I have a wedding to go to next weekend. As soon as I found out about it (over a year ago) I knew I wanted to make a handmade dress for it. When I went to the U.S. last year to take the Palmer Pletsch fitting class I was feeling pretty confident in my newly learned fitting skills so I picked a pattern (V1353) and Gail helped me pick the most awesome dupioni silk with which to make it. I was set.
I stalled over the winter because summer seemed forever away. Then spring came and I hosted a bunch of guests and got ready for the move. No big deal, I was not going to be working for the first few weeks after the move so I could tackle the dress then. After we moved I painted (almost every room n the house) and planted a garden, which of course does not take care of itself. I went back to work. House guests magically appeared at our place almost every single weekend between the middle of June and the middle of August. Two weeks ago I realized that dress was still not done, but I was not able to work on it last weekend because these lovelies came to see me and we spent all our time drinking wine, eating cheese (lots of it) and knitting:
So I decided this weekend would be “Dressmaking Boot Camp” over here. I told myself “Surely I can make a dress in a weekend, no biggie.”
Now, I have not sewn anything substantial (or anything really!) in quite a few months. I decided in favour of a full muslin over tissue fitting for the simple reason that I wanted to see the drape of those pleats in fabric – paper would not have given me a clear idea of how they would look on my pear-shaped bottom half. Things were going swimmingly until half way through the day when Mr. Stitch showed up with this guy:
Major Minor distraction aside, I quickly discovered that the bodice on this was going to be huge. I didn’t get it. I mean, I know the big 4 run large, but this thing was ginormous. So I went back to look at my traced pattern and that’s when I realized that I had traced a size 16 instead of a size 12/14. Clearly I am out of practice. I told myself “never mind that by now I’ve wasted half the day, I can still do this.” I made sure that second time around I had a size 12 bust/14 waist. Guys, it took me forever to get this second bodice wrapped up. Sadly, the gape at the back neckline was massive. I solved that by pinching the excess (about an inch at each side of the zipper) and transferring that to the flat pattern. By the end of it all it was night-time and I was quite done for the day.
I finished the muslin this morning. I’m not convinced that those skirt pleats are flattering at all on me and would hate to see my precious silk got to waste on a dress I may end up not liking. Even after I traced the correct size, the muslin is quite large on me. A padded bra won’t come even close to filling up that bodice. You can see on these photos that I’ve pinned the excess at each side, at about an inch per side. I have the feeling that I could make this in a straight size 10 and it would fit just fine, but finding out would involve another muslin and I have now ran out of time because the last thing I want to do when I get home from work is sew at the end of the day. So much for wearing a handmade dress to the wedding next weekend.
Two weeks ago my little sister announced she is getting married next year. Based on my experience with my self-imposed Dressmaking Boot Camp I better start working on my dress for that wedding today. That, or I could take the dog out for a walk instead. I have plenty of time, right?