that sinking feeling…

…in which you realize that you might have to hand-embroider the lace on the entire bodice of your wedding dress. That’s what I’m experiencing right now.
lace test 1I’m currently in the process of testing the pattern changes I wanted to make for the lace–this is the back, with a new top panel of organza with the lace over top. (Thank you, Joann’s Casa Collection, for giving me a way to test this in cheap polyester before I mess with the real thing.) Even though this is still the muslin, I hand-basted all of the lace pieces onto all of the muslin pieces, just so they’d line up the way they were supposed to. This is why I’ve been quiet this week.

I’m a little worried, though–the lace isn’t exactly laying flat against the fabric underneath. I guess it’s to be expected with polyester organza, since that ripples out the wazoo, but the fact that it’s also doing it on the muslin is a bit concerning. So now I’m wondering if stitching all of the sunflowers onto the silk so the lace isn’t poofing away from the bodice is going to have to be the way of things.

I’m finally getting my usual November time off of my retail job this week, somewhat, so tomorrow has been designated as a sewing day. So my plan is to sew this entire bodice back together, make sure the new princess-seam pieces are going to work, and see what this lace is doing after that. Oh, and I also need to throw some boning into this thing at some point, if I can figure out how to cut spiral steel boning!  I also want to play with the zipper, since my thought is to only have it go to the top of the solid part, and then finish the edges and just have a button at the very top of the sheer part. I also need to figure out how to best finish the edges of the organza/lace sections, since that will affect the entire armhole section, but that may have to wait for another day. I’m thinking maybe hand-stitched bias binding out of the organza to camouflage the lace in the seam.

So if I do have to hand-stitch all of the lace to the underlayers, I guess I need to figure out if I would just do that through the top layer, the eventual underlining, or both. And also if I might want to just throw beads on the thing while I’m at it. I’m leaning towards not, since that might detract from the sunflowers and would certainly make the seams a total pain. But then, it would give extra sparkle, and I do like sparkly things!


13 thoughts on “that sinking feeling…

  1. I hope so too! You could do the beads in a way to add attention to the sunflowers… If you add beads, I would go through both layers.
    I am SO enjoying reading your posts about the one dress to rule them all! Thanks for taking us along in the process.


  2. I had this problem when I made my recent lace and linen dress. It is important to lay the pieces flat on the table when you baste the lace. Susan kahjle says “you can't baste in space”. She's right on!


  3. Once you've done a test run, I know you'll be able to handle the real fabric quiet easily.

    For the test run, I have a habit of using the sewing machine because I'm adverse to hand sewing.

    I left the beading of my wedding dress until last so that I could add the accents in a way that added to the dress. And I did sew through all the layers.

    I hope this helps.


  4. I have this little ironing pad that has a cutting board on the other side–the pieces are small enough that I was using this as a flat surface for basting purposes. It worked well enough for the side front pieces, but for the larger surfaces like the center front and the back, that's where all of the rippling starts to come into play. I guess with a larger span of lace, it's easier for it to get distorted.


  5. That's true…. I could maybe do something like just cluster them in the centers of the flowers or something. (I'll just have to be REALLY careful about front motif placement if I do that, but I'd need to do that anyway!)


  6. I'm mostly using the sewing machine–I used that to thread-trace all of the pieces, and I'll be doing that to sew them together. It's just that with this all-over net lace, even using my longest basting stitch to thread-trace it was making it gather in places. So just for the sake of actually getting the pieces to line up as they should, I hand-basted it. Since it was just the bodice, it wasn't that bad of a task, and I finished it in a couple of hours while catching up on Project Runway All-Stars and Once Upon A Time. Now, if I'd had to do the skirt too….yeah, that wouldn't happen. Not until the real thing. 😉


  7. ooooh becky! continuing on the khaljeness, i just went to a lace lecture she did at mood. she showed us garments where darts and such were not actually sewn into the lace– you sew your lining up with darts and all as you would, then you lay the lace flat over the shell, and cut along the motif in the lace to create a dart that is absolutely invisible… you shape the lace into what you want rather than worry about darts and all. does that make sense? of course it also depends on what kind of lace you're using. and you may already have thought of this option, i've been missing things the past few weeks…

    once i get my head above water i'll be posting pics of her examples. they were EXQUISITE.


  8. I've been studying Susan Khjale's work pretty closely too, between the Bridal Couture book and the Craftsy class. So I already knew I'd have to do this along the seamlines and darts. Hopefully this will work ok with princess seams, since those are happening now.(The only reason I'm just sewing the darts as is on this one is because this is the last muslin, hopefully, and this is just to check fit and style. That, and it's cheapo Joann's lace and not my real stuff.) What I'm a little more worried about is having to sew the lace down by hand EVERYWHERE ELSE to get it to lay flat against the bodice and not bubble out like a bad-fitting layer.

    But yes, any examples you can post would be really helpful! Much appreciated!


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