a new summer dress

Spent most of the last week working on pads– sewed some inserts, sewed some snaps. I’ve also been doing a lot of cleaning and packing for my vacation.

I’m working on a new dress, and got the muslin for it cut out last night and sewed together tonight. I’m not taking any chances with the fit of this one, since there’s a sheer fabric involved.

This is the sketch I made of what it should look like, though some of the detail got lost in scanning. The sheer is a bit pleated, so I’m thinking of doing the pleats at the top of the skirt and then letting it naturally flow out from there. And also to connect the empire waist (based off a shirt I saw and liked that had a slit down to the empire waist with a layer underneath), I’d like to take advantage of the pleats and do a section with those running horizontally between the empire waist and the skirt. (I know, horizontal pleats, but it’ll look slimmer than it sounds due to the tie-dye print on it running vertically.) I’ll probably have to stitch the pleats down, so this is going to be a very time-consuming dress. But if it turns out the way I’m picturing, the results should be worth it.
So here’s my muslin so far, basing this off of a Butterick pattern. This muslin is actually for the underdress, which is going to be made from a brown rayon (the sheer is a brown, cream and teal tie-dyed looking thing.) I need to make some adjustments to the fit, which will probably consist of taking it in on the sides and then seeing if the armholes and back stop gapping. Should also have the effect of making it more fitted in the waist, because for this design to work it does need to be rather fitted down to the hips. I also need to raise the neckline by about a seam allowance– I like where it’s sitting now all right, but once it’s actually sewn into something it’ll be too low. The length will be shorter as well– I already adjusted the floor-length pattern along the lines to shorten it on the pattern, but I think the final length will be just below the knee. As far as the layers go, I think what I’m going to do is sew them together at the armholes, empire waist, and zipper, so my plan is to get the muslin well-fitted (the muslin has a zipper basted in, purely for accuracy purposes) and, once I’m satisfied with how it fits on me, leave the muslin on the dummy and drape the sheer off of that (in order to get the print to work, I think I’m going to have to carefully plan where to cut it, since it’s kind of a stripe.) Then once I have the sheer pieces how I want them (with the pleats in), I’m going to use the muslin to cut out the underlayer, and take it from there.

This dress is going to have to wait for further work until mid-July, when I get back from vacation, but I’m hoping to have it done while it’s still warm enough to wear it!

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