After the collar was constructed, I was able to add the invisible zipper, begin to close up the dress, and start on the unique bustle for Lila Rose’s unusual eighties neon wedding dress.
The side seams, sleeves and hems are simply hand basted, so that they are adjustable during our next fitting. We were so close to perfect in our final muslin fitting, these should be enough points of adjustment allowing for the difference in fabrics as well as any slight body fluctuations.
I also left the orange panels free below the waist for our fitting. We will be using them as “belt loops” for the detachable train, so I wanted to make sure the belt sat perfectly in place on her body, before deciding exactly where the openings will go.
The photo above shows the dress really starting to look like a dress! All that is missing is the bustle and the train!
There is an invisible zipper down the centerfront as our opening. Lila Rose is going to have a big beehive hairdo, so this will make it easy for her to get in and out, as well as being a cool and sleek closure.
Here’s a peek back into what it looked like from the inside, before I closed up the dress:
It was now time to start constructing the bustle! I took the bustle from our mockup apart and laid it out for cutting and underlining. As you may remember, the bustle consists of three concentric egg shapes that are folded into a complicated soft structure.
Once cut and underlined, I added some plastic rigelene boning to the edge of each shape. I took the rigelene out of the polyester casing and hand stitched the boning right onto the edge. I ended the boning where the bottom center back will end up after being folded, rather than taking it completely around each shape. I covered my ends with some of the leftover casing.
I was a professional milliner (aka hatmaker) for many years, so I chose a stitch that is often used in millinery to sew the boning to the edge. It is similar to a blanket stitch, where you loop the thread around the needle as you sew.
It’s a little hard to tell here, with white on white, but it is a secure stitch that helps anchor the boning perfectly.
Once my boning was securely in place, I clipped and wrapped my seam allowances over the edges stitching them to my interfacing/underlining.
Then I cut my lining out of the same fabric. Since the bustle will be folded where you see both sides of the egg shape, I kept that in mind as to where I wanted my seam to fall. When stitching by hand you have so much control! I was able to roll the seams to the inside in some places, keep them on the edge in some places, and roll them to the back in others.
Above you can see one pinned and ready for stitching. I used a fell stitch to join the two pieces together.
Finally my shapes were almost ready for “bustling”!
Next post: Part two of the construction of Lila Rose’s “space bustle”! I’ll fold, finish and attach the bustle making Lila Rose’s dress almost ready for our Fabric Fitting!
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