Sunday, March 2, 2008

38. "Final" Fitting: Before, During and After

After shaping the lace to fit on the bodice (with 2 darts), assembling the major pieces of the dress went smoothly. Following the pattern instructions, I stitched the silk skirt to the silk bodice and then attached the skirt lining at the same seam. (The bodice lining will eventually be slip-stitched at that seam in such a way as to cover all the layers.) Then I put in a "waist stay" - attaching it to the 2 side seams and the 2 darts in the back of the dress. (I'll talk more about this in a later post, and include some pictures.)

Then I was ready for Susan and the "final" fitting. ;)

She made the hour-long drive on Saturday and, for the first time, put on her wedding dress! From the front, it looked beautiful. :)

But there was something seriously wrong in the back... There were a number of horizontal wrinkles along the small of her back, suggesting that the dress waist was too long for her. Here is a picture (brace yourself, it's not pretty...)

I just couldn't understand it. Susan must have tried on the muslin half a dozen times, and then the lining, and I have NEVER seen those wrinkles before. How could the waist all of a sudden be too long?
The obvious, yet painful, fix would be to take apart the side seams, shift the back pieces up and then reattach them. The problem with that route was the length - I was afraid it would shorten the length of the dress enough that Susan wouldn't be able to wear the high heels that she had selected.

But I still couldn't get past the confusion - why would this fitting problem appear now? I slept on it and the next morning, I had a thought. What else, besides the shape of the side seams, contributes to the location and size of the waist of a skirt? Answer: the length and depth of the darts in the back...

As you may remember, the back darts were the ONE bit of the pattern that I didn't completely nail down in the muslin. At our last muslin fitting, I noted the need for one last adjustment and decided that it was small enough that I could transfer the idea to the real fabric. Then I had that difficulty with the lining - the back darts were too wide and I had to let them out again to get the skirt to line up with the bodice. So the darts were still kind of an open question. But, the lining did fit...

So, I compared the length and depth of the darts in the lining to those in the silk and, sure enough, they were longer in the silk - creating a longer waist. I took out the darts and put in shorter ones and Susan, bless her heart, made the drive AGAIN for another "final" fitting.

Did it work? We're still not perfect, but I think it's a major improvement. Take a look:

(Sorry the picture is a bit dark.) I still have some minor issues with the waist stay to work out - I'll talk about those in my next post. Major steps left: buttons up the back and the hem. I'm working on Monday & Tuesday, but I'm going to take Wednesday off and, depending on how that goes, maybe Thursday. (I got permission to take Friday off a while ago.)

Five days and counting! :)

1 comment:

The Faerie♥Kat said...

Good girl, Gwen! You are staying cool and thinking things out. That is exactly what you have to do at this point. Your advantage is that you HAVE worked and reworked the pattern so many times that you know where every stitch is, was and should be; this is what will give you the knowledge to understand why things are the way they are and how you can change them. You are right on top of the situation and I am sooo proud of you! I'm sure the pressure feels unbearably intense, but I know you are up to the challenge!