The Skeleton of an Idea

I made pretty good progress on my Wedding Dress over the weekend. In fact I completed the first version, what I am calling the base skeleton, it’s basically the pattern I selected made up with no changes. I’ll use this base to try out my changes to the design.

You’ll remember I said I bought my pattern as a download from For those of you not familiar with their service they offer all the big pattern companies patterns plus a huge number of independent patterns for purchase in envelope form and also some as downloads. If you sign up for their newsletter you will be informed when a particular pattern brand comes on special, which is often, and these sales rotate through the brands quite regularly. Their postage charges are pretty good, slightly cheaper than

I’m a big fan of patterns that I can download, I know a lot of people don’t like them but I think they have their place. I also work in an industry that allows me access to large format printers and scanners so I’m lucky, and biased. I tend to use them when I want a pattern really quickly (as in instantly) or it’s a pattern I sort of like but am not sure about, it ends up being a lot cheaper to buy it that way so I’m not so bothered if I end up not liking it.

After you purchase your downloaded sewing pattern you are sent an email by, this is where you print your pattern from. Unlike BurdaStyle, for example, you don’t get a pdf, you must print via this website but you can download a pdf of the instructions and envelope back. This part I don’t like that much but I can understand their need to control the distribution of the patterns. So this is what I do (and I know it is extremely nerdy and sounds time consuming but trust me, I have it down to a fine art) I print my pattern off in A4 or A3 then I use a multi function  scanner with feeder to scan all the pages into Photoshop where I assemble the pattern digitally, chopping off the boarders using the magic wand tool. I then save my pattern as a flattened PDF and print it to the large format printer. Like I said, it sounds time consuming but you ain’t gonna catch this little kiwi fluffing around with scissors and cellotape for a $1.99 pattern! I think overall it’s quicker, more accurate and I end up with a file I can re-print whenever I want. Ok enough about that, on to the dress…

Wow, the pattern pieces are huge, even with the upper bodice as a separate piece, I had to roll and unroll my fabric to keep it manageable. Based on the size chart (which I know runs large but I thought with a close fitting dress might be more accurate) I cut a size 16 but after just making up the upper bodice it was clear this was at least one size too large so cut it down to size 14.

The rest of the dress went together really quickly but man those seams are super long, I wish my machine had a turbo! The size 14 turned out to be pretty close to perfect, there are still a few tweaks that I need to make but overall I am pretty happy with the fit, no huge changes to freak me out and slow me down.

Scarlett is a pretty accurate fit for me as far as dress dummies go, and here she is looking fabulous, ready for her calico wedding. I have her set at my current height in bare feet and you can see I have plenty of hem left to play with. I’m really happy with the train shape too. Some of the dresses I tried on had trains that went on forever and would need bustling after the ceremony. I am hoping to strike a middle ground that is still a nice shape for photographs and walking but more appropriate for the garden ceremony.

Here are a couple of close ups, you can see some of my marks that I made on the calico, I took this muslin much more seriously than most. I admit it’s looking pretty basic at the moment but I have further plans for the back and I intend to cut the front more sweetheart than straight.

I still have all the internals yet to make up and I am hoping by this weekend to do a trial  run with the boning, wish me luck! 🙂

So how did I deal with that curious fiancé of mine? Like this:


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