Saturday 4 April 2015

Wedding Dress Progress I: Muslin and Fabric

In the absence of good weather to take pictures of new makes outside, I thought it will be nice to update you on my progress on my wedding dress.

Inspiration dress (source)

I've chosen Butterick (B5325) which looks similar to my inspiration dress. It comes without straps so I will just add them. I've traced the pattern and graded it up several sizes for my waist and hip measurements. The only problem was that the biggest pattern size was 12 and according to the chart I needed size 16 at the hip. Thus I measured the distance between size 12 and 10 on the pattern and added it twice to the hip area. I then graded down to size 14 at the waist and size 8 at the bust.

I had to step on a stool, otherwise the fabric is just bunching up.

A quick tissue fitting of the bodice showed me that it fit well and I went ahead to make a muslin. I used a cotton (a former bed sheet) for the bodice as it has to be structured. For the skirt I used some old curtain - a very thin polyester with some drape.

I really like the fit at the waist. You can see that I pinned out some fabric at the side seams.
Surprisingly, the bodice fits me well. I expected to change the position of the apex but didn't need to! You can't imagine how happy this made me :) I just need to take out some fabric at the top of the bodice because otherwise my neckline is gaping. I might also add some horsehair braid to the neckline to stabilize and shape it. I've got the idea from a great tutorial by Gertie.

Bodice dropping towards the side seams.

The bodice is dropping towards the side seams. I think this is because the skirt is heavy and pulling it down. I'm not sure if this will improve if I add boning to the real dress. However, the addition of straps helps a bit in keeping the back more straight.

I couldn't decide where to attach the straps. I moved them further outside in the end (see below).

The skirt also seems to fit fine. I haven't decided yet if I want to keep the train or not. I really like the look and feel of it and when wearing the muslin kept walking in front of the mirror just to see the train. It makes such a nice noise when dragged on the floor :) However, because we are going to have a small wedding with only our parents and sisters, I don't feel the need to have one. Ah, I just can't decide!

Ignore the bunching at my hips - I'm holding the dress up in the front to avoid
stepping on it.

I've bought already the fabric. I got a lavender chiffon for the shell fabric and some sand washed silk for lining. The chiffon bodice will be underlined with silk dupion. It was the first time that I bought silk (and such expensive fabric). I have also bought a craftsy class about sewing with silk. So before touching the silk I'm going to watch that class. Do you have any tips about sewing with silk?

From right to left: silk dupion, chiffon, sand washed silk. The colors are darker than in reality.

So what's the next step? I have to make the changes to the pattern and order some horsehair braid. I also don't have any lace flowers yet, so if you have any suggestions where to find some please share!

Happy Easter to everyone!


  1. Keep the train if you love it. If you can't wear a dress with a train on your wedding day when can you?!

  2. Stunning. Thanks for sharing this special journey. Minerva Crafts have horsehair braid clear in different widths. Staff are really helpful in person or on the phone. Can't wait for the next part K xXx

  3. I agree with Sam, keep the train and make the wedding dress exactly as you dream it to be. I have used silk as a lining in my trench coat and it wasn't so intimidating as I thought it would be, my advice is only the obvious, use a fine needle and pin only in the seam allowance. I'm sure you'll get all the necessary information from the craftsy class.

  4. It's going to be gorgeous - definitely keep the train! You can buy silk needles - I have only used silk once but it was fine. Lavender is THE colour of the moment - I read a little article on the Brora website yesterday - although they called it Parma Violet! Did you have those sweets when you were a child? Good luck with the next stages - keep us posted - I love following a project - especially such a special one.

  5. Agree with those above ..keep the train. So excited for you .. oh to make a weddding dress, its going to be so so gorgeous x

  6. I agree with the others above - if you like the train then keep it. No matter how small your wedding is going to be, it's the only real chance you get to wear a dress with a train so I'd go for it! Good luck with sewing the silk (I haven't sewn silk, so I can't offer you any tips sorry!) and with finding some pretty flowers - if I see any then I'll let you know!

  7. such a beautiful pattern! I have to agree with the others that oyu should definately keep the train :-) I hope you manage to get some good tips from your class :-)

  8. oooh such beautiful fabric! The muslin looks great on you so far and I'm super excited to see the final result!

  9. Hello dear, you did it so perfectly. This is looking really nice. For my wedding at LA event venues I had chosen to get married wearing a ball gown. It worked really well for me and everyone praised my look.


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