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Sew Simple: Silk would be perfect for wedding dress

Dear Vicki: I am getting married again, at 55, so I am agonizing over the look. Of course I don’t want a traditional gown. I have looked at mother-of-the-bride dresses, and nothing seems special enough. Do you have any ideas to help me? Thanks so much for your suggestion. – Judi S.

Dear Judi: First of all, congratulations! I wish you much happiness! I think the choice of fabric will be extra important for this dress. I love four-ply silk; it has body but is very drapey. Remember the dress Kate Middleton’s sister wore at her wedding, and how it moved and everyone noticed how subtle and lovely it was? Well, that was it – the fabric choice. So I would use a delicate pale color, maybe pink, and overlay it with a lace embroidered knit tulle. This pattern, Butterick 6054, has a little drape on the front to hide a tummy, and a nice wrap bodice that enhances large and small busts. The neckline is flattering, and it has little sleeves for those of us who need it. I wrote about this fantastic four-ply silk in July. It is very expensive; expect to pay more than $65 per yard. But the dress doesn’t take much yardage, less than 3 yards, so this might be the time to splurge because you want to look great.


Dear Vicki: A few months ago you wrote about boning to support a bodice. I wasn’t paying attention then, so I need the info again, please. How exactly does one apply boning? – Joyce B.

Dear Joyce: There are different ways. One way is to fit a muslin and then duplicate it, so that you have two layers. Now sew slots and simply slide the boning pieces into them. Then use this piece inside the bodice of the dress, mount the outside and then the lining. This method makes the gown very strong and is great for girls with large busts. Smaller girls might just want to double up the lining and again sew slots and slide in the boning just as before. Be sure you use plenty of boning, usually 10, and my favorite is spiral steel. Sounds terrible, but if you can find it, it’s very flexible and comfortable.


Each week I share a reader’s tip. This week the tip is from Nancy Meyer, of High Ridge, Mo. She writes:

“Nowadays my sewing equipment has become so very valuable (big embroidery machine, big top-of-the-line sewing machine, big serger, cabinets for all and computers to run things). I became nervous about insurance coverage, so I filed the sales brochures for each item along with sales tickets with my insurance agent. Now I rest easier since you never know when disaster could strike.”