Added Sep 25, 2013
From Pattern: “Total femininity. Ankle-length dress with fitted bodice, layered skirt and short gathered sleeves. It’s respectably high cut at the front but the back plunges alluringly down to the waist.”
I cut for a side 19 at the shoulder and graded to a 20 at the waist. I made 3 muslins of this dress and in the end the alterations that I made were as follows: 1. made the gathered skirt into a full and slightly gathered circle skirt as all the gathering from the dirndl style made my hips look huge. 2. added side seam pockets. 3. lined the bodice as well as the skirt. 4. tried to do a narrow shoulder adjustment the proper way but I took too much out and the dress lost the charm of the “boatneck” that I think helps make the dress perportionate to the full skirt. So I went back to the origional patern and moved the fold line placement in by 3/8inch at the top and then connected it with a straight line all the way down to the bottom. I hope that made sense. Apparently, it is the “lazy” way to do a narrow shoulder adjustment but it worked better, in my opinion, than the proper way. 5. raised the back bodice by 1 1/2 inches because when I contructed the dress as drafted it felt like the dress couldn’t really “grab” on to me. I made the bodice look very boxy. That in combination with the fact that I am a B cup and would not be able to wear a bra was not a good look. 6. lowered the the back bodice by 1/2 inch. In some of the pictures posted online I noticed that some of the dresses seemed to pull up at the waist line in the back and I was trying to combat that. I think it helped compaired to my muslin but I probably could have added a bit more there. Oh, and yes I did try multiple variation on the strap length and placement with no avail. 7. added more boning to the bodice back just under each strap. 8. added sew in foam cups for the bust area 9. added a waist stay and and upper back stay which made the dress feel more supportive. Wow! That was a lot of changes for a dress I thought would be pretty simple but I am happy with it over all and very excited to wear it.
Double layered red cotton lawn for the outer and a high quality cotton muslin for the lining
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