Caitlin’s Couture Bridal Buttons, Linings, and Waist Stay

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

After Caitlin’s final fitting

…it was finally time to do all the couture finishing work.  I love this part of the process!  Couture finishing requires a lot of hand work (which I love) and it is the part of the couture process where you finally get the satisfaction of seeing all the hard work of the designing, patterning, and fittings become a reality in a beautiful way.

To finish off the inside of Caitlin’s custom wedding dress, I added a silk habotai lining and bound the edges with custom made silk bias binding.  The binding holds the lining in place with beautiful hand stitches.

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

I also added a waist stay inside of the dress.  A waist stay is a couture technique that adds a ribbon at the waist inside the dress.  The ends of the ribbon are loose with their own closure.  This helps keep the dress in place when it is being worn.

A waist stay is also helpful when getting dressed.  Once the bride is in the dress, the waist stay can be hooked first, holding the dress in place while someone buttons her up!

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

And what about those buttons?

If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you should know that I like couture closures.  You’ll never see me adding a zipper with a bunch of fake buttons making it look like it’s buttoned up the back.  I think your wedding day is a fine time to slow down and take the extra minutes to be buttoned in beautifully.

Buttoning up the back of a wedding dress is traditionally a time where a elder loved one has the bride captive just before the wedding. While buttoning all the tiny buttons, the bride has to listen to the elder’s advice!

When adding bridal buttons to the back of a dress, I first add button loop tape to one side of the opening. I really like using elastic bridal loop tape.  It has a little give to each of the little loops making it easier to button and flexible while wearing it.

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

I secured the loop tape to the edge by hand and then covered it with the lining.  You can also see that I hid a few metal hooks in strategic places.  This is another was to help the bride get dressed.  It’s also a way to keep the elastic loops from having too much “give”.

Once the loop tape was added, I lined up where the buttons matched up on the opposite side of the opening.  I placed a pin where each button would go.

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture


Then I hand stitched the tiny pearl buttons one by one up the back of the dress…

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture


So exciting!


NEXT POST:  I’ll show you a peek into the rest of the couture finishing details for Caitlin’s custom wedding dress, getting it ready for the Final Delivery Day!

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4 Responses

  1. What a delight to meet you! I am 70, and used to do what you are doing! Being a large woman, I had to make my own clothes for years. I did learn to sew as a child. I also worked at the San Diego Globe Theater in the costume department and learned about making a muslin! When I began to make dresses, it was a blessing to know to do that!

    My last business was “LAUGHING SISTERS NIGHTGOWNS for plus sizes. It began in 1994, and my first website was in 2000! I did custom work, and it was great to have customers of unusual sizes. They actually got gowns that fit! My thinner friends wanted me to sew for them, but I didn’t! I had to close when my sister got cancer and I got to care for her.

    Long story, short version! I will be following you with anticipation! Love, Ginger, in Santa Cruz, CA.

  2. Where do you get your button loop tape? I’ve done handmade loops with thread on the first daughter’s wedding dress and then the last daughter’s wedding dress I bought loop tape but the loops were too close for the buttons.

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Hi there! I'm Brooks Ann.

I’m a former professional costumer and couture dressmaker for one-of-a-kind bridalwear located in Hillsborough, North Carolina, who teaches custom garment sewing too the sew-curious online.

My blog mostly follows along with the couture process of how each heirloom-quality custom wedding dress was made from idea to wedding day, as well as other interesting tidbits related to sewing, weddings, and body positivity.

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