14 June 2012

The ball dress

The emergency stand-in ball dress is coming along nicely. Today, after drafting a skirt block and using LiEr's (from ikatbag) advice to place the front waist darts under the bust point, it suddenly occurred to me that the front could be all one piece. How did I not see this before?! It saves on precious fabric and will make the line of the dress neat and clean.

I used gedwoods' tutorial over at Burdastyle to create my skirt block and extended it to floor length. The front waist darts on this block seem to be very far away from the centre. I made a muslin and these darts make a flattering line, but they had to line up with those on the bodice. This was when I had my light bulb moment. I tried to look for instructions to make a dress block but couldn't find anything so instead I looked at Google images. I think extending straight down the lines of the bust point to make the whole dart should be fine in terms of shape, but I am a bit worried. If you look at this sloper you can see that the dart is asymmetrical: it is deeper towards the side seam. I'm not sure if this a personal choice thing or if it is to do with the particular proportions of the body this sloper is for. I tried to hunt out my New Look 6049 pattern (a dress with one front piece with two long waist darts) to check if the darts were placed in parallel lines  to each other but I couldn't find it in my pattern stash. From looking at the photos of this dress from my earlier post, if the darts flare outwards anywhere, its from the waist to bust. I had already altered my bodice block because I thought the darts leaned inward too much towards the waist - basically, this shape didn't flatter me, nor did it look right. Thus I am steaming ahead with my straight up and down drafted darts. I have made the darts on the skirt wider to meet those of the bodice (the skirt ones were only 2cm wide) and then extended the hip edge outwards and blended it with the bodice side. 

I intend to underline the front bodice piece, although with my new idea of a single front piece, I'm not sure how partial underlining works (if it works at all). I am going to use silk organza, which is quite stiff, so I don't want to take it down into the skirt as I think it will make it look too rigid. I am underlining because I reckon that the deep cowl back coupled with the narrow shoulder straps will pull the front bodice. To make sure I get my nice drape on the cowl I need to ensure that there is a solid frame for it to hang from. I think I might partly line the skirt, say to just above knee length, just to get some extra warmth. If one thing is certain, these wonderful May balls get cold at night. Really cold, in fact! 

Some great tips on underlining for y'all, just in case you get the urge to underline something:
I have two other tricks up my sleeve that I want to try on this dress. Gertie also does an interesting post on stabilising necklines by using short organza strips - I think this method may make an appearance on my dress. I also might insert a waist stay just to make sure that everything sits exactly were it should.

I'll post some photos of the dress as it comes together!

Alix xxx

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