You are probably wondering, “Where does the Pippa Dress stand?” “You promised us pictures”, you’re probably thinking. I know you think about me all the time, right?
Well, I did promise pictures, and I’m making good on that promise.
I’m taking my time on this dress. Much like the dress I wore to the Gala last year, I really want this one to be perfect. So I’ve been futzing with the fit. I want it to be comfortable; not too tight, but really well fitted through the bust and shoulders.
That’s what’s been taking so long. Alas, I have about 20 years, two kids, and treatment for breast cancer, over Pippa Middleton, so I can’t just “whip it up” without a few (give or take a dozen) changes.
The first thing that needed to be done was an FBA, along with lowering the bust point (sigh) and adding a dart. Kenneth King showed me the most wonderfully easy and painless way to lower the bust point. Basically, it involves adding length between the shoulder and the BP, then taking up an equal amount of length between the bust and the waist. Doh! Why didn’t I think of that? KK is a god.
After trying it on, Susan Khalje and I agreed that the V-neckline as it was drafted was too high for me. I don’t want to show any cleavage, but I wanted it down about an inch and a half, so we lowered it. I also was not thrilled with the way the sleeve sat on me. It sticks away from the body. The stiff muslin exacerbates the effect, but I knew that I wanted it to sit closer to the shoulder line like the original McQueen did. So we put a curved center seam down the sleeve and reshaped it, changing the point where it goes into the armscye. It looks much better on the body this way.
You can also see that I’ve adjusted the angle of the V-neck to lay close to my body. Moving around the back, lowering the bust point meant adjusting the style lines. You can see the original seamline for the upper back bodice (the dotted line) with the redrawn line below it. I also did a slight swayback adjustment.
Some minor changes that I also need to make include taking in the hip area a bit. I’ve got a swimmer’s build – big on top and not very curvy at the hips. I also need to add a couple of inches in length to the skirt.
Finally, we checked the fit of the cowl. It needs a little more length, thanks to the aforementioned bust adjustments. We also put darts into it to give a much smoother line.
The thing that’s taking the most time right now is that each of these minor details needs to be transferred back onto the lining, which is a darted sheath. The neckline, the sleeve and armhole, the length; all of these need to be changed in the lining as well. So I’m taking it low and slow. I don’t need the dress until December 3rd. And the reason I’m taking my time? Because the real dress is going to be made from these:
The fabrics are 4-Ply Silk Crepe and Silk Habotai (both these colors are sold out, sorry) from Gorgeous Fabrics. The lace is a French beaded lace from Lace Star in New York. Needless to say, I want the muslin to be perfect before I cut into them.
Have I told you lately how much I love muslins? I know people whine about them, but nothing gives you the down and dirty fitting precision of a muslin. This dress is absolutely worth every minute it takes to make it fit right. In fact, I’d say that’s true for most things we sew. It’s worth it, and so are we!
So that’s where the Pippa Dress stands. More as it progresses…