After shunning muslins for many years and, as a result, having many unplanned muslins (TEE HEE!!) , I have finally decided that, for me and my sanity, a muslin is the way to go--even if I only make one for the bodice. It is a great feeling to know without any worry (to a reasonable degree--I always worry) that what you make is going to fit, particularly if it is especially lovely fabric or, especially expensive fabric.
I read several pattern reviews on this dress before I made it and many of them commented on it being sized too large. I cut my first muslin my usual size 12. After sewing up the bodice, it was HUGE!!! I pretty much knew I was going to have to go down two sizes, so I cut a size 8 and did a second muslin (a first for me). Even then, I had to taper in about a half inch more at the top of the side seams. My recommendation is that if you make this dress, you are probably going to have to make a size or two smaller. Even if you have never made a muslin before, I highly recommend it for this dress.
I very much deviated from the instructions given for this pattern. They use a couture technique of horsehair and foundation and all of that stuff I have never done. After thinking about it for awhile, I decided to make this bodice like I did the bodice for my knockoff of the anthropologie Verite dress. I cut the bodice pieces twice, interfaced the bodice, and used the second pieces as facing.
I added boning to just the side seams of the bodice facing.
facing with boning
The pattern called for making piping. I have a serger foot that will make piping easily, but I was lazy (just being honest) so I just bought some from a local Singer store in the town where I work. I originally had thought about using a lavendar piping to pick up the lavendar in the dress, but I could not find just the right color. At that point, I thought about actually making it, but then I could not find just the right color of fabric. After holding up red piping to the material, I thought it would actually work best. The pattern did not call for piping the top edge of the bodice, but I did it anyway because I thought it would give it a more finished look.
I also added straps like a blogger did at Sew Tessuti by making them a little wider at the shoulder. I loved the look of the straps with this dress. Also, since I was going to wear it to church, I honestly would have felt a little exposed in a strapless dress , but that is just me. I see people wear them all the time and I think they are lovely. Maybe I will get up the nerve.
I had never seen a skirt attached to a bodice like in this pattern, but it was different so I went with it. I used red topstitching thread. Also, I did not put in an invisible zipper. This fabric was so thick by the time you got the facing and interfacing in that I just used a regular zipper. It actually sort of disappears into the seam. Speaking of zippers, it is this dress that I took a break from to make my Ikat dress (previous post) while I waited for a store to open to buy a zipper. I also lengthened the dress by a couple of inches.
The lining for the dress is a basic polyester lavendar-ish pink lining that I bought at my local fabric shop.
shoes - red Target peeptoes
I originally had on a necklace with lavendar stones, but I had taken it off by the time I took this pic.
Please forgive this flat hair--I took this pic after walking through the rain to and from the car at church. It is sooooooooo humid where I live in South Alabama. I actually hot rolled my hair if you can believe it, but one trip through the humidity destroyed that.
My final assessment of this project is that it is not hard if you have been sewing for awhile. However, even though I did not use all the couture techniques described in the instructions, it was still very time consuming.
I leave you with a pic of the nail polish I wore. It perfectly matches the pinkish lavendar in the dress--I'm sorry but I couldn't help myself--I like for my nail polish to match my clothing if possible.
OPI "Windy City Pretty"