My sweet next-youngest sister, Chelsie, is getting married. May 23rd. And I'm refashioning a wedding dress for her.
Here she is with her fiance Tyler the night they got engaged. Adorable, right?
Oh, and did I mention she lives in Utah- and I in Virginia? Before you tell me how crazy I am let me just say this: I know. It sounds totally nutso, but I'm really excited (and only a little bit nervous) about the whole thing. She and I have somewhat similar tastes and I'm pretty much jealous of the dress this will hopefully turn out to be. We have a pinterest board full of inspiration dresses and commentary on what she likes and doesn't like about each dress. If you want to get a feel for what look we are going for, go ahead and check it out. It could be fun.
Originially we thought we would be starting from scratch- using bits and pieces of a few patterns to try to create what she is looking for- but then her fiance's sister offered to GIVE her a dress she had on hand to do whatever she pleased with. She called me up, asked if I thought it would work, and I jumped for joy because it meant I had a baseline of work already done. Also I love refashioning.
I have some super awesome before pictures to share. They are great because a) The dress is much too big, which means the before will be super dramatic just by changing the size and b) I took the pictures myself. Of me. In a mirror in my living room. Basically any after picture will be better than these. Also I left them au naturale (no color correction, nothin!) Behold:
So...I have a lot of work cut out for me. Luckily I have a new friend to help me:
This thing has already proven immensely helpful. I have a feeling we are going to have a very long and happy relationship.
As for the process, the rough plan goes a little like this:
(completed tasks are in orange)
Have Chelsie try on the dress and mark for fitting alterations
Ship the dress to me
Deconstruct, including: remove the lace and illusion neckline, and separate bodice from skirt
Create pattern for lace overlay on bodice
Test dye the base layer (Chelsie wants a taupe base layer with white lace over the top)
Shop for lace
Make a muslin (a mock dress made up of a cheap fabric) of the bodice
Ship the muslin and dyed fabric swatches to Chelsie
Chelsie tries on the muslin and pins for additional alterations, chooses a fabric swatch
Ship muslin back to me
Alter the fullness and waist of the skirt
Shorten the train
Dye base layer
Alter the bodice base layer, including the shape of the neckline
Make alterations to muslin
Cut lace for bodice and skirt
Assemble lace bodice
Sew lace trim on unfinished edges
Attach lace bodice to base bodice
Assemble lace skirt
Attach lace skirt to base skirt
Sew together bodice and skirt
Add in the zipper
Sew on buttons (purely cosmetic)
Final fitting and hemming- in Utah, a week before the wedding
If you don't know what the heck a lot of that means... that makes two of us. Just kidding. Kind of. So some progress down, a lot more to go. Here are a few pictures of what has happened so far. I'll keep you all updated!