wedding dress

The bridal project – pt2

The bride-to-be came over tonight to have her measurements taken. I think I am as giddy as she is! At first I thought she wanted the kimono sleeve version of this Stephanie James dress, but it’s the corset bodice look she going for (see above). The base pattern for the project will be Simplicity no 4070 (a big shout out to the helpful folks at Pattern Review who helped me with the pattern suggestions!).

Right now I see three challenges that needs to be figured out:
How to make the hem scalloped. The bottom is a circle skirt with scallop edging, but you can’t get scallops all around when making a circle skirt. So what is the best way to get lace scallop all around? Melissa (who owns the book Bridal couture) suggested that I attach the scallop edging separately. Another option I am pondering is using gores, maybe 8-10 or even more?
Any ideas on the best method?

The tulle lining. Should it be a separate skirt or attached to the dress?

The ribbon organza embellishment. We suspect it’s made of real silk, but the only organza ribbon that the bride-to-be found in notion stores was synthetic. And it shows! It just doesn’t look as refined as the original. Plus the original ribbon has an ombre look, that looks hand dyed. Is there such a thing as silk organza ribbons? Or do I have to cut it by hand?

Any ideas would be more than welcome. I will buy the Bridal couture book that is out on cd in February, but it would be great to get some additional input.


  • busby
    January 28, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Britex in San Fransisco has an online notions shop that sells hand-dyed silk ribbon (though it doesn't look like organza).

    Maybe not quite what you're looking for, but maybe it offers a glimmer of hope?

    I really enjoy your blog, by the way. Thanks!

  • lin3arossa
    January 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I can't help you but you might want to ask her:

  • craftoholic
    January 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    This might help you figure out the scallops:

    I haven't made a scalloped hem yet yet but kept the link as a reference just in case.

  • Toby Wollin
    January 28, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    OK..this ribbon looks hand-dyed to me. For ribbon that you can hand-dye your self (there are several different silk sorts, in various widths), go here:

  • Nancy K
    January 29, 2010 at 12:55 am

    I would think that you need to applique the scallops to the bottom of the skirt.
    I've seen ribbon like this on line, where I can't think of at the moment but I'll look. It's the kind of thing that would have, and yes silk ribbon is available.

  • Julie
    January 29, 2010 at 2:55 am

    Another vote for reapplying the lace scallops to the hem. I think it will be easier than trying to do a gored skirt and the skirt might look nicer without all the seams in the skirt. I'm not expert but I used the Bridal Couture book to make my wedding dress. I also reapplied lace scallops to my neckline. Check this out:

  • Cindy
    January 29, 2010 at 3:39 am

    I adore the ribbon!!

  • dris
    January 29, 2010 at 4:02 am

    I'm going to be in the garment district in NYC 2/17-2/20– let me know if you need anything specific — really glad to help!

  • Johanna
    January 29, 2010 at 7:39 am

    >>Busby and Ripple: Those ribbons are lovely. While not organza, it's good to see that there are in fact silk ribbons. Also I don't know if the bride "is married" to the idea of organza. I am thinking that the hand dye effect is the best part of the ribbon.

    >>Lin3arossa: Thank you for the link, there are some incredibly talented folks out there! What a gem!

    >>Craftoholic: Yes, that seems to support the idea that an application is the way to go!

    >>Toby: Thank you for the link. I don't find organza, but Habotai is quite thin, isn't it?

    >>Nancy: All things considered it does seem like the best idea, I am just nervous that I won't make it look invisible. I think I will buy the cheap scallop lace and try it out first to get a grip on the application. And thank you for the link, have not heard of them before.

    >>Julie: Thank you for showing me it's doable! I guess the trick is as you say to have some extra netting

    >>Cindy: Me too. It's what makes the dress IMO, very clever!

    >>Dris: Thats is so very thoughtful of you. Thank you! I need to look around now to get my head around the options, and if I don't find something on-line I will certainly get in touch!

  • Zoe
    January 29, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Hi! I only found your blog the other day but I really love it. In fact I gave it one of those creative awards:

    I know you've already received one so you probably don't feel like 'playing', but I just wanted you to know!

    All the best

  • Emily
    January 29, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Hi Johanna, I made my lace wedding dress last year, and I did a scallop hem with the lace. The style is very different from the one you're working on (mine was a long, fit-and-flare gown, more or less), but I thought my experience might be helpful. I blogged the making of my dress here: In order to limit the amount of expensive lace I had to buy, I did the lace all by hand, cutting around motifs and hand sewing as I went. I started with the bodice and worked my way down the dress. The last step was the hem — I had taken the scalloped bottom of the lace off the entire length of fabric, and then I sewed it onto the bottom of the dress by hand. I hope this is somewhat helpful — I realize now that I wish I had more pictures of the dress in progress. It was such a mad dash at the end, though, that I didn't take time to document everything.

  • Body Cosmetics Shop
    June 23, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Your article is full of really useful information. I am finding everywhere. I and my friend were arguing about an issue analogous to this! Now I know that I was right. Thanks for the information you post.


Leave a Reply