All this week, I’m focusing on The Tux Dress, from concept through finishing. I remember when a dress of any sort felt like a big undertaking- eventually I learned to break the big job into smaller pieces.
Before I cut into the crisp black and white cotton sateen, I made a muslin. I used a simliar weight fabric, though it’s slightly more drapey. It’s from a friend’s destash and is 100% napped suede cotton. It also has some sun damage, and the color brown and I don’t speak to each other very often. And as usual for my construction shots, they’re quick computer photos. One day I’ll have it together enough to take progress shots with a decent camera and tripod, but that day is not today.
I don’t make many muslins these days. Usually, I draft from blocks I know work for me. I made a muslin (with basted, not sewn seams) because I haven’t worked with this pattern before.
This is the pattern right out of the envelope, no alterations. Not bad, I’m surprised. The funny business on the side seam comes from me pinning it closed. Also, the dress is a lot narrower through the skirt than I expected, and longer than I wanted.
This is the back. It’s not amazing, but I’m not too upset by it. My upper back-high-hip “fluff” is what made those wrinkles. I can either alter the back high hip area to create more room on the pattern or girdle up. (Altering the pattern won out.)
Close-up of the front seaming. I like it. It’s a flat fell seam on the pattern, I just basted it together. I’ll make a proper flat fell seam on the actual dress, and probably use a contrast thread to highlight the seaming. I used a pin to mark the “point of no return” so I could carve out a steep v-neck:
The V is only between the front flat fell seams, and when I layer the dickey on top I can create a deep, sexy placket. The dickey will detach if I want to wear a plainer dress, I could probably layer it underneath, too. I also hiked up the hem a few inches.
Longer dickey with “cummerbund.” (Actually the tie from my dressing gown.) I can not decide about the dickey. That’s ok, I’m making it as a separate piece and will whipstitch it into place on the finished dress.
I think the shorter dickey places more emphasis on the bust, while the longer dickey with cummerbund looks pretty “tux” to me. What do you think? I’m still deciding… Remember, this dress will have elbow sleeves.
Also, what if I “rounded out” the bottom of the dickey?
I thought I should mention I dyed my hair, in case you see it later in photos. Naturally, my hair is a red-brown color. I like to dye my hair because it makes my hair feel nice, and I like it darker than my natural color. Most of my coloring is cool, and the red in my hair muddies the waters a little. Besides, I get bored; it’s fun to dye my hair. And I like the “Snow White” flavor.
This black is actually a kind of purple. It’s not nearly as purple as the box (even the “dark hair” sample) but I’m ok with it. It’s better for me than flat black, and might provide a segue into brighter purple if I decide to try it out. I dream of long, beautifully maintained purple hair:
Maybe it will happen one day, maybe not.
Long or short dickey?
Do you muslin?
Tomorrow: Dickey-ing around with pattern pieces…
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