I picked up the braid in the sales bin at Spotlight (20 cents a metre) before I had even thought of making a dress. As I wandered around the store, the fuschia colour of this sateen cotton seemed to compliment the colours and so when I got home I decided to make a dress to wear to my niece's wedding in April. I mistakenly thought the pattern was a 16 and was surprised that my first fitting was like being inside a sack. When I looked at the pattern closely (and carefully) I saw that it was in fact a 42. So I re-drafted the front and back sections taking an inch from both the vertical and horizontal.
My next fitting was more successful, but the bust darts still sat too low. As you will see from the picture below where I have pinned more fabric up, I had to make further alterations. I guess this is the reason I should have made a muslin. I am a bit short-waisted so once I had made this additional alteration I was ready to show my mother.
My mother is an accomplished seamstress who has sewn bespoke items for women since the 1970s and made ball gowns and wedding dresses in the 1980s. She still sews for herself and I have received a number of meters of fabric she has purchased and then decided she does not want it. I digress. My mother pointed out the following:
#1 the bust darts do not point to my bust and suggested making these a bit longer
#2 the darts from the waist to my bust need to be tapered
#3 it is an ambitious project
#4 the braid makes it look "little girly"
#5 the seams all need to match perfectly
#6 she volunteered to do the zip for me (YAY!)
I was not totally unhappy with this criticism as I know there is a lot of work to be done. I did not show her the pattern, claiming that I had momentarily mislaid the envelope. She would be horrified that I am using such an old one! She did say though that it was a great colour, and lovely for a wedding. I would like to wear a large hat with it and a belt.
I put this project aside after talking to her, so that I could work on something else - something which would be completed quickly.