McCalls M6893 – Planning and Muslin

One of the first things my mom asked me when I told her I was engaged was, “are you going to sew your own wedding dress?”  Huh.  I hadn’t really thought about it… that would be neat.  But when I realized my limited experience sewing with slippery fabrics have been exercises in frustration and I didn’t really know how a lot of bridal-y things are constructed (boning, tule poof slip-things, etc.), I decided I should probably just buy a dress.  But it kind of got me thinking… and when I saw the new McCalls M6893 on Patternreview.com I thought, “I could make that to be my rehearsal dinner dress!!”

McCalls 6893

McCalls 6893

Cute. Fun. Sheer overlay.  What’s not to love?  And if it doesn’t work out, it won’t ruin my wedding day! AND because it is a fancy occasion , I have an excuse to make it in fancy fabric.  I went fabric shopping while I was in the Bay Area over Christmas to Thai Silks in Los Altos.  The place is amazing!  I couldn’t stop touching the lovely bolts.  I picked out a white lace for the overlay, but couldn’t figure out from the envelope exactly what the pattern was calling for for the rest of the fabric.  Boo. But I picked a heavy charmeuse that will work, and went home and studied the instruction sheet.

The instructions are a little disappointing for project planning.  It wasn’t clear to me (or the helpful lady at the fabric store) that to make the above view you need the following:image

So, four fabrics.  Lace overlay, charmeuse main fabric, organza sewn-in underlining, and china silk lining for the bodice and skirt.  I was originally thinking this would be a good hot, humid weather dress… but there are actually 4 layers on the top.  Huh.  Whatever, they’re thin.  I’m sure it will be fine.

And actually… the chart above isn’t right.  The cutting layout for the waistband has you cut the waistband along the grain/fold of a fresh yard… and throw the rest away.  Um… this silk is $30/yd.  A quick check of the skirt pattern shows that I’ll be able to cut the skirt pieces and the waistband from the same width.  The skirt needs to be cut on the fold, but the waistband does not — not sure why it is shown that way. Hope this isn’t one of those things I find out I was wrong about later…

I’m going to enter this in PatterReview.com’s Little White Dress Contest.  Assuming I start/finish in time.  I started making a muslin (which is allowed before the start).  Did a half-inch FBA for the sweetheart bodice, and I think that is just about right.

Sweetheart bodice muslin

Sweetheart bodice muslin

Score one for bothering to make a muslin: I cut the front pieces 3/4″ too short – didn’t account for the extra length of the side pieces.  Make the mistakes on cotton.  Not silk. Also: work out more before wedding.

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