March Madness - The Red Bridesmaid's Dress
I ended up doing dress #1. The cationic chiffon, which was really beautiful fabric, was too black. Back to the shopping for fabric. We settled on a red stretch satin and chiffon from Sy Fabrics. I also got some black crepe-back satin for the trim. I did my math based on a lovely Goth skirt tutorial from Antimony and Lace. Figuring on 3 layers of chiffon for the skirt plus bodice & sleeves I came up with 10 yards of 45" chiffon. I placed the order, sat back and looked at my calculations once more. Then I called them & added another 10 yards of chiffon!
Starting with a moulange a la Kenneth King, I drafted a tight, princess seamed bodice to serve as the understructure for the dress. His "Birth of a Bustier" was my handbook for the pattern draft. My test garment became the inner layer of the bodice. The skirt was a simple A-line with a bit of ease added for comfort and drape. I wasn't going for a pencil dress.
A couple of fittings and many layers later, I had a workroom full of chiffon pieces and a basted-together satin dress to go underneath the chiffon. That brings me up to last night's final fitting. One little tweak over the bustline, one little tuck in the back and shortening the bone at center front will yield a strapless bodice with perfect fit. I tried the first layer of skirt and we adjusted the length a bit.
Then the fun began. I do love draping! We played around with the bodice chiffon until we got the perfect look, which turned out not to be the sketch. Rather than ending the drape at the waistline, we continued it down as a loose, scarf-like line on one side. We ditched the black sash in favor of the scarf and added a black satin rose at the waistline. We also changed the yoke at the neckline to black satin and added a line of black piping across the top of the bodice. The upper back is one layer of chiffon and the sleeves got re-designed to echo the handkerchief skirt.
The very best thing about last night? My client looked in the mirror and said, "Hey! I don't look like a tube of lipstick. I have a waist. I don't look frumpy. I've never had a dress I didn't look frumpy in!" And that is why I love making custom clothing. The bright smile when someone looks in the mirror and sees that they really are beautiful! More on that later. That thought inspires a whole post of it's own.
Dress gets delivered Monday. Look for pictures soon after!