Seems like much of my spare minutes were dedicated to this project over the last months to get it done by the contest deadline. But maybe it’s good to have a deadline, because, after all – it is done! And it looks great!
Sweetheart Bodice: other than the half-inch FBA, I didn’t do any alterations. I checked the fit on this after most assembly steps (sew charmeuse, attach lining at top, pin to waistband, baste to waistband, baste to skirt, pin zipper, baste zipper), but honestly, until the zipper was basted, it was hard to tell *exactly* how it was fitting. I wanted it pretty snug, to counter gravity. I ended up sewing in the zipper with the teeth at 1.25″ instead of 5/8″ – a big ol’ seam allowance. It is a little tight now, but I’m planning on loosing a little circumference before July. I know sewing for hoped for future size isn’t recommended, but I just want to get down to what I was last year, and that should be fine. And if not, I can adjust the zipper (ugh.)
Sleeveless Bodice: The pattern shows the arm and neck binding out of self material. I did a test on some scraps of what lace bound with lace looks like. While it turned out better than I would have expected, I wanted to go with charmeuse binding. Of course… I didn’t have quite enough. I pieced together some bias tape from the scraps, but there was no way to avoid have one or more seams on the front neckline. Boo! I do not want to start half-assing this project. The local fabric store had a close match to what I was already using for $60 a yard (YIKES!), so I sucked it up and got half a yard. I cut the strips per the pattern and used my bias tape maker to fold and press it. Easy peasy! I machine sewed the tape to the right side of the fabric and hand sewed the back side. As far as fit or this piece, I was worried that the lace would look bad with negative ease, so I added a half inch to the sides of the pattern, to give a little more room. Totally unnecessary, and I ended up taking this up in the final fitting. Also, the neck was a little chokey. I took out about an inch at the front, and graded it back to the side seam.
Skirt: I used three layers for the skirt: the lace overlay, the charmeuse, and the lining. I actually used New Look 6208’s skirt with little tucks in the front and back, rather than gathers. I think it is a cleaner look. The lace and charmeuse are folded together and the folds pressed and basted. I did the lining separate, and had the right side of the tucks facing the inside of the garment. And I didn’t machine sew the lining to the zipper with the other two garment layers – I hand stitched it to hide all the seam allowances. Typical construction, but a deviation from the pattern directions.
Seams finishes: I pinked all of the lining edges. I probably should have done that to the main fabric, too. I used french seams for the lace shoulder and side seams, so there wouldn’t be a ragged edge visible.
Overall, I’m really happy with it. I think it is flattering (though I’m generally not happy with my weight/size right now) and will be easy to wear. The skirt is long enough that I don’t feel like I’m about to flash everyone, but short enough to be cute. The fabric was so, so wonderful to work with. It just feels so good. I just hope I don’t spill something on it the first time I wear it.
AND I love that the pattern review contest nudged my to think about how this might be worn in real life. The contest was to take a picture of the dress accessorized for day and again for evening. This is what I came up with…
Maybe leggings and a sweater don’t say “evening” to the more glamourous of you. But I’m used to evenings that are chilly. So… that works for me.
And I totally like the belt and scarf with it! I think it transforms something that I thought of as very bridal to a (lovely!) everydat garment wearable.