Saturday, October 16, 2010

Re-fitting the Black Linen Dress

So I pulled my black linen dress out of the closet to start working on tailoring it, but Dearg's gone to bed for a nap and I'm at a loss as to how I can do anything with it by myself, since I can't see my back and sides. It would be one thing if I just needed to take the seams in a bit here and there, but the entire dress, except perhaps the sleeves, needs to be taken in. Even the fullness of the skirt needs to be taken in! So, in my waffling about what I was going to do so that I didn't waste time, I tried to make some decisions about what I really wanted to accomplish with the re-fit.

There is enough extra in the whole trunk of the gown to completely remove the lacing holes in the front. This is a very good thing, because the curve of my bust has completely altered with the combination of the weight loss and the breastfeeding. Read: bigger boobs on a smaller frame. (Which is pretty funny, considering that I started this blog on the topic of my big boobs and how self-conscious I was about them.) With my altered bust, the original curved front doesn't fit correctly. Let's compare:

This first image was taken when I first made the dress (I'm about 4 months pregnant- right after I found out I was having twins). The curve of the front, along the lacing, is smooth all the way from the neck to below the bust. There is also no extra fabric along the front of the arm hole, so I had a nice, wrinkle-free chest that followed all the curves properly.

This second photo was taken at my first event after having the twins (obviously). As you can see, not only is there way too much fabric in front of the arm hole, the curviest part of my bust isn't curvy enough to fill out the curve in the dress, and there's a "flat" area. Now, I believe I was wearing my not-very-supportive nursing bra, which probably accounts for the ill-fit of the upper chest, but even with a better bra when I put it on here at home, the flat area is still there.

In order to correct this, the front seam of the dress needs to be re-cut (and the original lacing holes completely removed), so I wondered if I might be better off finding the grain and cutting straight on that to turn this curved front fitted dress into a straight front fitted dress. The very top of the front, at the neckline, ended up needing the least amount taken in, so I can use that as the cut point.

I wasn't willing to commit to that right then, however, so I decided I'd waffle a bit more and waste some time reading some blogs online. In the process of doing that, I went to the Stuff & Fustian blog and discovered that she is tackling a very similar issue with her current gown project. She had previously created a straight front fitted gown, but realized that it didn't provide the same curve of the bust as her inspiration, so she's opted for a curved front. When I look at her straight front, however, I feel that this is the direction I want to go. Yes, yes, I know. My black linen dress was originally inspired by a dress in the same manuscript, with the same silhouette. I've changed my mind about the dress now because I just spent 9 months being pregnant, and I definitely looked it. Now I'm not pregnant, loving my new shape, and I want to show it off. A curved front dress would accentuate the baby belly I haven't quite lost, and make my already large breasts look larger. A straight front would ultimately (I hope) show off my smaller waist and butt because it would diminish my breasts and belly. (Sounds like a good theory, right?)

So that's my game plan. Once I've straightened the front, Dearg can help me by pinning in the side and back seams to re-tailor it.