Formalwear — The Beginning

My husband and I have been invited to a black-tie wedding on New Year’s Eve. Since I have so much time to work on the dress before the event, I figured I would go out on a limb a bit with my dress. If it does not work out, I have plenty of fabric to knock together an LBD.

This is a big project, so I’m planning on doing construction updates like I did with my embellished jacket. Here’s the first one.

I have not made much progress yet. The kids started school last Thursday. The first week of school is always as much work for me as it is for them. Around the middle of this week, I hope to have a bit more time for sewing.

As you can see in the photos, the bodice is sheer with a lattice effect. The sheer is silk tulle, and the lattice is silk ombre devore. The skirt will be the ombre fabric. So far, I have embellished most of the front bodice piece.

Here’s my silk tulle bodice piece with the first 2 strips of fabric in place. On the table next to the front piece, you can see the fabric that I made the strips from. This is also the fabric I will use to make the skirt.

Bodice front with the next 2 strips pinned in place



  1. Sewkiwi
    Posted September 10, 2012 at 5:26 am | Permalink | Reply

    Really looking forward to watching this progress. Just wondering how have you done the seams on silk tulle, they look very fine?

  2. Posted September 10, 2012 at 6:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    I can’t wait to see what else comes of this dress. It’s looking unique and beautiful already.

  3. Posted September 10, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink | Reply

    Oh, this is going to be good!

  4. Shams
    Posted September 10, 2012 at 7:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    What an interesting start. I look forward to watching it progress.

  5. Posted September 10, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is going to be fun to watch come together! I always get so inspired by your “long” projects. Thanks for sharing all of the details!

  6. Posted September 10, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is looking beautiful already. I look forward to the next instalment…

  7. Nancy K
    Posted September 10, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting start. Are you hand stitching the strips?

    • Posted September 10, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink | Reply

      No. I’m machine stitching using silk thread.

  8. Melodia
    Posted September 10, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    Will follow along with interest! I loved your posts on the jacket, and this will be great to watch as you bring it to fruition!

  9. Crystal
    Posted September 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That is going to be amazing! I will be reading with interest.

  10. Posted September 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What a wonderful project. Can’t wait to watch it become more and more fabulous.

  11. akismet-21b053fec805c8711a1f608da8cdd26a
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 1:05 am | Permalink | Reply

    Elizabeth here, still can’t change my name on this comment box. I love this already. What are you going to wear under this sheer bodice?

    • Posted September 11, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink | Reply

      thanks! I’m still auditioning fabrics for the underlay.

  12. Sharon
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    Claudine – I always love what you do and can’t wait for the unveiling of your magnificent dress. Can you give a little more description of the fabric, e.g., did you dye the fabric or did you purchase as shown?

    • Posted September 11, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! I purchased the fabric as-is. You will see better photos of it in subsequent posts.

  13. Posted September 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is promising to be sensational! You have the coolest ideas 🙂

  14. Posted September 14, 2012 at 3:28 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wow those colours are fantastic against the sheer black.

  15. Janice
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That’s going to look awesome. How did you do those strips, are they just two rectangles sewn right sides together and then turned out?

    • Posted September 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Sort of. I took 1″ crossgrain strips, folded them in half right sides together, stitched the raw edge with a 1/8″ seam allowance, turned the tube, soaked it in water, and pressed the wet strips with the seam running down the middle. When I sewed the strips on, the side with the seam was the wrong side.

      • Janice
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for letting me know! Why did you soak it with water, is this so they’ll be flatter once your press them?

      • Posted September 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        I soak the strips in water to produce steam while pressing. I don’t use a steam iron. If I’m pressing something small, I soak it. If I’m pressing something larger, I spray it with water. Occasionally I’ll use a damp press cloth if that seems like the right thing to do.

      • Janice
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Ok that makes sense now, thank you!

One Trackback

  1. By Seams on Sheer Fabric « Adventures in Couture on September 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    […] had a comment on my previous formalwear post asking how I did the seams on the tulle. Here’s a tutorial on how I’m doing the seams […]

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