July in review, and a design decision

Honestly, looking back over this month…it doesn’t look that great on paper at all! The only project I finished during the entire month was the knit top that I wrote about in my last post. And while I’m still close to finishing my little accessory project, it’s not done. But as I’m looking back, it turns out I didn’t really make any specific goals for July anyway. So in this case, nothing ventured, nothing failed! Works for me!

As for August, I only have one real goal: To finish those darn jeans! I spent some time yesterday working on the pattern, and have a back and most of a front, and a yoke, and a pocket. I still need to draft the front pockety bits, the fly front bits, the waistband and the belt loops (because if I don’t at least include a pattern piece for them, I will most certainly forget to cut them out). I was originally going to work on that tonight, but decided I needed to do a little of cleaning and exercising instead, so it’s not going to happen. Especially since I still have to do the workout. Darn you, real life responsibilities!

Ok, so it’s probably my own fault for spending an extra-long dinnertime making a sewing room board on Pinterest. But I actually have one to think about designing now! And I need ideas!!

Back to the sewing. I guess that it doesn’t help that a good chunk of what little sewing time I had this month was spent sorting through patterns and fabric swatches and such to get a plan for my wedding dress. But now my hand has been forced. Meaning I had to just make a design decision and go with it, Here’s the story: n Monday, a particular fabric store that regularly appears on a particular sewing-related tv show that we all know just happened to announce a 15% off sale for silks, including every single piece that I was eyeing for wedding dress potential. So I needed to figure out estimated yardage needed, stat.

The plan is now to use the back of the Cambie pattern for the bodice, mostly as is, though I’d like to use some nude organza in the sleeve cap and upper back in order to strengthen the lace, and then leave it white on the bottom.

Special Occasion

As for the skirt, I decided to go with none of the options I’d posted before. Instead, I’ll be using this. The picture didn’t copy so well from the website this time, but if you look at the ivory sketch, hopefully that gives a good indication of what this dress is. I figured it would be pretty simple to make the seams line up with the darts, the skirt is still pretty full but doesn’t use gobs of fabric (4 yards at most for the skirt per layer–i.e. outer, lining, underlining, etc.–if I estimated right), and things will stay nice and smooth around my waist, which is what I preferred. Also, this one has a center back zipper, which means that the only potential alterations I’ll need to make will be to move seamlines to line up with darts, and lower the top of the skirt a bit to line up with the Cambie waistband. Even with my woefully limited pattern alteration skills, I should be able to handle that. It’ll be a fairly simple design, but since my wedding is going to be late morning and as casual as a church ceremony can be, I’m good with that.

So that’s the good news. The bad news is that my swatches, which I ordered last Thursday before I knew about the upcoming sale, have not yet arrived. And the sale ends in about 4 hours. And when I called, I was told that since the sale on the website is computerized, so there’s nothing they can do to give me the sale prices even though I do have swatches on order. Well, crap. 

On the brighter side, I did get a few swatches from fabric.com, and found something I liked for the outside of the dress that compliments the lace well. It’s reorderable, so I should have no problem getting the yardage, and they run sales on a pretty regular basis, so I figure there’s a pretty good chance I can get some kind of discount between now and October, which is my self-imposed deadline for actually ordering fabric.

Now I just have to figure out the following:

  1. What to use to underline this with
  2. A skin-toned organza for lining the upper part of the back and the sleeve lining, so it looks like just the lace but has that extra strength. And perhaps for concealing the lace in the seams, since I am 98% sure that particular design decision is going to result in more handwork.
  3. What to line this with, since I’m pretty sure I’ll still need a separate lining to hide the mess
  4. What to do about the green waistband. Also, Doug requested that I sew him a tie, and it would make sense to use the same fabric. This is largely dependent on what my bridesmaids decide they want to do for dresses, since I don’t want to choose a shade until I know.
  5. The biggest decision at the moment: What to do about that bra. I am strongly leaning towards building it in, since I’m concerned that a longline strapless bra underneath a bodice that will pretty much require boning of some kind for stability purposes would be rather uncomfortable to wear all day. It’s just a question of how, since my built-in recycled from the old underwire bra cups didn’t quite lay as well when wearing my Lonsdale as I hoped it would. 

I was flipping through my copy of Couture Sewing Techniques this morning, and Claire Schaeffer recommended making a corselette out of cotton tulle. (If my brief Google search is any indication, I’m not sure this exists for a non-wholesale buyer, so I’m not sure what fabric to actually use yet.) The instructions for how to make the actual corselette look good, though so far I’ve completely missed any how-tos on actually getting it into the dress. The one picture showed the dress front flipped down, so I’m not sure if I’m supposed to leave it detached at the top or not! The other option I’ve been toying with is signing up for Gertie’s Bombshell Dress class on Craftsy, and just using that pattern to basically make a bra. The neckline looks pretty similar to the Cambie’s. But using the book I already have is free.

Have any of you dabbled enough in formalwear and/or bra-making to give me any advice here? I’d greatly appreciate it!

2 thoughts on “July in review, and a design decision

  1. I suggest that you go over to Craftsy.com and do the Couture Dress course with Susan Kahjle. The techniques – using organza underlining and hand picked zips are perfect for a bridal dress.


  2. I know this post is old by this point, but I just wanted to let you know that I did end up taking your advice–the end-of-summer sale they had on the classes made the price too good to pass up!


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