It actually fits!
I made a first muslin (left picture) with the bodice in one layer of test-taffetta and the skirt in the actual lining I am going to use for the dress. The grey skirt was a test for the previous plan. I am now first going to shelve the green-and-grey version so I can get cracking on the actual dress, but I will finish this test-dress neatly once the REAL dress is done and dusted.
The lace version of the bodice is the test for all the fitting issues and modifications such as the “shadow” sweetheart neckline I am doing to make the dress a little more interesting.
“Interesting”. Why oh why do things always have to get “interesting”?
So. Instead of 2 straightforward front- and back bodice pieces to be cut in fabric and lining, we are choosing to chop the front and back piece each into 2 pieces to be cut from fabric and lining, cut the upper bodice piece from mesh, cut full (unchopped) front and back pieces from lace overlay, and figure out how to construct the lined bodice from that puzzle.
Just to make it even more “interesting”: The pattern instructions for the darts are open- cut BUT UNFINISHED vertical darts on the skin-side of the lining, because darts are sewn through both layers. That does NOT work for me, especially with the extra lace layer.
More unfinishedness happens around the bound buttonhole flaps. The pattern does not suggest anything but trimming and whip-stitching. Maybe it is just a 50’s thing, but that sounds rather primitive. I can however not really think of another way to do it, except serging the buttonhole squares before whipstitching?
One more thing: The skirt volume.
Few of the sewn-up versions of this dress I found on the net had that Cinderella-ish ballroom pouffiness of the pattern illustrations. According to the pattern the dress really has only one layer of unlined fabric – which would result in the rather limp silhouette of my blue-and-purple test. The underskirt is sewn separately and is only one layer of lining fabric, with horsehair braid at the hem for some volume.
But nooooooo. Because in this garden we like things INTERESTING, we will be making: one (purpleblueorange) chiffon layer and one (purple) pongee lining layer for the dress, and one (purple) tulle layer plus one (black) pongee lining layer (with horshair braid) for the underdress.
I hope the kid is going to be able to sit down in it…
(Visit this blog post if you want to see what the final result looked like.)