Believe it or not, this fancy-pants dress is a wearable muslin. I have loads of bargain bin, wear-worthy fabric so why not use it to test out a pattern before cutting into my more precious yardage? I used a sheer abstract pattern for the main fabric and a black lace for the back, just like this dress from last year. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?
This dress is a muslin for Vogue V8901 and for a dress that I'm planning to wear to a wedding this coming weekend. I discussed these sewing plans a few weeks ago and they seem to have actually worked out! The dress has no side seams so while I was in love with this design idea I was pretty nervous about the fit and the possible gappage on the sides.
I made a few modifications to the bodice, raising the armhole for more coverage, adding some length and moving the shoulder towards the center. I have fairly narrow shoulders and some patterns have straps set so wide that they will fall off my shoulders and not cover my bra straps. I moved these shoulders in about an inch and it falls perfectly now. The other big change I made was to do a gathered skirt instead of pleats. Gathers are so much faster, I figured why bother pleating.
The back brings the wow factor for the dress. Turn around and whoa! The back is an open lace bound on the edges with black fabric. I lined the the front and the skirt with the same black fabric. To stabilize the center back zipper, I used a little fusible interfacing on the seam allowance.
For modesty, I can of course wear a slip but these days, in the right crowd, it's ok to show a bit of bra. It becomes part of the design really. I love the contrasting fabrics. This print could easily overpower and would make it challenging to see any design details.
I thought the dress did a good job of covering the bra on the sides but when looking through the photos, I discovered that it did fall open awkwardly sometimes and expose the side body. I think that can be easily remedied by tacking the back and front together under the arm. I was so happy with how this muslin turned out, I thought that I might like it more than my final dress. But in reality, I actually love my final make and plan on sharing it with you tomorrow!