Wedding Dress Sewing – Part 3 – Trials

Welcome to part 3 of The Wedding Dress Blog! Today, I’m talking about trials! If you need to catch up, here are links to Part 1 and Part 2.

I’m not a musliner. I don’t make practice anythings – or if I do, it’s a “wearable muslin” out of less fancy fabric than the real thing will be. But for my wedding dress, I thought I should go ahead and get the fit right before cutting into the expensive stuff.

The Bodice

While I waited for “the real fabric” to arrive, I did some trial bodices out of the crepe-backed satin and random white lace to get a feel for fit and look. It’s good that I did, because since I was mashing a few patterns together, I had to adjust some fit things to make it work. First, I made the wrong cup size of the pattern I was using. It was way off. Then I ran into an issue with the bust point.

Basically, the fullness of the bust was in the wrong place on my body. This was largely due to the fact that the yoke was pulling the bodice up higher on my body than it would have sat as a strapless dress (as designed). I thought I had fixed it but I had to do some adjustments on the final yoke so I guess not. This is why I said in my Planning post that simply lengthening the 7090 pieces would have been better. However, I was able to use a trial bodice in my final dress so that saved some dress bodice trials | so rachel sews... wedding dress bodice trials | so rachel sews...

The Skirt

I also made a trial skirt, also out of the crepe-backed satin from Joann. I figured if it worked, I could use it in the final wedding dress. Worst case, though, I could start over. This is another case in which it’s really good I did a test. At approximately 2am one morning, I laid in bed thinking about the skirt for my dress. I panicked as I realized I didn’t like the gathered skirt on my body. I looked through the pictures my mom had taken at the bridal salon and texted pictures to my matron of honor for her opinion. She agreed (in the morning) – A-line is better on my body shape. In addition to getting the style right, I needed to know how much fabric to order.

After church that day, I called my mom. She used to make all her clothes (“BK: before kids,” as she says) so she is a helpful resource for sewing questions, even if she is 650 miles away. I told her I wanted to switch to an A-line skirt but that the one in the pattern was too full. I asked her how she would take out some fullness and she tried to talk me out of it. She said something along the lines of “it’s your wedding dress! It should be full!” We negotiated for a while until I realized I was able to do whatever I wanted due to the aforementioned 650 miles.

I chopped up my pattern pieces (very poorly, I might add) and headed to Joann to get enough fabric for the whole skirt. It came together, but it wasn’t pretty. The hem didn’t line up but it draped fine and looked good. I decided I would add an inch or so to the other layers as I cut them and hope for the best. I will say this is perhaps not the best strategy, but it worked out okay. All of the pictures of the skirt were in my very messy closet, but I was happy with the fullness.

Stay tuned to see how it all came together!



McCall’s 7090
McCall’s 7718


Mattia White Floral Embroidered Lace (SKU: 329663)
White Sparkle Nylon Organza (SKU: 109319)
Bright White Silk Chiffon (SKU: PV5000-101)

The Whole Series:

Handmade Wedding Dress

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