Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A maternity Formal

I have the wildest desire to get to work on something really intricate and involved...don't know what yet, but I'm collecting idea photos and mulling things over while I work on the seemingly mundane. Ideas are percolating, nothing has gelled. I'll post some inspiration pics later.

Meanwhile, have any desire to see the guts of a maternity formal?
The order: Create a formal - 2 layers of silk chiffon over a silk lining, in a halter style, that doesn't look like maternity wear, for a woman who's 7 1/2 months pregnant.
I told her that halter most likely wasn't going to happen, but we could work with an open back and a bodice style in front that is reminiscent of a halter.
oh, step3: be able to modify it later for regular wear.

The dress before back seam was stitched: to modify for later I will remove the center front, side front, and extra side panels, and replace with fabric kept in reserve for this purpose.

The challenge, after the 2nd fitting, was to bring the midriff section back in under the bust, without pulling the back around, and make it look good. The muslin section there is the space I needed to fill. That blue line across the muslin is just the extra from the selvage tape used to stabilize the side of the front bodice. it got attached at the side seam when all else was finished.
Note: I built bra cups into the bodice.

What I ended up doing was creating a shirred piece of chiffon by couching elastic cord and drawing up to 50% of its original width, then inserting that in the side seam. It worked beautifully. Then I narrowed the midriff band so that it followed the line under the bustline at about 1.5" all along, and stitched a clear elastic to the seam allowance inside just to make sure it stayed close to the body.

She loved it, it fit beautifully, and I was pleased. When she looked in the mirror she was so happy "It doesn't even look like maternity" was what she exclaimed.
Hopefully she sends me pictures from the wedding.


Summerset said...

Nicely done - very creative solutions. I was in the same situation when pregnant with my daughter - I was 6 months pregnant and was in my SIL's wedding. They handed me a regular pattern and told me that they were sure I'd figure something out. Um, yeah. I did, but goodness!

Carrie K said...

The innards are educational and wow, you do nice work! in the old fashioned sense of the word, but I want to see the modeled pic too.

Romi said...

Wow! That is very impressive, to say the least.

Becky said...

Awesome! I know how to sew quite well, but that is way over my head! I'm so impressed.