Here's the (hideous) bridesmaid dress I made for Allison:
Sorry, but it didn't fit on my (useless, wide-shouldered dress-form)...
Thanks to the backlight you can see the following booboos:
- I was correcting dart placement on the fly, so the left skirt dart is slightly misaligned from the princess seam bodice. This is NOT noticeable at all when the dress is being worn. Man, though, that's rookie.
- I misread the instructions for inserting the invisible zipper - in my defense, I've never made a dress like this before - so I didn't insert the zipper under the facing. I thought it seemed weird to face the garment and then reveal the zipper. It was only on second perusal of the instructions, that I realized I'd misread. Alas, given that there was no time or material to fuck with, I was loath to pull out a zipper that had already been picked once out of the original dress. Instead, I catch stitched the zip to the facing for a flat, if less than professional, finish. It's not noticeable when worn, of course.
Other Interesting Features of this Project:
- I forestalled near disaster on cutting the skirt too short (for boring reasons). I didn't have enough fabric to recut the skirt pieces, so I created a faux-waistband (the element that screwed with dart placement). I actually think it gives the dress a bit more of a "bridesmaid" feel. Note: It's not my fault that the bride opted for "Appalachian milkmaid" fabric. There's only so much one can do with it.
- I love this pattern. I love it so much that I'm making this dress for myself, with slight alterations (see below) next weekend. It's beautifully drafted and simple. The instructions are terrific - especially if you read them in a focused fashion.
- In an irony, while I haven't yet been able to draft a princess-seam sloper with the zest all of my mental energies and numerous attempts - and given that my body is available for fitting?! - this dress fits me almost perfectly in the bust. The apex, perfect. Seam alignment, perfect. Adequate room (but not too much) - perfect.
- This is the fabric I'll use:
- It's a lovely rayon challis from Fabrications Online. It's got a bit of heft, fantastic drape and about 10 percent of crosswise stretch. I got three yards to muslin the Rosie as many times as required, but it's a very nice fabric to (likely) throw away and it would be perfect for this pattern.
- I've made the following Kristin-required changes to the pattern I originally altered for Allison (a size that grades from a 10 to a 12, with many mods, of course). For me:
- I made the upper bust slightly less full.
- I lowered the V neck by another inch. The original pattern calls for a high-jewel neck, which I like, but as I'd already altered the neck to suit my sister's preference, it's just as easy to stick with it.
- I raised the front armscye slightly and wedged out a bit of fabric - like a tiny dart, which then I closed.
- I increased the waist size by an inch.
- I kept the bodice and skirt length of the version photoed above, but I got rid of the 3" band. Instead, I added 1.5 inches to the bottom of the bodice and 1.5 inches to the top of the skirt.
- I removed a wedge of fabric from the lower back, tapering to nothing at the side-seams. I don't have a sway back, but I do that adjustment because it allows me keep length in the bodice (where I need it). It's like an inverse FBA, that allows me to be less extreme in my FBAs.
- Here's the deal, peeps: That bodice is drafted for a projected bust that isn't overly high. If you're flat and young, keep that in mind. If you're my age, happy day! I should say that the alteration I made for Allison (whose full bust is 36" - 2 inches smaller than mine - and it fits me nonetheless) was to increase the size of the side front piece both at the side seam and at the princess seam side. I also included a tiny bit of extra fabric on the front piece, at the bust apex, but the majority of my changes were on that side front piece. That's what moved the princess seam front and centre - something that's necessary when your boobs go straight out, not towards the sides. I went off-road with that side front piece, effectively it's a size 12 at the armscye, approximately the largest pattern size at the apex (that's a 16 I think), tapering to a size 10 at the bottom. However, it was a very easy fix because I graded between sizes using the available multi-size cut lines, something I rarely do. Of course, I also had to lengthen the front pieces to allow for curve below the bust apex.
- Truly, it is so easy to overdo an FBA. Less is more, especially if you are narrow and projected. The less you alter the front piece, the better. Let the side front piece pick up the slack. I also find it completely bizarre that I used someone else's measurements, not myself, to fit this dress. I think it's fair to say, my fitting skills have much developing to do :-)