Sunday, January 13, 2008

18. Last Muslin Fitting!

Well, we had our last muslin fitting today. Susan came over around 1:30 pm, with her friend Angie and Angie's 2-year-old daughter. The skirt had been fitting well for a while - the real focus of my recent fine tuning has been the bodice. The other big thing that we hadn't resolved was the length, because she hadn't selected her shoes yet.

She finally had some time to go shoe shopping and was able to find a pair that she liked. They are mostly gold and are very dressed-up and fancy looking. I also had a pair (purchased in 1999 for a turn-of-the-millennium New Year's Eve party) that I thought would look good with the dress. They are a bit more subdued, covered in white fabric that matches the dress nicely. The heights were quite similar, and we could come up with pros and cons for each pair, so I suggested she wear each pair around for a while and then choose based on comfort. (I'm not a big shoe person - you can probably tell from that silly advice...)

Regardless of which pair she chooses, it looks like I can trim 4 inches off the pattern pieces and be left with enough for a narrow hem.

As for the bodice, despite taking in almost 4 inches around the bodice-skirt seam (based on our last fitting), it was still a little bit too big! How can that have happened? Clearly, Susan is sneaking around behind my back losing weight! The nerve! This has got to stop! ;)

Actually, most of that extra room was across the top of the bodice, not at the bodice-skirt seam, and I had not made any adjustments up there, so I guess this isn't completely unbelievable... Although it still astounds and aggravates me that I used Susan's measurements and the table on the back of the pattern to pick the size(s) to cut, and I'm now sewing at least 2 sizes smaller on the bodice (and 1 size smaller at the hips). What was the purpose of that table again?

In any event, the adjustments are small enough (and the wedding date close enough) that I've decided to mark them on the muslin pieces, but move on to working with the real fabric. So, today was our last muslin fitting. :)

Angie was a great help! I was so glad that she came. In addition to helping me pin in the necessary adjustments, she encouraged Susan to move around the room, sit down and stand up, etc. Even Angie's daughter helped - running over to give Susan a hug (so that Susan could lean down and pick up a squirmy 2-year-old in the dress) over and over again. Those mini-experiments helped give us all confidence that the fit was going to work and there wouldn't be any "wardrobe malfunctions".

Now to the part that I've been putting off talking about - the undergarment situation. I have lots of information about how to make a kind of corset that is built right into the dress - including detailed instructions generously provided by a professional on the PatternReview website (click here).

But despite several attempts, I just can't seem to get a fit that provides the same shaping and support as Susan's strapless bra. And the bra fits under the dress... The only bit I'm wondering about is whether or not there will be a small ridge visible through the fabric the marks the top of the bra. It does show with the muslin. But the silk is thicker, and there will be boning in it, and it will be covered with lace that has a lot of detail in it...

In the end, I think we all pretty much agreed that the small negative of the ridge (which may not even show in the real dress) doesn't compare to the large positive of the nice shape that it gives her. So we are going to go with that strapless bra.

As long as I'm admitting this, I might as well admit my other big "sin" - I'm not underling the dress. This was another difficult decision. On one hand, I know about all the benefits of underlining. On the other hand, the silk satin will hold the folds by itself, and I don't have any real experience underlining (I don't think 2 half-size garments in an online class really counts as much experience, do you?) - so this is something that I could easily mess up. (Don't believe me? Read some of my earlier posts to see the things I've already managed to mess up!)

So, bottom line - there's a reason that professionals charge thousands of dollars for custom wedding dresses, and I am not a professional. Susan is not getting a couture gown - she is getting a dress made with love by a friend. Luckily, that means more to Susan than a "couture" rating... ;)


Connie Bontje said...

Katelyn ended up wearing a strapless bra under her wedding dress, even though it had an inner corset. It gave her boobs that extra little lift. No harm no foul if you use one!

Anonymous said...

I'll take "soulture" over "couture" anytime!

Susan said...

faeriekat said it best! 'soulture' it is!! i know this dress is going to be more beautiful than any dress i could have found in a store, and what's so special is that gwen and i have gotten to choose each detail together and are having a wonderful experience together! altogether the dress - and the experience - are more than i could have ever dreamed!!! :-D