Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Wedding sewing update just after Easter weekend

Wedding update

This was a good - and a bad - Easter weekend.
No photos - unless you want to see my grandsons - but I'll stick to sewing

Good things:
  • Seeing family.
  • Good food and good company.
  • I finished the waistcoat for A except for the buttons and buttonholes prior to the weekend. A was visiting and tried it on. It fits and looks great. He's very pleased. Later,  he bought buttons and I'll finish when I have a free house and am able to concentrate. Shouldn't take long.
  • Helen was visiting and we had a session with Rory to fit the latest toile. I altered the pattern and trued it and Rory made up a new bodice which fits far better.
We've now pinned  the design down. We're nearly ready to buy the actual fabric.
We've finalised the fabric we want. I had sent away for samples galore.
Helen is now content with some features she previously rejected - underlining,  lining,  waist stay, seam  support.
  • Joanne was unexpectedly home and tried on her toile - indeed she was able to join in the end of my class last Wednesday and Dan fitted her. So that was great. I didn't have a chance to make the changes needed to get her to try them before she went away.
  • Alison too was able to try on her toile but wasn't able to come with Helen and me to see Rory, to be fitted by someone with a better idea than me. However,  I fitted it, altered pattern, made another bodice which she tried - and it fitted well.
  • My wedding shoes and bag arrived.

Bad things
  • I was shocked at how far away the fit was on all three of the toiles! What on earth am I doing?
This wasn't the first toile for any of them.
The front bodice was much too wide for both of the bridesmaid dresses and a lot needed to be cut away. The neckline was too high and tight. The princess seam position needed adjusted dramatically as a result of the armhole changes.
  • I was reminded again of how bad my organisation is.
I keep losing bits. I am unable to say what is the latest version. Then,  not surprisingly, bits don't fit together.
I'm not sufficiently systematic - hence missing or part of the necessary alterations
  • The wedding shoes don't fit.

Time consuming things
  • My mother has been offered and accepted a place in sheltered accommodation. This is a good move for her but the timing is awful for me. I can't spend as much time with her helping her downsize and move etc as I'd like and she needs but it's still more than I can afford so close to the wedding. She lives 150 miles away so it takes time even just to travel there.
  • I've had to look at my available time and realise that I actually can't do everything and I've put a number of things on hold until after the wedding. It's only another two months away!  I have several hospital appointments and missed one and lost another - a symptom of taking too much on and not being sufficiently organised.
  • Pattern modifications!!
  • I will actually have to make another toile for Joanne because of the major changes needed. I'll have to post it and get her sister to fit it. Fortunately,  I quickly ran up another bodice for Alison when she was here and it fit well so I won't be doing another for her - next step the real thing.
  • Learning new techniques. This would be fun if it wasn't so important that I get things right first time.

So where am I now? (Wednesday after Easter.)

Wedding dress
  • I'm planning to concentrate on the wedding dress more or less exclusively until the second week in May by which time it really has to be finished!
  • Helen has changed shape so I need to make some modifications to the pattern for size in addition to some design changes. At class today, where Rory is helping me, I ran into some problems with trueing the pattern and matching the bodice to the skirt (there is a waist seam). Rather belatedly I realised I had taken the skirt in but not the front bodice. I had earlier adjusted the back bodice. I think it's sorted now. She hasn't promised not to change shadow further in the 3 weeks before I see her again. But then - no more!
  • I plan to make the final toile for mid April when she comes up. It would be so much faster and easier if we had easier access to each other.
  • I plan to lay out the pattern to accurately estimate fabric requirements and Helen will buy it and bring it with her - we've seen and touched the fabric we want. I will order some other fabrics and notions online.
  • I will also transfer the pattern to card

  • Forget it! Last class I ended up spending on the wedding dress.  Just as well it's still the Easter holidays! I do need to spend some time getting caught up.
  • I don't think it will take me too long to complete the MOB dress now - I've started.  The biggest issue is a dearth of sketchbook entries and portfolio notes and photos.

Bridesmaids' dresses
  • The patterns are complete and trued. I reckon Alison's fits but need to toile Joanne’s.
  • I am trying to get someone other than me to make up the final dresses. Obviously, I'm prepared to pay for that - I reckon my health and sanity are worth it. Helen’s too  - she's panicking that I won't get her dress done in time. 

