Monday, August 5, 2013

Dress for a wedding... the saga continues

When I planned this project, I had no idea how big of a PITA it would be!  I was very confident that Vogue 9668 view C would be flattering to my figure type (inverted triangle).  It seemed simple enough to showcase my fabric, complex enough to not be boring, and classic enough for a family wedding.  I've never had so much trouble with a pattern!  I'm normally a straight 10 bodice and all of my alterations are the waist and below (to account for very narrow hips).  I'm even a standard B cup.  The only change I make is a very smaller cheater version of a broad back adjustment, by sewing the center back seam with 3/8 inch seam allowance instead of 5/8.  That's it!  That's all I normally do for bodices, and you can see from my pictures, that fit is normally pretty good.

This pattern called for a redo of every single piece.  The back neckline gaped and required me to take out a wedge, the midriff was ever so slightly too long and tight in the waist (normally I take the waist in to a 9, not let it out), the back midriff had to be re-contoured as it was riding up at the lower edge, the front bodice had major bullet boob thanks to that large dart, and the skirt was a disaster.  It was poofy in all the wrong places.  It had weird ease in the lower back (above my butt) and really puffy in the tummy area.  My husband commented that I could easily be 3 months pregnant and still wear it...

I made at least 2 muslins, which I NEVER do, and then even decided to create a version in cheaper fabric before cutting my silk.  Not that the silk was very expensive, but since everyone knows I'm making the dress, I wanted it to be perfect.  I hate when people know I sewed something because then I'm never sure if the compliment is based on the dress itself or if they're just surprised I can actually sew something that doesn't look like a dress an Amish girl would wear to feed the chickens.

I just don't love it though... While the fit is technically OK, I just don't think it's very flattering, or as flattering as I would like it to be.  The midriff proportions seem off.  I'm only 5' 4 1/4" and it seems like too much, but I don't know how to reduce it without messing up the boobs.  Speaking of  the boobs, they aren't quite right either and I'm not sure how to fix them.  I'm sure it's my fault since I converted the dart to a princess seam, but I didn't change the position or volume.

This dress has to be ready for next weekend and I happen to work for a living...  So this past weekend I went balls to the wall and lived in my sewing room.  I thought they would have to send in a search party.

I've always loved the Burda Starburst dress and thought it would be lovely made in my olive green dupioni.  The muslin was a total and complete disaster though.  The starburst pleats complicate the alterations.  Given enough time, I think it may be fixable, but I don't have that kind of time for this project.

So on to plan B.  I've always loved New Look 6401 that I bought many years ago as a starting point for the wedding dress that I didn't have time to make..  Anyway, here's the line drawing

I had planned to make it knee length and maybe add some ruching on the front and back bodice for texture and to sort of disguise the gathers.  I made my usual size 10 and the thing was HUGE.  I probably need a 6 in the bodice alone!  FYI the pattern only goes down to an 8 and I just don't have time to deal with it... Another wadder muslin.

So in a fit of desperation, I did something crazy.  I pulled out a pattern that I've never used and cut the silk.  I'm insane, especially given all the crap going wrong.  Mazzygir on PR did a review on bodice A and eliminated the waist overlay and full skirt.

She used a beautiful turquoise silk dupioni that's a bit shinier than mine (mine is handmade and a bit nubbier).  I thought her dress was lovely and flattering.  Just when you think I couldn't be any dumber for cutting something given my current luck, I have to be honest and say that I further complicated the issue by eliminating the midriff and merging it with a fitted skirt... Cross your fingers and pray for me!

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