Formal dress progress – drafting done

A month has gone since I last posted. I probably don’t need to tell you that the formal dress drafting has been all consuming….

And it’s now almost done. Thank goodness!

The bodice toile is now a flat pattern – yes two of the pieces go to hip height and one doesn’t. I know. Bad pattern maker

I played around with adding bra cups and boning to the bodice toile, but it was a very unsatisfactory experience for all involved. See the last blog post for how Felicity felt about trying on endless bodice toiles with different sew-in bar cups. A strapless bra was a much better solution!

It was time to turn the bodice drafts into dress pattern pieces. I used the skirt part of the original pattern as a guide, elongated it and flared out from the knees on the side and centre back seams. Then added a train.

Cutting out long pieces like this is the real reason we have a dining table that seats 10!

I’m cautious so I just cut out the lining and facing and sewed that up. My live model consented to a fitting. She’s happy about her choice of orange. I was happy with the fit, but the back needed to be more racer back in style. Pattern drafting wasn’t over yet!

If you look closely you’ll see a zigzag stitching line just inside the stay stitching line.

I’m experimenting with clear elastic on the facing to keep the bodice snug up against the body on these bias cut pieces.

A zigzag line just on the inside facing edge front and back won’t show, and it might just help with the overall fit.

Fingers crossed I’ll get most of the dress done soon. D-Day is April 2.

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