It’s hard to believe that it has been over a year already since Matt and I got engaged. It felt like we had so much time to plan the wedding and somehow, suddenly, it’s only 9 weeks away! We are doing pretty well planning-wise. We were able to get the big things nailed down back in March, while we were in Vermont, like the catering and the tent. The rest of it we have been able to work on from here, like the wedding website, “Save the Date” cards, invitations, having rings made and getting Matt’s suit ordered, etc.. All the while, I have been slowly working on my wedding dress and recently completed my second “wearable” muslin!
I already did a regular muslin, out of actual muslin fabric, without seam finishes, sleeves, etc. and determined what adjustments to the pattern I wanted to make. Since I want my wedding dress to fit especially well and the actual fabric wasn’t exactly cheap, I wanted to make the dress all the way through, with my adjustments, to get a better idea of the fit. I also wanted to see how it was finished and make sure it wasn’t going to be too hard for me.
The pattern said “intermediate”, so I was a bit nervous that it would be outside my skill level. There were some things I hadn’t done before, like french seams, but those turned out to be a cinch. Sewing the yoke to the sweetheart neckline was a bit challenging, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t do.
When I got to the part where you attach the front and back bias binding (to the inside of the dress, to cover the raw edges), I found the directions a bit hard to understand. So I just did it the way I’ve done it for all the oven mitts I’ve made and it worked great! It was a real confidence booster that I just knew how to do it. See, I have learned some things in the past couple of years!
The instructions have you do french seams at the shoulders if using “a delicate or mesh fabric”. This was my first time doing french seams and I thought they were going to be a lot harder and/or confusing to do then they were. It was a piece of cake, worked great and looks good with the black lace.
I have the exact same lace, but in white, for my wedding dress. It’s not very fancy lace or anything. In fact, it was from Joann’s and was super cheap, so I was worried about it being scratchy against my skin, but it’s totally not. Between the french seams and the front and back bias binding (which I did in the rayon), there is no scratch factor at all!
I had originally thought the cap sleeves would be more form-fitting around the shoulders than they turned out to be. I’m sure I could make adjustments to make them fit that way, but I like how they ruffle a bit, so I think I’ll just keep it how it is.
This was my first time making a wearable muslin. I usually just do a traditional muslin just to get a rough fit, make my adjustments to the pattern and then go straight to working on the actual garment. So I am really pleased with just how wearable this muslin is. I wasn’t expecting that. In fact, I have already worn it twice! I wore it once on my birthday and once out dancing. It is the perfect dancing dress as it swishes and twirls in all the right ways!
It was a stashbuster too and was from the sale/remnant table at Pacific Fabrics, so it was cheap to begin with. The print is kind of crazy, but I love rayon (it is easy to work with and so comfy), so I had to grab this one. I knew I could find something to do with it! I think it was meant for this pattern, as I had just enough fabric. Plus, I think the black lace yoke cuts down the loudness of the print a bit.
Matt keeps calling this my “practice dress” and I have started calling it that too, because it was great practice and I learned a lot from doing it. I now know I love this pattern and the way it is finished and that it is within my skill level. Now I just have to make it all over again in white!
It still feels a wee bit big in the bodice but, since there are no side bust darts, altering that will be easy. The pattern has you try on the dress before you install the zipper, so you can make any last minute adjustments to the fit then. I already have plans for a friend to come over and help me do a final fitting at that point.
So take a good look at this dress. Now picture it in white lace and silk. Hold on to that thought, because you are not going to see this dress in full until after the wedding! I may do some progress updates and show some detail shots, but I have to keep something a surprise, don’t I?