Making Adele’s Wedding Dress: Some Final Details

I had originally been posting on this as I progressed so Adele could watch as her dress developed and so I could share some techniques, but a major flood in my apartment curtailed this documentation. I had to just focus on finishing. This post is the few photos I managed to take since the previous post and is a little interrupted but unfortunately this is all the in progress photos I have.

Below is actually, in my opinion, the crowning achievement of the whole dress. Doesn’t look like anything does it? It’s a dart! It starts as two layers with the lace tucked into the satin and then continues invisibly as a single layer of lace.

dartAfter sewing flat all by hand, I can simply fold back the lace and attach the bodice lining to the satin underlining. If I remember right this stitch was done by machine.


The neckline and sleeve hem are made up of little bit of a particular motif in the lace trim I used for the skirt hem. I cut them out individually and pieced them on one by one.


The pieces are hand sewn onto the garment and to eachother. It takes some planning and calculations to make sure that the positioning is correct. The slight curve on the bits of lace actually give the neckline a nice scallop edge.


I added a little epaulet detail on the shoulder with pearls sewn on top. It has the added benefit of providing structure and concealing the shoulder seams inside. A picture of the outside will follow in the next post.


I decided to finish the hem with horsehair braid to give it a little structure.


I also made the petticoat to go underneath. I loved making it and hope to do one for myself someday. There are really no photos of it’s progress because the original had a few different colored layers and was completely lost in the flood. This was very upsetting because I couldn’t find the colors again in time and it had to just be off white. This one has 4 tiers, 3 staggered layers, a waistband and short underskirt in the same satin as the dress (so it’s not scratchy). Having a really good serger made this a breeze (Thank you to Mom!). The gathers are all done on the serger. The widest gathered piece if I remember right was 16 yards so I can’t imagine doing it on a regular machine. Once the gathers are pulled, lined up and pinned, they are stitched together on the regular machine and bound with satin ribbon. The side seams are done with a rolled hem. Bottom hem is left raw. I cannot recommend making one of these over buying one enough. It cost grand total like $50 (except for the satin, but I already had it), the length and poofiness is catered to the dress you are wearing it under and there was something very fun about it, like sewing a cloud. I think it took 2 days working pretty intensely but my petticoat is probably quite a bit more over the top than most people would want or need. I had to try it on from time to time to make sure everything was coming along correctly and I think it was the most magical thing I have ever put on.