In general, I feel that I am a fairly fearless sewist/knitter/crafter. I’ll take on whatever project I’m interested in and slog through until it’s acceptable, or it’s in a ball in the corner, and I typically (eventually) come to peace with whichever comes to pass. However, everyone has their kryptonite, and mine is sewing for others.
It’s a fear that whatever I make won’t turn out as planned, and I’ll disappoint. I have accepted, as a sewist, that not every project I start on will turn out favorably, but I don’t like the idea of putting that possibility on another person. On the flip side, I feel that I’ve had a string of pretty successful projects lately. IMHO. ;)
And so, it was with part love, part trepidation, and part good ol’ fear conquering spunk, that I agreed to sew a rehearsal dinner dress for one of my oldest friends, C. C is getting married to her Manfriend in the beautiful hills of northwest North Carolina next month, and soon she will have a pretty, custom made dress to help begin her nuptial festivities!
After poring over several pattern websites, she picked out Butterick 5030:
And we quickly honed in on view C.
We did a bit of online fabric shopping, but ended up at the local JoAnn (so much easier to pick when you can see and touch the fabrics!) and C found this fabulous linen print in the clearance section. Being primarily white, it’s a bit sheer, so the dress will be underlined with a white linen blend.
First step: muslin. C’s measurements pretty much perfectly fit a 22 in the waist and hip, and I used an 18 in the bodice (grading out to the waist) and added a 1/2″ FBA. I typically only add the really essential parts to a muslin, but decided to basically do everything but facings for the fitting, so she could get a good idea of what it would look like.
The back neck, shoulder, waist and the hip turned out pretty great on the muslin.
The V neck gaped a lot, so I pinned out the fullness and will slash the pattern to match, and it seems the my estimated 1/2″ FBA was a bit too small, so I’ll be adding another 1/2″ FBA, which should hopefully add enough volume for her ladies!
The back waist had a bit too much vertical volume, so I’ll either be using a swayback adjustment or shortening the bodice all around. Though, it seems to be hitting her correctly at the waist in front, so I’ll probably end up doing the former.
C also said the sleeves were a bit up in her ‘pits, which is mostly because I didn’t clip any curves, but I think I will probably lower the armscye a bit just in case.
There is definitely a second muslin fitting to be had for this dress. I won’t be satisfied that the changes I make to the pattern are truly effective until I see them on her. I’m hoping to get the dress fitted with just these two fittings, and that any additional tweaks I have to make will be minor enough that they won’t require a third fitting.