As of last Thursday, the outer hem of the dress is done. It ended up being a bit of a process, since as you can see here, I didn't do the greatest job of adding equal amounts of fabric to the skirt pieces. Fortunately, I had a little more seam allowance to work with than I'd originally thought, because I did end up getting talked into getting a different pair of shoes. Which are far more comfortable than the original silver ones, and have a lower heel. They're also dyeable, so I'm wondering what color I should turn them into after the wedding! It's not often my extra-wide feet will allow me the luxury of colorful shoes! I'm thinking maybe teal, because I do wear quite a bit of that.
I decided to use horsehair braid for a little extra body to the hem, and I also decided to use some lace on the inside to even up the hem allowance--it varied from about 1.25" to maybe 6"! And my horsehair is 2", so you can do the math. It didn't take too terribly long to add the lace, since I did use the machine to attach it the the hem allowance and only needed to hand-sew the actual hem. After all that and the extra bulk of the horsehair, it did end up being a little too narrow of a hem to encase it completely, but it was pretty close and it really just looks like an extension of the lace. Since this is basically functioning as hem tape, I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on the lace, so I was pleased to find this vaguely sunflowerish pattern at Joann's that was the same width as my horsehair.
After pressing, I concluded that I do need to do some tulle underlayering. The skirt does need a little poofiness--see how it caves in on that left side, which is actually the front? I also discovered that the seams do show through in the light, which means my legs will too, so hopefully that plus the lining will add enough opacity to counteract that. Hopefully I can figure out how to sandwich it in without adding too much bulk in the waistband--I'm thinking maybe some tiers are in order. I also need to figure out how to make the waist stay, and what the best way is to deal with that and the lining.
Friday's project, other than pressing, was to pin the sunflower appliqués that I've cut out around the edge, about 3" from the hem. I was able to space them pretty evenly, but seriously overestimated how many I would need--I used 23 and cut out 40! But at least it gave me something to do during tv time. And it also means I can give you a sneak peek of what the final project will look like!
Ta-da! Please ignore the mess in the room, aka wedding planning central, and focus on the pretty dress, ok? The sunflowers can't be seen too well, but they're mostly only pinned on for now anyway.
I'm not sure how long it will take me to sew all of these on--as of the time I'm writing this, I have 4 done, and after the first one, I figured out a way to work on multiple flowers at the same time by doing it in rows. It's also easier, because I don't have to rotate the skirt and can work in vaguely straight lines. The difficulty is that I got called back to my garden shop job, starting tomorrow, so my sewing time has to cut way back after today. (I'm quite thankful I've had these 2+ months to get this far, or I'd be freaking out!) So I'm not sure when I'll have anything worth posting about again, until this part is done. In the meantime, I need to ponder what to do with the 3ish yards of this sunflower lace that I still have left! Any suggestions?