Another month has passed since my last Wedding Dress Progress Update! Two more month to go before everything has to be ready. I'm making good progress with the dress:
The bodice is assembled, voila!
It consists of 5(!) layers:
1. Pleated chiffon shell
2. Silk dupion underlining for the chiffon shell.
3. Cotton batting with sewn-in bra cups.
4. Old bed sheet with boning to which the cotton batting is attached.
5. Silk lining.
It took me a while to decide in which order and which way around to stack layer 3 and 4. So here are a few more details on the bodice assembly.
I hand basted the pleated chiffon to the silk dupion bodice pieces with silk thread and then sewed the bodice pieces together (layer 1 and 2).
|Right side of silk lining (top) and chiffon pleats basted to silk dupion (bottom)
|Wrong side of silk lining (top) and chiffon pleats basted to silk dupion (bottom)
Following the tutorial from sewaholic, I made a cotton batting layer just for the three front pieces (the ones connected by the princess seams). To avoid fabric bulk at the princess seams, you have to cut off the seam allowances and then stitch the side and front panel together on top of twill tape. I bought simple sew-in bra cups from amazon and after a bit of trial and error managed to get a good placement of the cups on the batting. I sewed all the way around the cups with a zig zag stitch to secure them.
|Right side of cotton batting with bra cups (top) and bed sheet with boning (bottom)
|Wrong side of cotton batting with bra cups (top) and bed sheet with boning (bottom)
Then I constructed the "old bed sheet" bodice which I wanted to use to underline my silk lining. I added the boning to this layer because it was the most stable one. I had to make the princess seams for this (and the silk lining) a bit smaller, because they are on the inside of the bra cups. Next I stitched the cotton batting to the bed sheet layer.
|Boning attached to the bed sheet layer.
|Close up on bra cups sewn onto cotton batting
|Stitches in the seam line of princess seams to secure lining to bra cups.
|Close-up of all layers sewn together.
Construction wise the most challenging part for me was to attach and position the bra cups. The boning was very easy to put in. I was contemplating for a while to add some horse hair braid to stabilise the neckline but decided against it. Because there were already 5 fabric layers at the neck seam line and I didn't want to add more bulk.
|I first trimmed the batting.
|Trimmed and graded seams at neckline seam.
|Neatly understitched and trimmed neckline seam.
|Understitches on the right side of the neckline seam. Pretty ribbon straps have been attached as well.
Are you still with me? Well done! Then let me tell you what to expect in the next progress post: the assembly of the dress and lining and first hand stitching :)
One question, please: Does the train have to be lined? My lining has a train :O And do you have any experiences with bustles? Any tutorial you can recommend? Thank you.