Wedding Dress Project: Third Strike

DSCF2269 DSCF2268

We’re making progress.

All right, so the blog is called wasted weekends and boy did this project. We had a three-day weekend in the States and substantial amounts of time and attention (and beer) were spent on this dress muslin. This is some grade-A polyester charmeuse that got crunchy when I spilled that beer on it so don’t get too excited. [Squee!, wedding dress!, etc. It’s not that time yet.]

From the side, I’m pretty happy. The waistband issues that Nicole and Emmely kindly took the time to point out look mostly resolved. Ditto trying this out with material more like what I plan to use for the real dress.

Also, I (almost) successfully lengthened all seven of those panels. I successfully made and incorporated godets. I think I’ll remove the two at the side-seams to keep this from looking too much like the shape belongs on one pant leg of something straight out the American Hustle , but that’s fine and actually removes TWO seams, so, bonus.

But, look at this:



Ew. I wanted flow-y and blouse-y-ish, not wrinkly. The back bodice looks pretty bad. I pinched out a bit from the shoulder seams, because it felt like nothing was really ‘hanging’ off the shoulders. And I got this.

DSCF2273 It’s a little better, so the shoulders should probably be brought up, but still not quite right, and plus I wanted to try something. (Yes, that is actually the wedding shoe. If you think you see a metallic gold-covered wedge, you might not be seeing things incorrectly.)

So I just went for it and cut out the back and got this.

DSCF2276 Yes, it just got worse. (And also, yes, it is definitely time to break out the sun-in. I still actually think of myself as blonde, but two winters on the east coast of the US have not been kind.)

I tried to pin out a bit from the low center back. Maybe I needed a sway-back adjustment at the outset?

DSCF2278And then I just got so tired of the project that I quit making adjustments.

Next steps? Pinch out and that extra space essentially at bra band level on the inside of the shoulder strap? Make a new back bodice? Just effing make the dress already? Just swallow my dreams and buy something?






  1. Hih! So much fun reading this! Sounds familiar 🙂 When I started sewing three years ago I ended up doing same things as you are doing now. I cut bit here and here.. oops. Maybe you have to think again about that bodice 🙂

  2. wowowow! you’re on your way. I don’t really have anything helpful to say except that I think you’re onto something with the open back – thinner straps? a little bling?

    1. !!! Thanks! It needs some adjustments that’s for sure. I think the straps might get a liiiiittle thinner but I need them to hold up the top! But maybe a blingy belt is the easiest thing to make it a little more wedding-y.

  3. Sorry about the late reply but I wanted to have a good look at your pictures so that I could (hopefully) come up with some good advice. I like that you’ve decided to give the skirt a bit of a flare. Have you thought of integrating the godets into the basic skirt pattern pieces or will you keep them as they are now? If you’re integrating them I don’t think you need to remove the ones at the side seams.
    I really, really like the high neckline on the front of the bodice but as you say, there’s something iffy going on in the back. It’s a bit hard to tell from the photos but it looks like there’s something wrong with the shoulder seams (on the first photo at least, it looked better later on). I’d also say that the fitting around the armhole looks a bit so-so. Or maybe it’s just the seam allowance that’s creating the gap between the dress and your shoulder?
    To me, it looks like there’s a bit too much fabric in the back. At least when you compare it to the front. I can’t see if there are any darts at all in the back? In theory, adding that should remove the wrinkles 🙂

    If you want to keep the open back (which I totally understand if you would 🙂 ), I would suggest adjusting the shoulder seams so that they lie flat on the shoulder. At the moment, they’re sort of mid-air. For the wrinkles, I stumbled across this interesting picture:
    So, adjusting the side seams might reduce or remove much of the wrinkles. Personally, I would also make it a bit more fitted in the back by pinning in a few cm in the center back seam.

    1. Thanks for all those pointers.
      This weekend I’m going to go back to the old bodice block for the back piece and see where I get.

      I really like the suggestion about incorporating the godets into the panels, and have been turning over and over in my head how to do it. Would you split the width of the godet, adding 1/2 width of a godet on each side of every panel? Would the seam line running through the godet interrupt the flare, or do you think it would be okay?
      Or would you add the full godet to one panel?

      Bought more polyester for muslin making this weekend…

      1. I’ve never made such alteration myself so I’m just guessing right now. My gut feeling tells me to add half of the godet to each side of the panels. That way the skirt should be more symmetrical and better balanced. If you take a look at this picture, you see what would most likely happen if you only added some of the godets and removed a couple.
        Don’t forget to press the seams open! I find that unpressed seams gives the garment a completely different look than pressed ones does.

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