This client is a more 'mature' bride, at 65. She will be getting married for the second time, and didn't want the traditional dress or gown, especially at her age. She had an idea in mind of exactly what she wanted; so with pencil in hand, I drew out her ideas onto paper.
What she had in mind was tea length, full skirted, princess seamed, with no waist seam, slight sweet-heart neckline, with a sheer (chiffon) overlay with a high neck and 3/4 sleeves. She wanted it made in a soft pink with the neck, sleeves and hem trimmed in light beading.
The lining is a Bemburg lining; and the bodice of the lining is underlined with a cotton/poly that is also interfaced. This layer forms the foundation with sewn in bra cups and boning at all the seams, that end at the hip line, to reduce any creasing at the waist. A crinoline is attached at the hipline to the foundation. The main layer of the dress is a crepe back satin. Because it is such a fluid fabric, I underlined it with a very lightweight cotton batiste to give it a little more body. Finally, is the very lightweight, breezy chifffon. The skirts hem is finished with a horsehair braid that is sewn between the crepeback satin and the batiste. The neckline, sleeve hem, and skirt hem are all trimmed in a bugle beaded trim.
The only part that really gave me trouble (and it REALLY gave me trouble!) was the back zipper. There are actually 2 back zippers; one for the foundation, and an outer one for the dress. The foundation zipper was a no-brainer. But the outer zipper had to go from the hip to the neck, where as the foundation zipper only had to go from the hip to the mid back. Where the foundation/lining layers met the outer layers is where I struggled. Here are a couple pictures to try and explain -
Here, you can see the foundation zipper underneath, and the outer zipper which goes all the way up the back.
In this picture, I have pulled the skirt up in back to reveal the foundation and crinoline. The lining is attached at the top of the bodice, on the inside of the foundation.
Here, you can just see the slight beading at the neckline and sleeves.
After fighting for almost a whole day with those confounded zippers, I was ready to pull my hair out, as well as stressing about whether it was going to fit properly. My client hadn't been able to come in that day for a fitting, and being pinched for time, I decided to trust my measurements as well as my instincts, and 'go with it'!
The next morning, she came in and put it on. I almost cried when it fit her to perfection! She loves it - and looks beautiful in it, as all brides should! All I had left to do was the beading and adding a bit of fullness to the crinoline. It now just needs to be steamed before she picks it up on Monday.
Another Happy Bride!!