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Sunday, August 12, 2012

WEDDING GOWN BUSTLE

My daughter's girlfriend asked if I could help with the bustle for her gown for her July outdoor wedding.   I thought I would share the technique I used since it took a bit for me to figure out a solution that would work.  

The gown had a beautiful strapless beaded bodice with a simple chiffon skirt with lace and beading at the hemline.  Very clean and crisp...it had summer wedding written all over it.  Just lovely.

I expected this project to be a breeze, but I found a few challenges. 

First -
The dress was constructed of three separate fabric layers; an under layer of tafetta, followed by a layer of netting, covered with a chiffon overlay. 

Second-
There wasn't any embellishment in the back of the skirt to hide the bustle points and it was clear once bustled we needed to show off the bow at the very bottom of the skirt.

Third-
Due to the three separate fabric layers, when I tried an  under bustle (french bustle) the netting and chiffon were fighting one another and it just wasn't going to lay nicely.  Bummer!  The under bustle was my first choice, since I would be able to hide the bustle points on the underskirt.

Below is a photo of the gown with the train extended.  As you can see, it has beautiful clean lines....so how was I going to make this work? 
I sewed three covered buttons to the edge of the bodice and marked where the three "loops" would need to be placed in order to showcase the hemline when bustled.

After several attempts, the final solution I chose was to use embroidery floss and fishing line to make the loops....sewn to a button on the underside of the skirt.  

 The picture below shows the loops...if you are having a hard time seeing them, good!  That's exactly what I wanted.  They barely peek up out of the chiffon, but they are also really strong since I used 10 lb. monofilament (fishing line).  My husband was so proud!  We could have hung three bass from that bustle!!  :)    Again, I just didn't want it to take away from the lines of the gown.   It passed the bride test....that's what was important to me.  She saw them when I asked her to look, but at a distance or for the average wedding guest, they wouldn't be noticed.

 So there you have it.  Just in case you ever need
 a discreet, yet strong solution; don't forget the fishing line!

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