Technically, this is a wearable muslin... I was pretty sure it would work, since it was drafted from my sheath dress sloper, so I went ahead and used fabric I like. Next time around I want to adjust the back shoulder seam higher, and the princess seam in the front a bit lower, but overall I'm quite pleased.
a keyhole and corseting in the back,
crocheted trim at the hem, sleeves, and front neckline,
and thread chains at the waist seams for belt loops, and for a button loop. ( I had no idea how easy those were! I thought they were some complicated sewing knot... but it's just crocheting!) They don't quite match, but this white thread was better than any of my other choices.
It also has a very functional detail... zippers in the front seams for nursing access:
I've never seen anything like this before, so I had no idea how well it would work, but it does it's job quite well.
There is a tiny bit of puckering at the deepest part of the curve due to the stiffness of the zipper tape, but it's not too bad. I chose to put the zippers in upside-down, because I felt that the pulls would be less noticeable below the waist than they would be at the armscye.
The keyhole in the back made me cry. I didn't want one there to begin with, but I needed an opening to get it over my head, didn't want another zipper, and thought this would look better than a slit and be easier than a placket. I had a perfectly-sewn, tiny keyhole there, but I decided to wash the dress before photographing it since I had some markings on it. In the washing machine, the neckline ripped a whole inch down from the keyhole! I'm guessing I clipped the neckline just a little too close for this fray-prone fabric. I'd added plenty of fray-check before trimming, but it didn't help. Anyway, the only way to fix it without being too obvious was to sew it again larger. I had to add a new piece to the facing and topstitch it, and it just isn't nearly as pretty as it was, though not as crooked in real life as it is in this photo. I'm just glad I was able to fix it at all though, since to replace the back piece would have meant redoing the corseting.
The grommets were the other truly difficult thing.... installing them wasn't bad at all, but cutting tiny holes through four layers of very thick fabric with somewhat dull scissors took a terribly long time. My thumb hurt all day after that:
I made room for the corseting by adding 1.5" to each side of the back princess seams at the waist, tapering to nothing at the hip and bust lines.
The grommets start 1.25" inches below the bust line and above the hip line, to be certain there was room for them in the seam.
All in all, I love this dress. It's comfortable, and though it may look a bit too costume-y for some, I really don't care. I love this silhouette.
I'm looking forward to another iteration of this, or maybe a few. =)
Next on the list is another coin purse... I have the pieces cut out and just need to fuse, sew, and glue it all together. =)
And just because she's adorable, here is a photo of my little 3-month old, who is growing more quickly than I thought possible:
Thanks for stopping by,