Screwing my courage to the sticking point

Merry (slightly belated) Christmas! I hope it was lovely for all of you. I definitely got spoiled this year, with sewing/knitting goodies (which I will post about later) and some things for my fiance’s townhouse and DVDs. And the thing I’m most excited about– a new digital SLR camera!! I’m still in the VERY beginning of learning how to use it stage, so bear with me as I learn to adjust the settings, but this will definitely help with my resolution to get some better photos on here!

And now it comes to it. I have the most expensive pile of fabrics that I’ve ever worked with in my life hanging here, after four hours of pressing it as flat as I could. (The dupioni wasn’t exactly cooperative, so hopefully it will be ok in the end.) And I have a fully-dissected and pressed muslin that is ready to use as a pattern. I’ve watched a few sessions of my Craftsy class, and ordered a ginormous roll of paper to aid in cutting out the silk, as per this tutorial.

Now it’s just a case of getting up the nerve to actually take the scissors and cut.

I know I’ve showed a fabric shot before, but it wasn’t all of it. So I figured I’d do a little highlight post before I start slicing and dicing. I ended up having to source my fabrics from 4 different places, which seems kind of crazy for one dress! (I apologize for the shadow, and the off-tone of the photos–it’s very grey and dreary here today, but I don’t feel that I can afford to wait for better lighting!)

All the fabrics!
Going left to right: Nude organza, lace, white organza, crepe de chine, dupioni, and habotai.

The lace, which inspired the whole thing, came from a place called Lace Factory. I stumbled across it on Etsy kind of randomly several months before I even got engaged and snatched it up with no particular purpose in mind. I mean, seriously, how often do you find lace that isn’t all rose-covered and stuff? I couldn’t pass up the sunflowers. Fortunately, they have a website too, because I wasn’t entirely sure once I started planning this that the 3-yard piece that it had been sold as would be enough, and ended up buying 2 more yards.

Of course, the lace is super-white, which did make it a little difficult to pair fabrics with it! The printaholic in me is surprised at how hard it is to find plain old solid white fabric–everything seems to come in various shades of ivory. After buying swatches from multiple websites, I settled on the white silk dupioni from for the outside of the dress. It’s still slightly more ivory-looking than the lace, but I figure that will help the sunflowers to stand out a little better. Also, if I underestimated how much fabric I’ll need, it’s something they will definitely keep in stock and so I can order more. It’s good to have that safety net.

For the underlinings and lining, I bought various undyed silks from Dharma Trading Company–going with plain dyeable fabric was a pretty cost-effective way to go! My plan as of now is to underline the entire dupioni portion of the dress with crepe de chine, and to add a layer or two of white silk organza to the bodice and waistband for extra structure. I think the most sensible way to do this is to do a separate inner bodice from the organza and stitch the boning to that, but I may end up needing to sandwich the boning between that and some white muslin, depending on if the boning is showing through the rest of the bodice. I figure that I can always recycle the white muslin from the skirt of the test dress, where it’s not all marked up with red waxed tracing paper, if needed.

I’m also going to be lining the dress in silk habotai, also from Dharma, and I bought extra of it for dyeing purposes. I’d still like to add a green sash or something to add some color to my dress, and Doug wants me to make him a tie for the wedding. I can’t choose the color yet because I don’t know for certain what my bridesmaids are wearing, due to maternity issues. The baby is here (and adorable), and my new mama friend will probably be more ok to shop in a couple of months. But for simplicity and greatest chance of actually re-wearing, there’s talk of just letting them each pick out whatever little black dress that each girl wants, whether they match or not, and if that’s the case, I may need to come up with some green accessories for them as well. I guess whether it’s a sash or just jewelry will depend on the styles. Maybe the Pantone color of the year being a green will work in my favor?

Side note–it is SO HARD to find wedding-ish jewelry in green on Etsy that doesn’t involve pearls. Which I’d really like to stay away from, because they’re really not me. I’ll keep looking since I don’t feel comfortable buying without knowing what the dresses are anyway, but I might have to resort to making jewelry for me and the bridesmaids after all!

The most recent addition is the nude organza, which was also kind of tough. But although I had no luck with white silk there, Mood finally came through for me on this one (thank you, Mood!) This one ended up going very well with my particular shade of paleness, and this will be underlining the lace for the upper back and the sleeves. Now I just need to figure out how I’m going to finish the edges and seams on those particular sections.

The possible addition that I’m not sure about yet: I may need to add some tulle to give the skirt some body, but I’m not sure yet. I guess I’ll have to see how the skirt behaves in the actual fabric.

And there you have it: about 22 1/2 yards of fabric for one dress. Crazy.


6 thoughts on “Screwing my courage to the sticking point

  1. Ooohhhh, all that fabric to play/design/create with – lucky you! With all this pre-planning and thinking you are doing the end dress (and whole wedding party) is going to look stunning…J…


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