Sunday, February 28, 2016

Secret Secret Vogue 1032

Hi My Lovelies,

Have you ever been asked to keep a secret, but actually felt like you didn't want to keep it or was so excited about the secret, you just wanted to let it out?  Well, I just went through a bout of secret keeping that had me on the edge of my seat and fully ready to burst.  Warning,,,this post is word heavy and picture heavy.  There was a lot that I wanted to say about making this one.

I was asked in December 2015 to make a wedding dress for a very special friend!  I was so excited and very overjoyed until I wanted to share the process with your from start to finish, but that idea was put to rest when my friend asked me to keep things under wraps until after the wedding.  Trying to hold this type of secret was so,,,so,,, hard.  BUT, I prevailed.  So, since the wedding was yesterday, February 27, 2016, I can let all the goods out the bag and breathe. 

First thing I had to do was wrap my mind around,,,, "Wedding".  I took a few days to let that part sink in and then I began to think about my friend and her personality.  I felt that in order to make her happy I would have to come up with something that she would like that would to have many elements of her and a little of me in this project.  Once I finished my thinking process, I called her for an initial consult for what she thought she wanted.  When she met with me she had already been thinking about designs that appealed to her.  Her organizational skills paid off because she had downloaded pictures of different dresses that she liked with different elements that she hoped I would be able to bring to life for her.

In the first consult she was direct about wanting a "Right" leg split and lace.  "No problem", I told her.  As I continued to watch and listen to her I discovered that she was very laid back, simple, and a very Vintage minded lady.  She expressed a strong pull toward the color white, but she wasn't to keen on dull whites.  "If it's white, it needs to be White, White".  In my mind my vision of a true vintage went out the door.  Vintage to me, has to have and aged look, but a new flavor.  Forge ahead, says me,,,,lol.... I wanted things to be just what she wanted. 

With the first consult out of the way and a few visuals of what she thought she wanted, I proceeded to troll the internet for vintage dresses that had some of her elements if not all of them.  I ran into a question very early into my investigation when I realized that most evening dresses were left leg splits.  Then the lace dress was not as common to find as I had hoped. Adding these two elements together was proving to be a worthy task.  So, I began to let my mind wonder and think,,,,, Should I or could I use a modern pattern and switch things up to get the look that I want?  Yes,  was the answer I came up with, but I would definitely be using a muslin. 

Let's talk muslins for a minute.  I'm not going to go into strong detail about why to make them, but I will explain why I used a muslin for this project.  I think that when you don't know the body or the pattern a muslin should be used.  It saves fabric and time.  One of the best videos I have seen or used to help me with muslins is The Couture Dress by Susan Khalje.  This is an online video class that is available on  If you haven't done a muslin yet or are anticipating needing to use one, try this video before you do your project and see the results of your craftsmanship blossom.  Susan really gets me going and yes, you get the pattern along with your class.  So, my word on muslins is .... they are a must with certain projects.

Now, on to the Secret.  I knew that time was on my side and my bride had given me at least 2 months to finalize sizing.  I quickly ordered a few swatches of lace, main fabric, and underlining from  The swatches came in within a week (I ordered on a Monday and they were at my door on Friday)..Kudos to  I called my friend in to help choose her own fabric and pattern, all of which, I had a multitude of,,,,But There Can Be Only One.  I had narrowed everything down to 4 patterns and about 6 lace swatches, 3 underlining swatches, and the main fabric I picked myself. 

I presented the patterns first and explained in detail how the elements that she wanted could be implemented into each pattern dress.  Then I presented her with her swatches.  Once she saw all of the pieces together, her mind began to flow and she was able to pick out her pattern and her fabric with ease.  She chose Vogue 1032 as her gown and the Amelia Stretch Lace in white. 

  When my friend saw this pattern she instantly knew this was the dress for her.  Her excitement was too obvious.  Her question to me was, "Can it be made in lace?"  I didn't see lace as one of the fabric suggestions, but felt that if you can dream it, it can be done and since I presented it to her,,,,, YES, it can be made in lace!!!!!  This pattern had all the elements that my friend wanted and then some. 

Front side split can be added to either side

Long sleeves can be applied
Long back zipper to completely close the back
The only thing that was missing from this picture was the lace, but I wasn't afraid to try something different with this pattern because it had all of the components that I really needed to get started. 

Here's my muslin and a few adjustments.

I changed the way the bodice looked because my bride said she was uncomfortable with the depth in the front and she did not like the way the detailed design accented the bust.  So, I opted to use the bust pieces as a whole piece.  I used black thread and marker to quickly identify my main marking areas.

I pressed my muslin to give a defined line for 5/8 seam.

The completed muslin without the sleeves.  I used a completely white muslin that I ordered at the same time that I ordered my swatches.  The whole muslin took 12 yards.  With the original train being as long as it was, I actually had to go to a local store and get some more muslin to complete the back.

Right in the middle of my building's construction I had to stop working on that and start on my "Secret" wedding dress, so forgive all of my messiness.  Things will be ready soon.  I really wanted to make something special for my special friend and I thought seeing her beautiful on her day was more important that finishing my building.  I believe that after seeing her smiling and dancing yesterday, I made a completely right choice.

I hope you enjoyed today's post and don't forget to come back for the finish.

Lots Of Love