Time to get to the nitty-gritty with this lace. I’ve done a fair amount of sewing over the years including other wedding dresses, but nothing with lace like this lace. It has a lot of open netting that has a good bit of stretch to it. Holding it vertically, I could see that it stretched a lot. A quick test showed 1 1/2 inches difference in length, flat versus hanging. This posed a huge problem. I decided to cut the lace out on my short loop carpet. Not only did the texture of the carpet hold the lace steady, but I could stretch the lace and pin it into the carpet. After I pinned on the pattern but before I cut the lace, I did a thread tracing to mark the seam line. I also tested the length by holding the marked fabric up to the mock-up still on the dress form. It looked OK. Minor adjustments can be made before I sew it to the bodice.
The gray thread showed up very well. I’ve also stitched some short red traces to mark notches. Next came cutting out the pieces. This long piece is a combination of 5 pieces (two are already sewn together on the far right.) From the left: center back, side back, side front, center front, side front. The other two backs are on a separate piece of lace. This lace only came as 3 meter panels, so I’ll have an extra seam on the bottom border.
All the pieces are cut out together to avoid seaming the border at the bottom. Since the dress is flared, I’ll also have to curve the bottom. That’s what’s taking so long. As I cut, I swerved around all the motifs that cross the seam lines. These will be left whole and flapped over the seam to help with the camouflage. Cutting out the pieces like this turn the seams into giant darts.
This is the lace pinned to the sewn up satin skirt. It will have a narrow hem and be just barely shorter than the lace overskirt. Right now the lace is all bunched up trying to fit along the curve of the hem.