I hope you had a good Easter weekend. The weather is looking rather more springlike here. Hopefully that willl help with mood and health. 
Anne x


  1. Oh bless. If only time travel was an option. You are going to wear yourself to a frazzle. Please look after yourself. You too need to be healthy to enjoy the day. The lighter and longer days can only help K xXx

    1. Oh, Karen, if there was time travel I'd have no excuses! I'm doing my best to delegate tasks. Thanks x

  2. Oh Anne, I wish I could help you as this is getting so stressful. Is there a way to put your course on hold and pick it up after summer? I hope you'll find someone to take the bridesmaids' dresses off your hands. Can't each of the girls look for someone close to their respective homes to make fitting sessions less complicated? Concentrating on the wedding dress sounds like a wise decision, enjoy the process!

    1. Thank you, Marianne. No, I can't defer the course and I don't want to abandon it. I haven't had final agreement on getting the bridesmaids dresses made up but am pretty sure this will go ahead. I will invite middle daughter to travel up for a last fitting session. Helen has a final toile fitting session in 3 weeks then a final session 3 weeks after that. Given the changes I've made getting time by sidelining some of my golf and bridge, I'm good, particularly if I don't have to sew the final bridesmaid dresses. I feel less stressed and am actually enjoying what I'm doing, thanks.

  3. Anne,
    I have a knot in my stomach just reading this. I agree with everyone, delegate the bridesmaid dresses. And if need be, get help with the bride's dress as well.
    Have someone else make your dress.

    I used to be able to stay up all night and bang out outfits and costumes for my daughter when she was in high school and I was under 40. Now I am in my 60's and realize there is no banging out clothing. I lose tools, drop things, forget to make notes.
    I need time, time time.
    You Must take care of yourself, or the wedding will be a disaster.
    I am so looking forward to seeing photos of the big day. Rest up, delegate some work, and take care.

    1. Thank you, Susan
      I have delegated the bridesmaids dresses (after the toiles I made yesterday and today are posted and tried ; hopefully they will be close)
      I have bought my MOB outfit. The dress I am doing is for the course. I need to sort out shoes and bag.
      I have freed up enough time I hope, by reducing bridge, golf and amount in sewing, to concentrate on wedding dress. I really want to do that. However, I will get help if I need to. I am already getting guidance and the offer is there.
      I agree about the changes in the body with age, sadly! I am also in my 60s and I do believe I could have tackled this no bother 10 years ago. I have always coped well with stress - or at least I used to but that was worth tasks I had some proficiency in.
      Thank you for your good wishes.

  4. I am glad you had a good easter but I am sorry to hear about all the wedding dress(es) drama. I am also sorry to hear about the bad timing with moving your mother. Take deep breaths and take care of yourself!

  5. I'm happy to hear you are able to delegate some of the work. I've made many dozens of wedding gowns and would have been stressed out with the amount of work you needed to accomplish in the time frame. Hopefully you can enjoy the process of creating your daughter's gown.

    1. Thank you - I thought I was being a wimp! (You read about people sewing things SOOO quickly) You have reassured me - and I'm sure I'm more able to enjoy the process now.

  6. I'm sorry to be late commenting - my computer died two weeks ago (and the work one got hijacked by ransomware, so we have had computer hassles on both fronts). Back now though.

    You have too much to do - just getting your mother settled is a major task. So off loading what you can is a good idea. Especially some of the sewing - it is just too much when you are still learning and have such high standards. It is very stressful making these sorts of dresses as they have to be just right. So concentrate on the important one, and leave the rest. And set up a simple system - just put the latest pattern pieces and toiles in a zip lock bag and mark them name, latest version, or whatever.

    1. I'm sorry to hear about your computer problems - and ransomware! - which I've heard of but fortunately have never experienced. I hope you are now sorted out.
      I agree with what you are saying, thank you. I have given up the course dress but have received permission to submit the wedding dress (photo) instead.
      I'm a bit better organised now!!
      I'm getting there.
      Best wishes


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Please leave a comment. I welcome each and every one. I value criticism (constructive of course! ), love hints and tips and would appreciate suggestions for future direction.

Update and Continuing with Machine Embroidery Course

I haven’t been sewing anything recently. I’ve managed a few alterations and repairs and a little bit of machine embroidery - though I’ve f...