Monday, November 28, 2016

The Dress

We had a very busy week between Thanksgiving, family visiting, meeting our future daughter in law for the first time, and working on the muslin for Alex's dress. Amanda is delightful and we already adore her. She and Josh are perfect for each other.  It was a great week and our Thanksgiving was wonderful.  

Onto the dress!
I traced the pattern and made a muslin.  It was too small. To me my dd doesn't look any larger than she was when I took her measurements a couple of years ago.  Don't assume anything.  She has done a lot of climbing in the last couple of years and she has gained muscle mass and about 10 lbs.  Wider shoulders too.  I decided not to retrace the pattern, so boring and time consuming and altered the larger size and did a tissue fitting, at least of the bodice.  I ended up using a size 10 at the shoulders and upper body and enlarging to a 12 for the waist and a 14 at her low hip.  This is going by her upper bust, waist and hip measurements.  The alterations I made were a 1" fba, a sway back of about an inch and a rounded upper back, and I lowered the princess seam.  I kept a piece of narrow elastic tied at her waist to check the length and it made pinpointing her back issue easy.  I then made a muslin of the bodice and skirt, fitting the bodice and skirt separately before attaching the skirt.  I used the size 12 measurements to enlarge the skirt and didn't recut it.  It was too big as was the bodice at the waist.  Afterwards I realized that while I had lowered  the skirt waist to where her waist is, because we wanted to emphasize it, I forgot that, duh, the waist gets larger if you lower it 5/8".  Even if I had lowered it by folding out the 5/8" below the waist it would have been too big because it was meant to be above the waist, so larger to begin with.  I ended up taking in the waist and the upper hip curve.  She is straighter from waist to hip than Burda drafts the hip.  I also have to move the shoulder seam back a bit.  When she tried it on she found the neckline too high, and this has got to be the only time I've ever found a V neck on Burda to be too high! I pinned it under until she liked it.  I also cut the back V deeper.  The gored skirt is very flattering on her and she was happy.  The biggest issue I have is that she was instructed to bring a good bra.  What she considered her best bra was sorely lacking.  She will be back at spring break with good underwear and shoes!  Anyone know of a good lingerie store in Austin?  She says that she is willing to travel to Dallas or Houston so any suggestion will be greatly appreciated!

The bodice is  princess seamed with a gathered bias overlay and I am concerned that the princess seam won't have the correct placement because the bra wasn't good. Since the upper layer is going to be either chiffon or georgette I don't want to have to rip it.  I am thinking of hand basting the dress to make it easier to alter.  I will also cut wide seam allowances.

I sent for fabric samples from Emmonesock, Alex picked up some samples from Mood, and I just called Banksville Designer fabrics for more samples.  I made Alex's bat mitzvah party dress with fabric from them 17 years ago, long before internet fabric shopping. I wish that they had a commercial website, but if you know what you want they are a great resource for well priced, high quality fabrics.

These were taken before I lowered the neckline front and back.  She wants a 'hint' of cleavage.  There's  twirling going on in the last photo. Skirt perfect for it.  There will be a gathered overlay on the waistband that I left off.  Fitting this was a lot easier than I anticipated, these are pretty basic alterations that were easy to pinpoint.  
I've got some winter sewing for myself before I tackle her dress.  I need to get a roll of tissue paper too before I cut the dress.  Does anyone have a good source?

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Wedding Dress!

Our daughter Alex is getting married!  It's going to be here on Long Island next August.  We live in a very pretty area and we've got a couple of places to look at for the ceremony that are close to the house where we are going to have the wedding lunch.  Yes, I am going to make her wedding dress. She is here for the week and I am working on a muslin.  I sent her to try on dresses, one for style, and two for color.  Texas is not the place to find a simple dress.  If you want lots of bling, lace and lots of breast exposure you will be in luck.  This is not at all what Alex wants.  I found this Burda dress pattern that we both like.

Dress B, but long like A.  It's an odd waist placement, about 5/8" above the natural waist.  She has a tiny waist so I lowered it.  I almost never make Burda envelope, make that never actually. I do sew from the magazines and have for years.  The addition of some illustrations do not make the instructions much better.  It's very clearly shown in sheer fabrics, but there is no mention of lining the skirt and no amount to buy.  The bodice has a ruched bias upper layer over a princess seamed bodice that has a lining. All in the dress fabric.  As I mentioned, the skirt is not lined.  That's one revealing dress without a skirt lining!  Even if you make it in an opaque fabric a lining is really necessary to finish it.  I have done very little fancy dress sewing in all of my years sewing, but I have some very nice sewing books for reference which this pattern really needs.  

I have actually been doing some sewing, just not doing any photography.  I do have some things to show you.  Hopefully I'll get to it after Thanksgiving.  We're going to have a house full of company.  Our son is also coming with his fiance and our grandson!  So, both of our children will be getting married next year.  It's exciting. 
In case you are wondering, I am not making a dress for myself. This is a small wedding and the black and white silk I made for my cousin's wedding will do perfectly.  Thank goodness!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving to my United States readers.  It's my favorite holiday.