In the beginning of June, at Jeff and Jen's wedding, I got a chance to hang out with my friend, Ana, and her daughter, Kiana. Ana asked me if I could make her a bridesmaid dress for a wedding in September. She was tired of buying dresses that didn't fit her right.
It's fitting that I'm introducing you to Ana with a picture of me in my turquoise satin dress. I love this satin, and I knew I wanted to work with it again, so I went to Davey Fabrics to find some in navy blue, the colour Ana's dress needed to be. They happened to be out of navy, so I asked them to order it in, and I checked in with them for a couple weeks, and got my hands on it with just enough time to get the dress done a week before the wedding.
Other than the colour, she gave me free reign to choose a design that would be flattering to her figure. I browsed through the pattern catalogs and picked out Simplicity 2338. I liked that the dress had lots of seamlines to make adjustments on. We chose the long, sleeveless dress with the shawl collar (the red one).I wasn't sure what fitting issues we would have, but I knew I needed to do an FBA (Full Bust Adjustment). I found some great tutorials. One is from Sew Mama Sew, and the other is from Debbie Cooke at Stitches and Seams. It was surprisingly easy. I've never done an FBA before, but I did learn how to slash and spread patterns in Fashion College. I cut the bodice one size smaller and did a 2" FBA (1" on each side).
The bodice fits quite nicely now!
Adding 2" of ease made a huge difference in how this dress fits. Doesn't that look so much better? So, there you have a simple lesson in what 2" can do. Amazing.
Here is your first look at the muslin of the shawl collar. I added 2" to the bottom, which was quite a brain teaser, let me tell you! That pleat was confusing! I adjusted my pattern piece 3 different times, which included cutting, slashing, taping, cutting, slashing, and more taping. I'm not sure if I even know if I learned how to do it the right way is now that I'm done. Oh well! I achieved the length I needed, and that's all that matters.
Here you can see a little more clearly the slashes I made to the back of the collar. I spread 1" at the shoulder, and 2" closer to the back.
I know this looks like a finished dress, but looks can be deceiving! This was Ana's second last fitting, the satin stage. I have the satin assembled, but there are many finishing details that are not done. She's not even wearing the lining layer here. I had to take a few pieces apart and put them back together with the lining in the right order. But look how nice it fits! And now that she's wearing heels, we got to see how the dress hung without getting caught on the floor. I was so excited to see it turn out at this point!!! I just love this satin.
After spending a few more hours finishing said details, here is Ana in her finished dress. I was happy that this shot shows off the shawl collar quite well. Shiny satin is kinda hard to photograph.
I'm very happy with how well it fits, and the waist seam actually sits parallel to the floor! I'd say that's quite an achievement! The skirt hung so straight, I didn't have to pin it, I just measured an inch all the way around, and it was perfect! I love it when that happens!