Sewing Bridesmaid Dresses Long Distance: #1 is Done

After a week away for family and funeral, it was time for me to get back to sewing.  With 3 bridesmaid dresses, the brides dress and a few others in varying stages of completion (or not), it was time to check one off the list.  This dress, for which the pattern is taken from a ready-to-wear dress, is ready to be sent off.  This doesn’t mean it’s finished, however. You’ll notice that it’s not hemmed and the top isn’t finished.  In case there are alterations, I didn’t clip or trip the seams at the top edge therefore it’s “bunchy” at the top.  The halter strap is only pinned to the dress pending the final fitting.

Here are a few details and tips about this bridesmaid dress, which was copied from ready to wear dress that Adrienne liked and which I’ve had in my possession for a few months.

  • Copied the pattern by laying tissue paper over the ready to wear dress and then matched up the pieces to assure that they are the correct size.  This worked well except for the front darts which were a struggle.
  • Side seams are 1+”  – generous enough for any needed alterations.
  • Fabric is silk taffeta, underlined with silk organza and lined with lightweight poly

  • Skirt is cut on the bias
  • All seams are overcast – either zig-zag or overlocked.  This taffeta ravels like crazy.
  • Twill tape was sewed in the seam at the top and waist to reduce stretching.  The top edge was eased about 5/8″ to tighten it

finished seams - twill waist stay

  • Lining for the top has a underlayer of cotton to give it more body
  • Boning is sewed into the side back seams – the ready to wear had more boning but because this fabric has much more body than the lightweight dress which was copied so I think it will hold up well without the additional boning.  Oh, yes, and I did the unthinkable – oiled my machine before starting this dress.  That’s the reason for a few dark spots.

boning in side back seam

  • Invisible side zipper
  • Generous allowance for the length in case Adrienne wants this to be longer than the original dress
  • Halter strap is wider than the original, by Adrienne’s request.  She also wanted it to lie flat, which is why I’ll have the seamstress on the other end finalize this part of the dress.  Am sending an extra piece of fabric just in case she’d like to re-design the loop or ?

  • Next step is to send to Adrienne so she can take it to her seamstress for final fitting, insert cups, trim the seams and to hem it.

In the end, my evaluation is that this dress is an example of the beauty of sewing.  Adrienne has a dress made from a pattern she likes, it was far less expensive than ready to wear and it was fun to create.   Assuming it fits, I’ll be very pleased with this dress.  Guess we’ll all know for sure in June.

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