During December, I was desperate for a project. All my Christmas stuff was done, and I was not looking forward to working on my corset. So I dragged Mom out to Joann's and bought stuff for a dress for Camille. That very day (I think it was the week of Christmas) I wrapped it up and gave the fabric to her as a present. Love those socks!
Camille helped me design it. My ideas and her desires didn't quite match up. I knew it would turn out cute either way. I liked the idea of a wide neckline with quite a few gathers along the top into a bias strip, but she wanted a smooth bodice. I liked the idea of short, straight sleeves and she liked short, puffed sleeves.
I draped it all myself, except for the sleeves which came from the ball dress pattern I have.
The dress pulled together really well. No real trouble was given me, other than the fact that the wide, smooth neckline she wanted wouldn't stop gaping. I kept putting a larger and larger dart in the mockup right in the middle. In theory it should have worked, but in reality it was just altering the shape of the neckline instead of fixing the gaping.
Finally, I just cut it out with several theory's on how to fix it:
1. Bind up the neckline anyway with piping and hope it was only gaping due to the curve being on the bias and stretching out,
2. Bind up the neckline and run a string through the piping, tying it in the back to help eliminate gaping. I was skeptical to this idea, because I didn't want it to be obvious or look like a drawstring neckline,
3. Put just a couple gathers in the very front and bind it up.
I ended up using method #3. It worked perfectly, and when Camille tried it on for the first time, she didn't even notice until I asked her how she liked it. Win win!
I know you're probably wondering; if I started the dress in December, and finished it in February, then why oh why hasn't there been any pictures up until now? The answer: everything was going well, until she put it on for pictures and GASP. The center pleat was skewed way off center. And I didn't actually fix it up until several weeks ago, when she wanted to wear it for the first time. It was an easy solution, but it kept getting stalled.
The piping was easier than it usually is. USUALLY, I end up having to sew each strip twice because of something funky the feed dogs on my machine pulled on the bias. OR I accidentally put a stitch in the cord, and that doesn't work because it causes funny puckers, and then you have to find where that stitch is. Either I lucked out, or my new machine just works better.
This was my first time changing directions of pleats on a skirt, and also my first time putting more fabric in the back half of the skirt on purpose. Neither was particularly hard, nor did it take very much extra time. Whether both are very noticeable is yet to be determined.
I'm happy with how it turned out. The only thing I don't like is how perfectly it fits across the chest; there isn't any room for growth. That's a pretty big improvement from the long list of what I usually would do differently! Oh, I suppose I wasn't very happy with the fabric. I adore this plaid, but it was really course.
The final consensus: she loves the wide neck and sleeves, and it made all the difference in her comfort. Plus, the fabric is a little bit lighter than the brown and pink one.