Saturday, February 22, 2014

My weekend wedding project

I got an email today informing me that my wedding dress is en-route and should be arriving Wednesday!

Adventure Time!

I have a tiny apartment with two cats that REALLY seem to like getting into my closet and batting at hangy things; so  the dress will be living at my parent's house.

I am not interested in an unplanned dramatic unveiling potentially involving the "design assistance" of my parent's three dogs; so the dress will ALSO be living in a garment bag.

pic via
Enter: my weekend project.

I have a butt-tonne(1) of unbleached muslin(2), mad sewing skills, and and a nearly embarrassing number of sewing machines. There's no way I'm paying someone for a pre-made garment bag, not when I can almost unquestionably do better.

Unfortunately I can't find DIY directions to precisely what I want to make. It would have a tie or button front rather than a zipper(3) and a pocket for random extras. I'm also interested in instructions for adding side gussets but I'm not 100% on that, I'm still contemplating whether I even need those. Foster-Stephens, Inc seems to be the main online source I've found for nicer muslin garment bags and there are some excellent examples here.

This instruction set by TheDreamstress seems like a pretty good starting point though, and I do appreciate seeing details like French seams. Archival items should have fussy details!

This instruction set from Historical costumer Genoveva has a really nifty fold and carry feature.

For anyone interested in sewing I HIGHLY recommend picking up two specific books on couture sewing. The first, Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. Shaeffer, is the more accessible book - I have an earlier version. The second is Couture: The Art of Fine Sewing by Roberta C. Carr, it is denser and the images are EIGHTIES-TASTIC but it does go into more detail.

Don't let the word couture scare you, what it boils down to is by having these books you will have a handy step by step reference for the "best practice" way of doing a number of sewing tasks. Once you know the "right" way of doing something you can then make your own decisions of how fussy and involved you want to get. Its a heck of a lot easier to decide what fussy details to leave out than to discover after the fact and try to make up for the essential step you've already missed.

I find it kinda funny (I find it kinda sad) that I have all of these random fussy sewing skills that I never use for anything I actually wear. I have been starting to think of what kinds of alterations my current wardrobe could use, so it'll be good to get back in the sewing... saddle?


(1) One of my favorite units of measure. My very favorite is similar but involves a very naughty word

(2) A loosely woven cotton fabric. Hooray for Joann' Fabric and Craft's 50% a single item coupons!

(3) I've caught the placket of my jacket in its own zipper FAR too many times to trust a zipper with a silk wedding dress. Also I really don't feel like paying more for a 72" zipper than I paid for enough fabric to make two of these bags.

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