For this one, we had to design the neckline, shoulder yoke and midriff yoke, we had to use pleats or gathers in our design in both the front AND back bodice portion, design a cap sleeve and incorporate a flare skirt. I’m really pleased with how this came out, but wow, this dress was a pain in the ass.
I got the idea for this design from a 40s style dress on the web so the genesis shape of front shoulder yoke and midriff yoke was styled from that. The pleats on the web dress went straight across; I LOVE/prefer the way mine went, with the split around the ‘apex’. The collar was not required for this project and is a little hard to discern from this photo due to the way it’s pinned on but it basically is a stand collar behind the neck curving around to flat against the sternum and fading to zero at the join with the midriff yoke.
You can see the back of collar here. The back is entirely my own creation and in a perfect world I would not have pleats in it at all or something a little cleaner looking. Still, I was pretty burnt out by the front at this point – It was tricky to get it to lay flat and not poof around the breast AND ugh, there just ended up to be myriad problems with this dress.
To wit – due to the ease in the back and yet the fitted front, I could NOT get the side seam to line up. Hours lost there. I have no photos but there are probably 6 versions of a bodice side seam guidelines under the arm. I finally pinned it by eye as it was the only way to make it balance. Even with that, I still feel the fit in the is not optimal. Yes, I want some room so you can move but it looks bunchy to me especially under the arm
I did the sleeve quickly and I’m not mad about the shape. This was our first designed sleeve so I just made ‘something’ but in a future garment, I’d make either a short cap sleeve or do something non-cap that goes down the arm. But it fulfilled the assignment so bygones.
Having an empire waist (my choice) made the hem a bit tricky and annoyingly, my flare skirt which looked fine when I draped it got wonked out when I pressed it. You can see it doesn’t quite hang right here. Thankfully for grading (these photos were taken on a prior day), I took her advice and steamed (shrank) the fabric again and it suddenly hung beautifully. Should have gotten a photo. Total save.
I was pretty shocked I got an A+ on this one, mainly due to the side seam wonk. But ultimately she loved the front as much as I did. I think it’s really stellar. I’m not sure this style would look good on me as I already have a large chest but I could definitely see taking the front of this design, redrafting the back a bit, and making a nice empire waist top for myself. Also making a flare skirt to wear independently I really got a lot out of this dress but wow, it was tough. She said herself, that aside from the princess dress, this was our hardest assignment. Other students made AMAZING things but some aren’t even done yet. It’s that tricky.
Next up – a Shift Dress that we’re turning into a Sheath dress. I’m doing the Shift this weekend, I’ll try to remember to take pre-sheath photos. This dress will end up with a bias collar (which she demoed last night and was hella cool) and a puffed sleeve – mine is a long bell sleeve. Can’t wait.