Wedding dress DIY – last part of my wedding dress project

I got married on September 1 – surprise! And I finished my dress well before the big day as well, but haven’t been able to give an update due to the many other things that needed to be done before the big day.

To continue the story of my dress, I added boning (rigilene polyester) to my inner corselet – a total of 13 bones. One mid front, one in each front side seam, one in each side front piece, one in each side seam, one in each side back piece, one in each side back seam and one in each back piece. All the bones were ironed flat (lowest heat) and their ends were secured by means of a candle flame, before sandwiching the bones between the layers of the corselet. After addition of the boning I found that I had no need to buy new underwear – the structure could support me as well as my dress. I am truly grateful to katexxxxxx for advice regarding this construction, as seen in the beautiful wedding dress shown here and the bridesmaids dresses shown here.

My corselet/dress foundation before  adding the petticoat and assembling the dress.

I finished the corselet sewing the back openings to the hook and eye tape and sandwiching my petticoat between the layers. Then I added one silk organza ruffle (7 inches, cut on the bias) at the petticoat base to prevent my corselet seams to be seen through the dress.

Corselet/dress foundation and petticoat with ruffle.

In order to assemble the dress layers, I had the outer layer and the lining together with right sides facing, with the corselet-petticoat layer sandwiched in between them, outer side facing the inner/right side of the dress lining. I sewed the layers together, leaving the corselet out of the assembling seam from the middle of the side back piece and to the centre back. I then turned the outer dress part to the right side, and cut open the seam of the corselet where it was not fastened to the dress, finishing the upper seams on the corselet seams. I added an invisible zipper at the back of the dress, and used a wonderful cream colored ribbon I have stored for the last decade as shoulder straps. The straps actually consists of two widths of ribbon zig-zag stitched together before adding them to the dress.

Dress during the various stages of assembly. 

I found the need to add two more layers of 7 inch ruffle to my petticoat to get the shape I wanted on the skirt.

Almost finished, I let my dress hang on the mannequin to the next day before hemming the various layers, thus letting the fabric stretch properly. The outer layer was hemmed using a horsehair braid, as demonstrated by Gertie Hirsch, and both the lining and the petticoat were hemmed using a silk ribbon, using the same technique. Not having worked with horsehair braid before, the result was not perfect, but I got the effect I wanted in the end. The seam is pretty obvious, and while I think an underlay could have looked better, eliminating the showing seam, as seen here, I kinda liked the added casualness to an otherwise very dressed-up outfit.

The newly-weds. Photo by Andrea C.

Gotta catch that train! – back view of the dress. Photo by Nathalie Ch.

In addition to my dress, I also made a coat and a purse, which will be described in the next post.


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