so, who wants to see some dress guts?

I guess I can cross something else off of the list of “things I never thought I’d actually make but did”, because I just spent the last two days making, of all things, an organza corset. Sort of.

IMG_0353I’d figured that the most sensible place to start in actually sewing this thing together would be the underlayer with the boning, which I cut separately from the double-underlined bodice pieces just to simplify actually adding the boning. Thanks to the transparent nature of the organza, it took me maybe an hour to get to this…

(And yes, those seams are right side out for a reason, I wanted to keep the more finished side towards the inside of the dress for this one!)


Of course, then it took me four more hours to get to this! My catch-stitching definitely improved on this one, but I think it actually looks kind of cool on the organza since you can really see all of the stitch. Maybe I should always practice my hand-sewing on see-through fabric! It probably wasn’t entirely necessary to go back to each place where I cut the curved seam allowances so they’d lie flat in pressing, but I really wanted to make sure this wouldn’t get all frayed and weakened in the process. And, actually, the hand-sewing was surprisingly relaxing! I’m not sure what this change says about me, because I used to HATE hand-sewing when I was making my clothes as a teenager, and would do all I could to avoid it. Maybe I’m maturing?


I’d made the boning channels a little too snug before, but I wanted to keep the muslin channels to make the dark boning less likely to show through. So I just cut strips of the scrap organza and stitched that on top instead to give it a little extra width and slightly more camoflage.

(Also, I waaaaay overestimated how much organza I’d need, and I’ve probably got a solid two yards of this left! Oh well, at least silk organza is supposed to be infinitely useful for sewing things.)

So then I ended up with this vaguely corsetish-looking thing….wait a sec, what’s up with that side?
Of course, the first thing I did was check to make sure I didn’t do anything dumb like sew the piece on upside down. I didn’t. It was a perfect mirror image of the other side, which was pretty straight. I think what this is telling me is that I need to tweak the sizing on Donna…
IMG_0361…because this is what it looks like on me. At least, as close to fitted as I could get it considering that it was over top of my shirt and cami, but this would definitely NOT be internet-safe otherwise!I think that one of my first post-wedding projects should probably be to try and make a cover for Donna so that I can really pad her out to my real measurements. Though I’m not really sure how best to do that– I’ve seen tutorials, of course, but trying to get the bust area shaped right for fitting v-necks and such will be….interesting.
Anyway, not bad for two days’ work, and it’s SO good to actually have visual progress going here! The next step will probably be a bit slower, as I need to sew together the actual bodice, and I think I’m going to have to hand-baste this together for accuracy purposes first. After all, it’s not nearly so easy to see the thread-tracing on that as it was on this!

6 thoughts on “so, who wants to see some dress guts?

  1. Judith

    Your careful preplanning and sewing is going to make for a beautiful dress. This part looks like a brilliant fit with all that extra hand sewing. Keep taking your time…J


  2. Allison

    this looks great — I always think about doing a proper underpinning, but I've never pulled it off. Keep the details coming, this is great! How are you dealing with bust support? Does the fabric and the bonding at the front do enough or are you adding more in the future?


  3. I bought a new strapless bra for this, and the boning in the front was placed to work with that. I also have a second layer of organza in the regular bodice underlining, and I'm going to be stitching the two together to really secure that boning.


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