Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dress Update

I've been trying to figure out the petticoat/crinoline situation for my 1950s birthday party dress.

You all had some wonderful suggestions. Seriously! It is so much fun to be connected to generous and insightful people across the world. You suggested different places where I could buy one and a tutorial I could follow. Vilija even offered to let me borrow hers!

I decided to make my own following the Wedding Bee tutorial that was suggested by Miss Rye Bread.

I trekked to the fabric store and bought 8 yards of white tulle and 2.5 yards of white organza. I was too impatient to follow the directions exactly, so I improvised a bit.

I got some yarn out of my craft box and tied a piece of it to a Sharpie marker. I held one piece of the yarn up to my waist and let the Sharpie hang down so I could measure how far I wanted the crinoline to fall on my body.

Then I folded a piece of tulle into a square and then doubled it over again (so it was four layers thick). Then I held the yarn at one corner of the fabric and drew an arc with the Sharpie. Next, I cut out the arc (just inside the Sharpie line so it wouldn't show). When I unfolded all the layers, it was a perfect circle. I was able to do this five times with the tulle and two times with the organza (although I didn't have enough of the organza fabric to make my circles as long as the tulle ones--argh!).

Then I used the circumference of a circle equation to figure out the radius of the inner circle: circumference = 2(pi)r. I put my hip size into the circumference spot and multiplied 2 times 3.14. I solved for the radius by dividing my hip size by the product of 2 and pi.

I then put all my circles together and folded them into fourths. I used my yarn to draw another smaller arc so I could cut out a spot for my waist (this time it was the size of the radius I had just figured out).

I pinned them all together to keep them in place. My next step is to sew them unto a white camisole, so I can make an under dress since the 1950s dress is actually a see-through sheath.

I decided to make it myself for a couple reasons:
  1. I wanted to control the poofiness. Since my goal is to wear this dress to a lot of weddings this year, I don't want it to be too distracting.
  2. DIYing it is usually cheaper.
  3. I like the satisfaction of creating things from scratch.
However, I'm not sure that DIYing it was the best route in this case. It certainly wasn't cheaper. I've already spent $30 on the fabric, and I might need to get more to make it more poofy.

Plus, it doesn't look that great yet. I'll be sad if I get to the end of this process and have to scrap the whole thing. Then I'll have spent twice as much money!

(P.S. Vilija, I would totally take you up on your offer to let me borrow yours, except that I plan to wear this dress for a long, long time, so I'll need my own crinoline. But thank you so much for the offer!)

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AmyJean said...

Are you having fun doing it though? That may make the same costs and efforts totally worth the project! can't wait to see the end result :-)

Miss Rye Bread said...

Eek! I hope it works out for you! :) Otherwise I'd be the dork who led you down the wrong path! ;)

Sara E. Cotner said...

@ Miss Rye Bread: No! You are not personally responsible for my actions. I loved your suggestion! Maybe if I actually followed the directions more meticulously it would have been easier. I'm still optimistic that it's all going to work out in the end...

Hannah Noel said...

Ohh don't give up or anything! You can do it, I believe in you lol.

Sara said...

You make me wish I could sew! My fingers are crossed that you have good luck. :)

Sarah said...

Sounds good so far, at least!

Vilija said...

Making a crinoline sounds like fun, hopefully it works out. I think I saw a tutorial for something similar on craftster.org - they have some good stuff on the site and it could be worth checking out. Good luck!

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