, not including the petticoat!
When it came to the zip, I was unsure of what to do about the tulle layers. I figured I didn’t want to sew it together with the dupioni silk and have it stick out oddly below the zipper, but sewing the whole seam together would mean the tulle would be less floaty and free at the back. Without the help of a seamstress friend I’m not sure what I would have done, as no amount of googling helped. She recommended just sewing the tulle (each layer separate) below the zipper, and leaving it open above. I left it free at the seam allowance of the waist seam, trimmed the seam allowance down along the zipper and then hand stitched the top edge of the skirt into the waist seam of the main fabric after I had finished the zip. I’m really not sure that’s how the professionals exactly finish it off, but as tulle doesn’t fray it works just fine and allows you to keep the floaty effect of the tulle overlay.
For the zip, I did a handpicked, lapped zip with loop tape added to one side. You have no idea how proud of myself I am for that..and it looks pretty good! I find zips a pain to do on a machine anyway when you have layers of heavy fabric, so doing it by hand was actually much easier.
As this is getting a bit long...I’ve decided to do a separate post on the zip saga in a little more detail, as I found several articles a great help. I was surprised though at the lack of information online on putting in loops and buttons.
So there we have it… progress really has been made. Honest.
This will be the last photo I share of the whole dress until the big day though, as I want to share it with all the finishing touches!