I hope you’re still following along this epic series and haven’t gotten too horribly bored by the whole thing. It will be over soon, I promise!
I’ve written at length about all the different parts of the dress… the corselette, the underskirt, the dress shell and even the veil, but seeing at all come together was a very satisfying moment.
Here’s how the whole setup works. The corselette layer is attached to the shell (lining) above the bust. The skirt lining is attached to the shell at the hem only. The waist of the skirt lining is free and goes between the corselette and the shell. The underskirt goes between the skirt lining and the corselette, and is separate/removable. Clear as mud? Good.
Essentially the only tricky thing was getting the underskirt on once the dress was on, because it had to go between two layers.
To help keep the skirt lining in the right place, I attached it to the corselette with some thread chains. I cheated and rather than hand sew some beautiful chains, I just chained off on the overlocker and cut it into 10cm lengths. Then for each piece, I threaded it into a medium sized needle (using a needle threader), took a small stitch through the corselette and the skirt lining, then tied knots in both ends.
Maybe it’s more obvious below. These chains help keep the lining up inside the dress so I can get it on, but also leave the waist free because the underskirt waistband has to go under the lining waistband.
Of course, it wasn’t as easy as that. With all the added weight of the skirt lining, which remember, I wasn’t originally going to have, the underskirt hoops I made from three rows of boning were buckling when I walked or sat down. I must say I got a bit hacked off with it at this stage – partly because there wasn’t really enough space in my house to walk around in the dress to see whether it buckled only when I walked into something, or whether it would have done so of its own accord, and partly because I was facing a fairly serious problem which I wasn’t sure I could solve. The idea of sewing on more boning filled me with dread, because wrestling that underskirt, which was completely covered in scratchy tulle, under the sewing machine was not a pleasant thought.
Drastic measures were called for. I decided to make sure it was strong enough by adding a much less flexible hoop made of wire, that would definitely be strong enough to hold the dress up.
It was an emergency. I ‘borrowed’ three wire coat hangers from Mr CSC’s wardrobe while he was out.
I cut off the hook ends with pliers.
And I straightened them out a bit with my hands.
Making a hoop the right size required sellotape, which worked a treat.
I actually covered the three sellotaped joins in white grosgrain because I couldn’t bear the thought of something that ugly being in the dress.
And finally, I hand stitched it to the inside of the underskirt, under the boning. It made a huge difference and I could breathe a big sigh of relief at this point. Disaster averted.
The only other changes I made in the days running up to the wedding were to add a few more tulle ruffles around the bottom of the underskirt where it was looking a bit thin, and shortening the skirt lining to take the dress up a bit, after I had a final walk around in my shoes. The last thing I wanted was to trip on a too-long dress when walking up the aisle, so I played it safe and made it a bit shorter.
And now… the moment you’ve been waiting for… some wedding pictures!
Thanks for sticking with me for this long, folks… normal refashioning service will be resumed shortly.