Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Bridal Challenge - The Dress and Veil


Wow, this was challenging!  There were several iterations for the bodice, first in paper, then muslin, and then muslin again.  I should have made a fourth, but I was too lazy.  After the third, I marked a place to make an adjustment on the pattern and then went with it.  According to Mr. Burbidge’s article in Doll Reader, his reproduction dress was of bridal satin of silk/rayon in antique ivory.  The bodice had two layers of lining, one of organdy and one of cotton gauze. 


For my doll, I had selected silk/satin or charmeuse.  Charmeuse is not a particularly easy fabric with which to work.  I also selected beaded and sequined netting as I did not really want to do all the beading and embroidery of the original dress or the reproduction dress. Once I had all the pattern pieces for the bodice and skirt drafted and ready to cut, I started second-guessing all my decisions.  Yes, ALL of them!  I was afraid the silk for the slip would tear, I was afraid I couldn’t do the sewing on the charmeuse as it is a tricky fabric, and I didn’t know if the beaded net would be too much and look all wrong.  I was at a dead stop.  

Two weeks had passed since I wrote the above paragraph. Here is where I am, I used the charmeuse, yes, I did.  I would not suggest it unless one has superior sewing skills.  I am not that person, but I had to soldier on.  I went back to the article to see what Mr. Burgess used and decided to ADD the extra layer of cotton for the bodice.  I thought the scale of it would not work, but even in a smaller doll, this is a good idea, using Swiss Batiste, Silk organdy, and silk charmeuse.  The pieces were basted together and treated each as one section of the bodice then sewn together on the machine. 


I made the skirt in three pieces as well only joining them at the end at the waistline. 


The veil is lace with attached silk netting.  It, too, will be, or maybe embellished with beads, sequins, and crystals.

Today, as of this writing.  I have not yet completed this dress.  It has lain packed away for a few years. The truth is that Mr. Burbidge has died but was able to send him pictures of the dress this far.   I have lost all verve for this project.  However, the train is completed as a separate piece, if I pick it up again, will be attached via hooks and loops at the center back.  And then all that is left is beading, sequins, crystals, and whatever else I want to make it fussier and a real wedding dress. 


Remember my doll is a doll of the period of the late 1800s, so it is out of context in this 20th century dress.  But the project was fun, and I was thrilled to be able to work with my sewing idol.  He was one of the highlights of my sewing career. 


A special note.  I may be off the blog for a few weeks as I complete two projects, impossibly with the same deadline. I appreciate your patience.  Hope and joy to all.  Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. 

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Oh Kathie, she is divine. I love bride dolls. The back of her dress is fantastic.