Weddingote: Starting and Progress

Pad stitching on the lapels.
After finding all the little flaws and tweaks in my test garment, I decided to not finish it (primarily because of the alarmingly short waist), but to go ahead and get started on the final creation for my wedding, coming up in just under two months.

It was brain-melter getting this thing cut out, due to my limited yardage, the back pieces being cut in one with the skirt, and my burning desire for a 60+ inch skirt (waist to hem).  I'm still a little nervous about the total yardage I have in the skirt, but in pinning it all roughshod on the dress form, I think it's going to work out just fine.

Does this train make my butt look long? Lol ... this was, like, 90+ inches from waist.  I trimmed it up to about 60 inches, still a nice trailing hem.

I've been picking my way through the construction little by little.  There's a weird order to everything because of the shawl collar.  Right now I have the front pieces all lined and faced, and attached to the back pieces at the neck and shoulders, but the back seam is just basted.  I like to do my closure first, then fit the back through the side back seams, and finally the center back seam, to make sure everything is as well fitted as can be.

Pad stitched collar looks pretty alright.

The pad stitching on the collar was quite fun and seems to be working.  This is the first time I have tailored a collar, and it probably wasn't the best to start on silk taffeta, but I can see what a wonderful effect it will have on more wooly textiles.  I steamed the thing like crazy last night, and I think it's laying pretty alright.  I can't expect perfection on something I've only done once, so I'll settled for pretty good.  I have to remember that before two weeks ago, I was perfectly happy with regular, non-tailored collars; this is just an improvement.

Attaching the back to the front was particularly difficult, but thanks to 18th century methodology, worked out alright and is laying smoothly.  Plus I like the look of prick stitch.

I'm realizing the difficulty with this gown is that it is so simple that any mistake or ill-fit will be painfully obviously.  I'm hand-stitching pretty much the whole thing, even the long seams on the skirt, because the taffeta is quite finicky, and even the most careful machine stitching is too much pucker.  I want maximum control.

It's beginning to look like...something.

Onward! The front closure and side back seams are next, followed by applying the rest of the skirt.  Sleeves will be last.