When it comes to dressmaking, I have some skills.  That being recognized, I am not above admitting that mistakes happen.  So much of what I do is based on trial and error.  That's just my method.  I know, I could figure out all the complex mathematical configurations of my figure and compare that with the measure of pattern pieces and cut fabric, but I am just not going to take the time to do that.  Additionally, I am "not real into" cutting out a muslin version my dress beforehand to work out the kinks before even cutting into the chosen fabric.  I would say that 90% of the time my innate abilities (or is it laziness?) seem to work out.  Not so with the March dress. 

A couple things just aren't working. 

For starters I am not completely on board with this whole one-armed thing.  Now it could be that I have a weirdly shaped body, but I can't seem to get the bodice to fit at the bust line and not be too roomy where the strap crosses my body and veers down to the opposite armpit.  That particular piece pulls at a diagonal, but the fabric was cut to adjust to that.  Really!  What is going on?  I am losing my patience and interest.

Also, this is burnout fabric I am messing with here i.e. the sheer leafy fabric parts are structurally weaker than the non-sheer parts.  So, as I go I can already see the fabric begin to pull at the stitches and I do not like the looks of it.

So, what is there to do but start over?  Thankfully (and a bit mysteriously) I have tons of nearly-the-right color fancy fabric to use as lining for a third draft of this dress.  I happened to buy extra of the black in (unconcious) anticipation of issues. 
For the third go at this frustrating dress I opted to cut doubles of the lining fabric and then basted one set to the black fabric.  I used this tactic for the February dress, which was made of sheer chiffon.  It actually works out quite nicely - gives a little stiffness to the bodice, enforces the burnout bits and makes the stitches stronger, and also makes the whole thing easier to sew.
Finally, I have something that mostly fits and doesn't pull, and actually looks like a bodice.  You can see the green basting stitches that kept the layers together while I worked.  Those will come out.  I am still trying to perfect that band that runs shoulder to armpit, but it is coming together.  I think I'll get there.

Next up I will put on the skirt, line it, and add a side zipper.  I am hoping that will be the easiest part.  Adorable Boyfriend has put in his two cents and thinks the skirt should be asymmetrical too.  I completely disagree.  Anyone else have an opinion? Ruffles?

Also, I guess while I am asking, if anyone out there in Internetland happens to have a bust size in the 34-36" range and is in need of a one shouldered black and tan frock, I happen to have two extra bodices laying around just waiting to become dresses.  Let me know . . .

I, for one, cannot wait to be finished with this dress forever.  You, my patient, patient friends, must be bored silly.  I have high hopes for April.

03/25/2011 15:27

I vote for a pencil skirt base. Yep! Classy as hell!

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