The Ladies' Tea Guild

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dress commission, part 2

Well, my friend picked up her dress a few weeks ago, and while it's still not as fully trimmed as she (and I) would like, it looked great on her for her event.  To the left is a photo of the finished dress.  It's so dark that it's hard to see the trim details!  The main body of the dress is navy blue, and it's trimmed in black, with a rhinestone and black beaded clasp at the waist.  Pleated black satin ribbon topped with narrow black velvet ribbon trims the edge of the collar, sheer black flowers are placed in a line down the pleated and pointed satin panel on the front, which is also tipped with a black tassel, and 6 black braid-covered shank buttons follow the line of the skirt overlap, which is actually sewn closed underneath.  My friend also had some plain black velvet ribbon that will probably be used to edge the satin waistband and cuffs, but I really think that the dress needs more silver/rhinestone/bead accents to make it a little less dark!

The pattern also called for a neckline insert, but my friend forgot to bring the fabric for me to make it, so she ended up wearing the dress without the insert and it looked fine.  She was worried that the V-neckline would be too low without it but it wasn't, so that was a relief!

My friend is still unhappy with the fit of the shoulders (they are a little too wide for her), but with only one fitting (with muslin) before she picked it up the first time in November, and one "fitting" (she tried it on but I couldn't mark or alter anything) the day she picked it up, and no fittings since then, there wasn't much I could do in the time I was given.  She said she'd take it to a tailor and have him re-fit the sleeves, which is just as well, because although if I had another fitting with her I could correct the fit myself, I find sleeves difficult and I don't mind not having to work with these ones again.  I already did a bunch of re-drafting to the bodice pattern because my friend's measurements put her in 4 different sizes just in the torso!

However, even though she didn't like the shoulder fit, she got several compliments on her dress when she wore it last weekend and the weekend before, and she said that she now loves wearing it, and that people were asking her where she got her dress!  So that's a good sign.  Now she's talking about an evening dress for next year ... 

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Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)