Finishing Touches

Don’t be fooled by the title of this post; the “finishing touches” took weeks, and I still only got to a fraction of what I wanted to!

Initially I was going to bead all of the lace on the skirt, not just the bodice, but I threw that idea out the window after I realized how much time it took. I put hundreds of beads on the bodice alone!

Thank goodness for Amazon and JoAnn fabric which both have cheap beads.

I ended up using four different sizes of Darice beads on the dress (5mm, 6mm, 8mm, and 10mm). I found the smaller they were, the worse the quality was, but at that point I didn’t really mind.

I could have spent hundreds on beads and gotten good quality ones, but I figured I would be one of the only people to actually look close enough to notice.

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I honestly didn’t realize how much the beads would change the dress. After I beaded the neckline, though, it honestly blew me away.

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I still hadn’t connected the bodice to the skirt — which was good, given how impossible it would have been to haul the bodice around and bead it with the skirt attached.

Here’s the waist detail.

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It’s true I beaded the dress in my car! Here’s proof. Thankfully the spring was nice enough that my fingers didn’t freeze while I sewed.

I’m also still finding beads in my car.

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Bustling: 

I removed all of the original bustling when I reinforced the skirt, so I had to come back through and re-do it all.

I did my best to keep the bustle ties where they were before, but since a lot of the bustles were ripped out, and I didn’t see the dress bustled, I had to do a lot of guess work.

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One thing I didn’t plan for was that the weight of the bustled skirt would push the hoop skirt forward, making the dress stick out more in the front than in the back.

I never came up with a solution — but I also never used the bustle, so it wasn’t something I had to deal with.

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This is what the bustle looked like from the inside. I initially marked the length of the ties and the location of the loops by hanging strips of salvage from the waist and pinning the skirt to it.

I later attached ties to these long strips so the bustle weight would be hanging from the waist instead of the skirt itself.

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19 little loops sewn from green ribbon!

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Pinning the loops in place.

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I sewed the loops on with a zig zag stitch so it would pull on the fabric more evenly.

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Once the bustles were in place and the beading was done, I set about finishing the zipper and tacking the bodice to the skirt.

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So many pins.

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All done!

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That’s right. After months of work, with just that little tacking, I finally finished the dress.

Well, really my mom finished it. The zipper still wasn’t completely finished until two days before the wedding, when I begged her (in tears) to sew the remainder of the buttons down the zipper.

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Sans the buttons my dear mother sewed on later.

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