Framing a wedding dress

Emibub

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Yes, I said framing a wedding dress. I need some quick advice on this as it is due by Valentines day. I need quick and dirty because he brought it in at 6:30 this evening......His intentions are the best, his wife just had a baby and he said with adjusting and lack of sleep she just doesn't feel very pretty right now so he wants to remind her of how pretty she was in the dress. I'm assuming it won't backfire on him.

Anyway, he had a $500 pricetag in mind, the lowest I could get him was $600. One of my suppliers has a moulding similar to LJ Imperial shadowbox at 4 bucks a foot. It is only 3" deep so, I am having a 2" extension added on the back. My brother works cheap on that stuff. My plan is to paint the extension gold and then we figure we will screw it to the frame for extra hold.

Here is my concern.....we are only showing about half the length of the dress so it will end up being approx 48 inches long. But, what do I do to hide the rest of the dress? I am cutting a window opening in the top mat so I figure the dress can just flow to infinity at the bottom but I need to fold it over to the back. The dress is very very poofy with lots and lots of tulle which I know should compress considerably. Am I kidding myself into thinking I can fit it in a 5" deep frame? He has sworn to me that the dress will never be worn again so he isn't too concerned about fold lines or complete conservation methods, he even kind of suggested cutting it but I told him no way without consulting his wife.

So, any thoughts? I don't want anybody to tell me I undercharged for the job please, I figure I have $150 tied up in materials, even though labor intensive and a rush job I am in no position to turn it down. I'm just a bit frazzled at the prospect of compressing it all into the back. I suppose I could make a deeper extension but I have to keep costs down............

I'd love any thoughts from my fellow grumblers....
 

Puppyraiser

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I think making the back deeper (if it hasn't been constructed yet) is the best bet. 1x3 isn't that much cheaper than 1x5, is it? But assuming that it is already assembled and you gotta go with what you have... what if you cut the mat so that the bodice and a little of the skirt show, and have other openings that contain the wedding portrait and perhaps a piece or two of memorabilia Other than that, cut a foamboard the approximate shape of the bodice and stitch through all layers. It doesn't take as many stitches when you have the foamboard exerting pressure against the backboard. Just mash that puppy in! And just because LoverBoy doesn't think that it won't be worn again, he is in no position to speak for that lovely great great granddaughter who will be delighted to fit in Granny's dress on her big day a hundred years from now!
 

Framing Goddess

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Kathy,
Don't forget that you can use a wide moulding cut on its side to add depth to shadowboxes. I do this ALL THE TIME and it works out quite nicely. A nice cheap Studio black will do the trick. All you are doing is camouflaging the side. You can build deep spacers for the box out of lattice from the lumberyard. I have actually plied several together to make them as deep as they need to be. I sand them, then cover them with fabric which is wrapped all around including the miters. I use acrylic gloss medium to bond the fabric to the spacers and cook them in my press for a while. They look very nice, very tailored.

I wouldn't paint any extension gold- the finish will never look as good as the frame.

Did you and your customer consider an acrylic box?

Would it be possible to remove a layer or two of the fluffy tulle? Better yet, can you tightly bind a layer or two of tulle with a some cleverly placed stitches?

edie the stewingonthis goddess
 

rookie_fargo

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Fargo North Dakota
Originally posted by Emibub:

Here is my concern.....we are only showing about half the length of the dress so it will end up being approx 48 inches long. But, what do I do to hide the rest of the dress?


------------------------
Hi. I cut a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch slit in the mat board with an exacto, and tuck the rest of the dress through that slit. Then I pull (gently) some of the dress out to cover my slit. - I hope this helps.
 

Emibub

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Since he needs it quickly I didn't even give an acrylic box a thought......

Well, at this point I am in trouble with the frame too. My supplier is out of stock and the rep thought he had enough scrap pieces but, we discovered two of the pieces are severely warped. My brother says he can clamp them to the box he will make for the back to straighten them out. Now, my thought is to use a nonshadowbox frame and have him build me like a 6 inch deep box.....

