Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Symphony Dress Begins

I have an admission: I'm a little lonely now that my daughter has moved into the dorms.  My husband and son are good company, but my daughter shares many of my interests, and added so much vitality to our home. I also missed sewing for her.  

Not for long: she needs a gown for the university orchestra.  We really liked a RTW dress that she wore for high school orchestra, but a full length, all black gown is now required.

The inspiration dress

Vogue 8997 caught my eye last spring.  It's very feminine, with a great V-neck.  Love the full skirt, with the trim waistline!

And View C?  Well, wouldn't it make a perfect long dress?  Taffeta skirt with a lace bodice and we have a gorgeous dress.  

Vogue 8997, View C
Of course, we need to add 3/4 sleeves, which is also conveniently included, in View F.  

Once you put those elements together: 3/4 sleeves, full skirt, black fabric...I imagine a nun's habit.  In lace, but still a bit austere.  

I was greeted with a nice surprise when starting the muslin: Vogue 8997 is a "custom fit", meaning no FBA is necessary.  It looked like she'd still need a size 12 for the bust, 10 for the waist, but I accidentally marked a size 10 everywhere.  Realizing my mistake after several pieces were marked and cut, I just went with the 10, expecting to let out some of the seams.  I was also a bit concerned about the sleeve fitting, so I only attached one.  Lo and behold: it fit almost perfectly! 

Muslin #1 (size 10/D).  Head removed due to bad hair day.

It's been a long time since I had a muslin ready to go after one fitting.  Honestly, I didn't know what to do.  Well, I needed to add 8 inches to the length, but the hard stuff to fit all fit really well.

We were both so thrilled that we didn't need any more fittings! She was getting ready to take it off, when she mentioned that the neckline was a little too high for her.  Yeah, okay.  I'll lower it an inch. 

Easy change, right?  Well, of course not.  Now the neckline gaped.  Pinch out the excess, rotate the darts.  So the next weekend, when Stephanie came home to teach violin lessons, we had another quick fitting, and the sleeve ripped out at the armscye.  She does need to move both arms in this dress, after all. And the neckline still looked too high.

Take 3: redrafted the front and front side bodice with an even lower neckline and higher armscye. I had a feeling that a gusset would probably work better, but wasn't sure how big to make it, since I didn't have my fit model on hand. 

The lower neckline does improve the overall look quite a bit.  While waiting for her to come home for the next Sunday lessons, I admired the design lines of this dress.  

Muslin #3.  I hope it fits the girl as well as the dress form.