Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bridal Week Day Two

I'm on day two of Bridal week. I was very busy but it doesn't look like that much got accomplished. Before the remodel, I had cut out most of the bodice and the front piece of the skirt. Now was the time to start cutting the rest of the gown.

I've been dragging my feet on this. Why? Because this is the scary part. One mistake and I'm done for. The pattern pieces all have to face the same direction. Satin has a nap and if not careful, the gown would appear to be made out of two different color whites. I have to make sure that I have a right and a left piece. During most garment construction, that is fairly easy. However, when you get into the larger/wider pattern pieces, you can only cut out one piece at a time, not two. I have to make sure that I do indeed have enough fabric. I should, I purchased 30 extra inches. But hey, it's me we're talking about. Murphy's Law prevails, a lot.

The first order of business was to measure all the pattern pieces and times the measurement by two. I had 348 inches of pattern. I didn't want to do it, but I unrolled the bolt of satin. I had 342 inches of satin. Hmmmm. (Remember Murphy's Law?) So technically I'm 6 inches short of fabric. My fabric is 54 inches wide and not 60 inches so that caused a lot of the shortage. I decided that once I put the pieces on, we would be fine. The pieces that make up the sweep of the train are not cut straight, so I knew that I could gain a few inches with each piece.

I need to finally commit. I take the fabric and cut it in half. I pray that my calculations are correct. Even though the fabric is white, I can't just order more white if I make a mistake. White also has a dye lot. I would have to purchase the whole 11 yards again. Remember that there is a nap so I mark the top of the length of fabric and the bottom of the fabric before I cut. I now have two pieces of fabric and place them one on top of the other, right sides together.

While working with the fabric, I just kept stopping to look at it. It's gorgeous. I'm pinching myself that I'm fortunate enough to have this in my hands.

I laid the skirt pieces out. At the end of the line, I find that I now have nine inches extra. Whew! Now the next question. What to do with the nine inches? I'm German, can't let that go to waste. So I decide to do what any true romantic would do, I add the extra length to the train. So to do this, all the pieces had to be removed for me to start over. Now, I just can't add the nine inches to the very back piece. All the pieces except for the front need to have additional length so there is a gradual increase for the train. I probably spent an hour moving the pieces to make sure that I would have a gradual slope and enough fabric to do what I needed. So starting from the side front piece we went from zero to the back piece that is four inches longer than the pattern intended.

Even after several trial runs on the bodice, the shoulder strap is too big. We tried different adjustments, but none that we tried was the perfect solution. What I'm doing right now is taking two small tucks on the side nearest the neck. I don't want to make the armhole smaller. Yes, I am basically guessing on expensive fabric. If this doesn't work, I have enough of the satin scraps to continue onward.

I spent four hours this morning on the layout and cutting of these pieces. I also hand basted the bodice pieces and the midriff band.

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