My sister's wedding bolero was definitely a labour of love. Thinking about it now, I can't believe I agreed to REMOVE something from my sister's very expensive wedding dress. I knew I could make the bolero, but detaching the sash was not fun, and my heart was thumping away. When I first suggested making the bolero my intention was to unpick the sash from the waist band, and hem. The hem was simple enough. It was essentially tacked to the bottom of the dress at each corner of the sash. These were easily unpicked, and the embroidery and beading on the dress continued under the sash so there was no unsightly empty patch remaining. The problem occurred at the waistband. When I looked at the dress in the shop, it was needless to say fairly brief, and with my sister standing in the dress, not very detailed, I certainly couldn't look inside. When we brought it home (1 week before the wedding!!!) and I looked at the waistband I realised that not only would I have to unpick the lining inside the dress (I should have realised this), but that the sash was sewn into the zipper at the centre back, not the side of the zipper as I had assumed. Aaagh! The dress was also very heavy as there is lots of fabic, beading and embroidery. I was very reluctant to unpick any of the waistband where the skirt was attached to the bodice, as I knew there was a lot of strain on this seam. And unpicking, and redoing the zipper was a big no-no. Especially with the lace/gauze overlay. No way. And only having a week to make it in, I didn't have the luxury of time which would be required.
The waistband of the bodice extended down over the waist seam, and was a about 2 inches wide. I realised that I would have to CUT the sash away, as near to the seam line as I could get. CUT it! Scissors and wedding dresses are a petrifying mix. I swear I could hear myself breathing as bit by bit I removed the sash. Its not perfect, but the remains of the sash aren't visible as the waistband conceals it. The next step was unpicking the sash so that I knew exactly how much fabric I had to work with. I was in a hurry at the time so I don't have the proper pictures, but here's a shot of the underside of the sash, and some of the left over fabric from the top side to give you some idea what I had to work with.
The sash was made from a heavy cream bridal satin. The top side also had silver embroidery and beadwork. Here's a close up of one of the motifs.
Ok, that will have to do for now. Next part, making the muslins!