New question......if I use a 2" wide face frame and he builds a 3/4" box do I fit the box into the frame rabbet or do I build the box to the outside edge of the frame and have really really wide spacers taking up the extra space?

Can't belive I have to worry about this now too.
 

5675

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Corona California
Is there a way to cut an opening on the backing mat and pull the material through and have, say a half inch of space just for material? you could close it off with yet an additional backing board, albeit lignin free!
 

Bob Doyle

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Go to the outer edges of the frame. Fill the inner gap with SprayFoam insulation. Cut the dress to fit into the space. Go with Non-Glare, so that the slit where you tucked the dress scraps doesn't show.

Oh yeah first though be sure your business insurance is paid up!

Don't you love these last minute orders?! Good luck, I have faith you'll get it figured out.

Serious suggestion, could you line the big box your brother is making, put a piano hinge where the frame moulding and box edges meet. Make a box out of fome and mat board that the bottom edge of the dress could fit into, attach the dress to the top of this second box, then slide this box into the frame. Then the wife could remove the dress should she ever want to.

Oh yeah, and do it all for less than $500? ♫
 

D_Derbonne

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I agree, go to the outer edge.
Spray foam insulation??? Never would have thought of that one.
I just build out with foam core and mat...PIA...but it works.

<font size=1>Psssttt.....Bob, you weren't supposed to mention the price.</fontsize>


<font size=3>Good luck, Kathy!</fontsize>
 

Bob Doyle

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OK Everyone, I was kidding!!!!!!

DON'T cut the dress, hence the crack about liability insurance!

Great Stuf Spray Foam insulation, nasty ****, probably worse than Silicone, don't use it, (JOKE!!!)

Kathy is probably setessed about this, I was trying to add a little levity by proposing outlandish ideas.

Having said that, now that you are going to go over budget Kathy, go WAY over. WTF call it advertising! Build out a big box, and try to make the dress removable. The second box for holding the dress had two features, one it fills the space that you're going to have to pad with fomecore or materials anyways, and two it safely contains the excess part of the dress.

Kathy I know you knew I was kidding, and I hope everyone else did as well!
 

Emibub

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Nope, not gonna go over anymore than I have to Bob. If I go with the smaller frame and have my brother build a deeper box we did the math, The frame I will use is $1.50 cheaper than what I quoted per foot. My brother told me the extra materials won't cost much more than that. Although, I will be using a lot more foamcore for the sides I wasn't anticipating. But, I'll take advice from the "Fill the back" thread and use a variety of scraps.

I really resent having this short amount of time. If it were a picture I would have no problem but, this takes time and planning. I just don't feel I will be giving him my best work.
 

Emibub

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I just told the dry cleaner to not poof this dress up. I told him I want it as flat as possible. Haven't gotten a hold of it yet to see if I can remove a couple layers of tulle. The biggest concern is at the bottom where I will fold back the excess. I think I will need a wide gap for all that extra fabric.
 

Elaine

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Keep this in mind - before doing any altering of any kind, that kid that they just had might want to wear it in the future
shrug.gif
 

Emibub

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Well, the good news there Elaine is that by the time little Jacob grows up and decides he wants to wear Mommies wedding dress I will no longer be in biz to suffer the consequences! So, I can live with that.
 

Emibub

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Thanks for the diagram Edie! I don't think it is going to work for this particular project but it most definitely will in the future. I couldn't picture what you meant by using the moulding on its side. Now I do.

Well, I just got it back from the cleaners. When my stomach quits churning I will start. The underskirt does not look detachable and the train is all one piece too.

Yippy skippy! I'm just not feeling this one.....
 

Bob Doyle

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When the going gets tough just picture little Jacob in the dress! And remember it's not brain surgery ( because for one thing everything we do is reversible! Just try to reverse that lobotomy!

Have fun Kathy
 

DB

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NH
So, Kathy, it's D-Day. How did the project turn out?
 

Emibub

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Thanks for asking Diane. I am just now getting the Wallbuddies attached. I will be happy to get this one over with so I can get on with my life. I'll post a picture when I am done......
 
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