Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Petite Lace Wedding Dress

I made a custom lace wedding dress this summer for a very petite bride- she is under 5' tall. She is perfectly proportioned, which actually is the problem. Wedding dresses for petites are rare; for the very petite, they are nonexistent. Everything she tried on was too long or too large in ways that didn't match the sizing in other areas. Alterations would have been difficult and expensive if they could have been done at all. I had sewn for her before, so was anticipating this problem. I measured carefully, then made a muslin and tweaked it repeatedly until the fit was perfect. 

Once I had the fit right, I began by cutting and sewing the lining, then moved on to the bridal satin and vera knit, which would hold the lace appliques.

FYI, Vera knit is not the same as tulle or bridal illusion. It is a delicate looking but sturdy knit fabric that resembles tulle. It drapes perfectly.

The dress has functional buttons on the bodice, and ornamental buttons on the skirt.

The style and sewing were relatively simple to construct, but I spent many, many hours cutting out tiny lace flowers and motifs and sewing them into place. The appliques are closely spaced on the bodice and sleeves, and farther apart on the skirt, where they trickle down the sides. I also created a design of lace applique flowers and  motifs on the train.

The lace had a scalloped edging, which we used to trim the hem, neckline, and sleeves.

Her dress was very comfortable because it fit so well, and she was relaxed and radiant all day. She was a beautiful bride.

Planning a wedding? Read my blog entry on finding a dress that is perfect for you here.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Steampunk Corset Jacket

The idea for this jacket had been rolling around in my head for a while. Fall is a very busy time for me, and even though I was buried in work, a design contest at Urban Threads motivated me to get it done. Sewing time was dear. Between doing alterations for others and gathering and canning my garden produce, it was a stretch to get it done. It was worth it, though- the jacket won!
I really enjoyed making it- lots of photos below!


I started by making a pattern. The math was more complicated than usual. This jacket is unique in that it is made in two individual pieces. The lacing up the back literally holds it together. Embroidery and lace work had to be planned out very carefully in advance, and done before the jacket was assembled. All the embroidery was done with an embroidery machine. 

The most challenging embroidery was the cut work on the lower sleeve. There was stitching, then cutting, and thread changes, then the addition of soluble stabilizer. It was worth the effort, though! I backed the cut work in silver satin. I also made piping of silver satin for trim. 

Lace cutouts needed to match down the back and be in place before I inserted the grommets. I used top quality metal grommets for the lacing, as well as boning next to the grommets so the jacket won't lose it's shape.

The lapels are embroidered with a steampunk clockwork rose pattern from Urban Threads- the creator of all the designs used on this jacket.

Metal rivets, hot fix metallic studs, and decorative silver buttons add the finishing touches. The jacket closes with heavy duty hooks tucked in behind the silver piping so they are not visible. The jacket is fully lined in a jaunty navy and brown stripe.

If you are interested in owning this jacket, it is available here: Corset Back Jacket