and from the left side of the photo, no less!
this dress is based on simplicity 1652, one of the patterns from their Amazing Fit line. its got front bodice pieces in a range of bra cup sizes, so i figured it was a good place to start to get a nicely fitting princess-seamed bodice. i wanted to try and emulate this dress…
dress by Folter
…so i started by merging the back pattern pieces together, overlapping the top and bottom and retracing them as one piece, and using a dinner plate to make a moon-shaped cutout instead of the triangley one. then i made up a muslin to check the fit and phase of the moon.
you see its not quite a semi-circle, so its a moon. im really trying to make this moon association happen
so! the muslin was pretty good but had a whole bunch of excess fabric across the upper chest, which seems to be a theme with the ole narrow shoulders. i tried taking out the excess in the princess seam, but this just had the effect of turbo shrinking and distorting the armscye. my compromise was to take as much as possible out of the seam without it looking too bad, which resulted in an okay fit…but! i took the finished dress to a fitting class with the delightful Jan Bones where i learned i can take a wedge out of the neckline (pointing to the bust apex) to fix the fit across the shoulders and also get rid of the bit of neckline gaping. next time!
oh what couldn't this basic bodice do? :D
aside from upper chest adjustments, i made a small swayback alteration, raised the waistline to sit at the natural waist, and shortened the skirt to a more saucy length. the dress is made from a dusty brown quilting cotton featuring skulls with crowns and butterflies, with a black cotton waist and hem band. the contrast bands are cut from the pattern pieces so the vertical seam lines continue, and the skull fabric is cut to be symmetrical.
symmetry! well, except the facings, but lets not get carried away.
construction was pretty straightforward, except for the part with my fancy rising moon cutout dealie. i had decided early on that i didnt want a closure at the back neck and did want the edges of the neckline, cutout, and armscye fully enclosed (not broken by a seam). i couldnt figure out how to actually engineer this feat because it defies all laws of being-able-to-turn-things-right-side-out, so i eventually resorted to two linings, bias bound armholes, plus a neckline facing that appears confused about its role in life a little bit. but! in the end, you can't really tell from the outside and i dont have to fuss with a button or clasp at the back neck, so yay! for it working, though boo! for the back finishings being such a hot mess.
just keep throwing finishings at it and it will eventually make sense?
while its a decent enough fit and hella cute on the hanger, i just dont quite love it. ive thought a lot about why i havent been super jazzed to wear this out and narrowed it down to being partly the proportion of the dress, and partly the print. to me, the addition of the waist band visually raises the waist and makes it look a bit like a babydoll dress (definitely not something pour moi). the print also has a bit of an awkward contrast for this dress…maybe if the white skulls were a little bit more blend-y in colour or a bit smaller/bigger it would be more successful. for me. personally.
eee, reactivating art class critique mode
so judging from my quilting cotton experiments over the past bit, im thinking i like prints best on me if their volume is tamed a bit more than in this dress...which is a good thing to know when putting scissors to those printed mood fabrics (not to mention this AMAZING purple cat print fabric i've been saving forever). and you never know, maybe in a few years i'll graduate to full-fledged ms. frizzle dresses :) :)