from a hot mess to the perfect dress...follow the adventure as the old lady and I attempt to make my wedding dress.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Something old: Grandma Rusty's buttons, antebellum reenactment hoop skirt? That'll do.

So in the past week we've been working pretty hard. Last weekend we were finally able to sew the side seams together and I actually got to put it on and look in the mirror. I think at that point we were watching "Say Yes to the Dress" and for the first time I put on my sassy shoes, looked in the mirror, got a little teary, and said "Mom! Look! I'm a bride." Mom replied, yeah you sure are." Last time we talked about this I was wearing the sample dress and I asked Mom if I looked like a bride and she said, "Ummmm....yeah?" at the time I was secretly crushed by the response, but the "WOW!!" I got when I showed her the final dress once the side seams were in was totally worth the initial disappointment.

Before The side seams.

My bride moment!

Directly after the few minutes we took to have our "moment" we
 started picking it apart. We realized that during my battle with the bodice that I took in the front princess seams too much to have the princess seams on the bodice line up and so the back wouldn't close at the top.  I decided to put in the zipper and then see where we stood, but it still didn't close.I thought we'd let the side seams out but of course I had trimmed all of the seam allowances to see if that got rid of enough bulk to close the zipper. Not only did it still not close, but  having trimmed the excess seam allowances meant that letting those seams out wasn't as much of an option as we'd hoped. We both slept on the problem and Mom had the idea that we put gussets. Gussets are pieces of fabric inserted into a seam to add room-- think wrapping a Christmas present and you didn't cut quite enough paper so you stick another piece under the gap, use double- sided tape and think "HA! They'll never know!" The gussets seemed to work but naturally one side was a breeze to do and the other was a little more tricky.

See? NOT closing!!!
Once we got to the point where we were thinking about starting the crinoline, and I was really not excited, we got to talking Mom said "What about that hoop skirt?" About a million years ago I was driving back from rural Georgia there was a random, slightly creepy, antique store that I really thought twice about stopping and going inside and decided it was fine. I fond an old hoop skirt for $10 and decided what the heck I might use it one day. And look at that...I am!

I tried it on underneath the dress and looked a little too Scarlett O'Hara. We wound up figuring out that we could pull out the wires and make them different lengths but I had to cut them and we had some trouble with that because we don't GTL and don't own any bolt cutters. I'm not sure if breaking and entering is something the Jersey Shore boys are involved with regularly, but it seems about right to me. So I sucked it up, ate some spinach, and ripped them apart. Booya. Now I have a hoop skirt that works better than a crinoline, too no time, and is a heck of a lot lighter in weight. Maybe now I won't have to rig some sort of battery-powered fan contraption to go under my skirt because it's so dang heavy and I would be burning up with a crinoline!

Changing the sizes of the wires.
Trying to get an idea of the shape....too big!
So with that out of the way we've been able to work on finishing and reinforcing seams, like heavy-duty Teflon-type stitches that won't make me worry that while I'm walking down the aisle something tragic will happen and I'll suddenly have one of those footed-pajamas flaps on my fannie. Also, Grandma Rusty came through again! I got a box of sewing stuff from her house full of rusted zippers (excuse the pun) and tons of other sewing stuff. This included vile-like containers of buttons in which there are several clusters of similarly-colored buttons sewn together. There was a cluster of mother-of pearl buttons and I used two of them on my dress. So that's the other part of my something old. Pretty neat.

Now we're working on getting the rest of the eyelash trim to get the hem done. I think we'll be done in about two weeks!! Pretty exciting!!!

Almost done! This is it with the hoop skirt underneath.

1 comment:

  1. Caroline, You are AMAZING! The dress is so beautiful and I can hardly wait to see it in person -- first at the Sip and See and, most importantly, at the wedding! I'm so proud of you for making your own dress. It is so, so beautful!

    Thanks for sharing this "great adventure" with us!
    with love,