Bridesmaid Dresses!

I have finally started on my bridesmaid dresses. My best friend wants us to wear tea length dresses with layers of lace and silk or taffeta. So what we have so far agreed to is a dress made up of three pieces: a basic dress made of silk or taffeta, a lace overlay dress, and a petticoat with lace trim to peek out from the bottom of the dress. Why three pieces? Well the other bridesmaid and I would like to wear these aside from just today so breaking things up into pieces makes them more useable. For myself I know I want the lace overlay in a million colors to wear with plain dresses underneath and shared plans about that in a previous post along with a fabric haul. So I will really get a lot of use out of this myself. I’ll probably make a long petticoat for the wedding and then shorten it to wear with my regular dresses because tea length is not a common length for me. I usually wear my dresses right above the knee or shorter.


My very poorly sketched idea.

For the lace overlay I’ve already made progress! I started out with McCall’s 6646 and did a mockup to see how it fit. I was concerned it wouldn’t fit me because the smallest size is a size bigger than I usually go but McCall’s came through and the smallest size was quite snug! I went with the size larger because overlays don’t need to be that tight. Once I got the size I wanted I changed the neckline. I did this because as much as I love high necked dresses, I wanted more of a boat neck this time around which meant I needed to shorten it. I’ve noticed too that while I am petite, I tend to be petite in my bust to neck measurements, rather than in my lower torso. I don’t need to really shorten anything but the neckline, which is odd. It’s fine with me though!


You can see the changes I’ve made based on the mockup.

What’s challenging about this fit is that the shoulder straps are now nearly non-existent. This means that I really have to make sure it’s a tight enough fit to ensure the straps will stay put without making the lace overlay too tight. I’ve also changed the armhole based on a pattern with a perfect fit for me so that is a nice change. Of course I’ll do another mockup before cutting the real fabric but this should do nicely. I may add elastic to the straps just in case as well depending on how it ends up fitting.

Now I’m testing the fit for the bodice of the real dress. I tried the McCall’s included bodice…and it was too big. Like I thought! So the overlay was perfect, the real dress was lacking. Figures. Thankfully it is just a typical princess seamed bodice of which there are many patterns for. I’m trying Simplicity 1606 next but am having trouble finding the right cup size. The wiast measurement is always so large compared to the bust and is always a good 3 inches bigger than my actual waist. It’s quite a pain getting that down, especially because I’m no busty girl. I am a b-cup and so why it’s so difficult to get a decent waist on these things is beyond me.

I haven’t started on the petticoat yet but I did get a pattern for one which is a start.I’m using Simplicity 5006. I know you can make them without a pattern and that it is just a ruffled rectangle at the bottom made of tulle/netting to get the poof you need. However, I’m not sure how much tulle I need or what skirt shape to go with. It’s a circle skirt dress which would make me think I need a circle skirt based petticoat but I’ll probably play around with it to see. Anyone else have experience with petticoats they would like to share? I’m open to most anything!

In other sewing news, well, I have started on a vintage shirt pattern, Simplicity 1590. I’ve been looking to make more separates and I feel this is a great basic that I can make in a variety of fabrics for casual or more business appropriate looks. I sewed up a quick mockup for fit and I’m not surprised it fits great in the waist and boobs but not the shoulders. The fit is way too tight across my shoulders and so I may have to size up and see if that helps. Thankfully it’s such a cute pattern it seems worth the fuss.

I’ve also got a new couple pieces of gear. I got a new zipper foot, much narrower than my previous foot. I’m hoping this will help me feel more motivated to finish my pink plaid dress as well as my pink dotted dress. I haven’t finished them because zippers are such a hassle and I have tried so many ways to put them in to no avail. Perhaps this narrower foot will help make things easier. I’ve also got a new way of storing fabric, a lovely closet hanging thing from IKEA. I love IKEA I really do. This helps me sort everything, keep it out of the way, and it is actually quite sturdy.


Pretty huge difference if you ask me!


So handy to have around and in a cute purple to boot.


The new Vesta Pattern the Fable will be out soon and I’m getting great shots of my finished pieces while the weather is still great. Have a great week everyone and as always,

Until next time,

—Bethany Out


4 thoughts on “Bridesmaid Dresses!

  1. So excited your starting on designing the bridesmaid dresses! Woohoo! And you’re right, IKEA is a fabulous place to shop. The hacks that people come up with are amazing! Good luck with the Fable–can’t wait for the unveiling 🙂


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