Approach + Stopping Points

I cast on the first stitches of my wedding dress today.

I want to let that sink in for a moment. Whew! As I start this endeavor, I have no idea how much, or how little time I will have to work on it. With that in mind, it’s important to have stopping points that allow me to use what I’ve created at any strategic points.

Poetically, I cast on at the beginning of an international flight. Long flight, long project… seems fitting along with stop light imagery.

IMG_20160915_192451186

Stop, Stop, Stop!

Each step I’ve taken in the design process has changed my approach. I was going to do the bodice entirely off a knit pattern, then add a skirt. Then I was going to knit from the top up the whole way since the stitch pattern I liked looked best that way…

I finally settled on an approach that still allows stopping points.

Step 1: Knit each piece from the center up.

The whole dress is separate pieces in panels. I’m using a provisional cast on and working the top portion first. At the end of this step, I will have 7 separate pieces with live stitches at the bottom (around the waist).

If I have to stop early I will bind off, add a ribbon or sparkly belt, and let the skirt be all fabric.

Step 2: Pick up and knit the skirt from the center down

I’ll carefully pull out the scrap yarn of my top pieces and pick up the live stitches. I will work each piece together so I am always at the same point on each piece.

I have two long needles, so it may be multiple pieces across 2 sets of needles. I may need both especially as the skirt expands.

Possible stopping point: knee length-skirt

Possible Step 3: Train

dress phases
Dress Phases

I’m planning on buttoning the skirt straight up the back. If there is time, I could add a train separately that could be removed later. Depending on the final design this step might not needed. I may incorporate it all into step 1 and knit strategic increases into the skirt so the train is built in.

I’m not sure which direction I’m leaning right now. I sort of like the idea of reusing the train for future baby baptism gowns or something. It seems like a lot of work to put into a garment that I will only wear once, so I’m thinking about reuse.

Finishing Step: Blocking and Sewing

I will wet block each piece separately, pinning it on top of the pattern piece it is supposed to match. After it all dries, I will use the i-cord seaming technique (if there is time) to sew the pieces together.

Go, Go, Go!

While I might be short on time, there is also a chance I will finish this whole elaborate garment and still have TONS of time. Maybe I won’t be engaged even then. Who knows? In addition to stopping points, I also have in mind a few additional things wedding related.

If my hands haven’t fallen off and there is still tons of time AND I don’t move on to other projects- I would guess I’ll want to do other random projects here and there, but when leading up to the big event, there will be some wedding-related enthusiasm for knitting.

Shawls for MOH/ Bridesmaids

This might be where the first batch of yarn I bought for my dress comes in handy. If we haven’t picked out colors, I’ll pick a pattern and start making shawls for bridesmaids then dye them to match the wedding colors. Maybe a gradient of colors so they are each a bit different?

I would probably do the echo flower shawl pattern featured in my post Nupps, Lace, and Fiber Testing.

Mothers’ presents

For the future-mother-in-law I’d make a thank you present. My mother has many knit things, but I wouldn’t want her to feel left out. These may be shawls in a different pattern and color from the bridesmaids or something entirely different.

Garter

I’m not a huge fan of the garter tradition, but if I had to do it, I would want to make something that matches or hints at the dress. Easy, quick.

Pocket Squares

With my beau and his best friends, we’d likely have mixed wedding parties. I’d want to make my guys thank you presents as well! But let’s be honest, they won’t care about knit things. Maybe if I did wedding socks… but socks are a pain. And feet are different sizes. (Can you imagine the Bride-zilla moment when I call them up demanding to know their foot measurements?? *Cringe*) So to match, I could make their pocket squares. Again, matching the other parties and colors…

Head table banner

With a big monogram on it for my new last name. Maybe this would be a faster sewing/ craft project, but if I need to keep busy is an option. It would make a lovely wall hanging later.

What are your thoughts?

What’s your guess for where my timeline will end up?

Where is this plan on the crazy scale? (0 – totally sane and reasonable, 10 – crazy)

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