Holly: May 2011 Archives
Sometimes, what's under the dress is just as important than
the dress itself.
As you may remember from our last post on Carole's wedding dress, the bride had decided she would like the waist to sit just a little lower.
Carole purchased a foundation garment to wear under her dress, but the bodice wasn't sitting properly on her torso. Because her hips sit a little high in the back, the dress was riding up oddly in the back of the waist. The foundation garment she brought to her fitting sucked things in, but it distributed her weight in a way that did not work with the dress style she wanted.
We wrestled with a few options, but nothing was quite right. Then, on a whim, I had her try on a Victorian corset I had in my collection. The upper part of the corset was completely inappropriate for her gown, but I wanted to test it just to see if steel boning would help matters. Lo and behold, the back of the dress settled right into place, and a plan was hatched: The foundation garment Carole bought was getting the steel boning treatment.
A note on steel versus plastic boning: Plastic boning certainly has its place, and I use it in many applications. However, if a situation calls for a more unyielding support, steel is the way to go in my opinion. As the wearer's body heats up, plastic tends to mold to the body's shape, so it loses its ability to really create a firm line. Steel will curve slightly to the body's contours, but it retains its rigid nature and keeps everything sitting pretty.
I ordered an assortment of steel bones and started cutting bias strips to make casings. Once I had all my supplies in hand, I measured out my strips and stitched them into the foundation. The bones slid in like butter, and voila! A better fitting dress!
Here are a few snaps of the process -- you'll see it's very easy to make this alteration.
Cutting the bias strips. I used muslin I had on hand.
The bones have arrived! I ordered mine from a corset supplier.
The victim/foundation garment.
Casings stitched down, boning slid into place. I didn't close the tops initially, so we could remove any bones if they proved problematic.
Next up: beading!