So the search began for the pieces - and what a search that was! I mean I've made this dress quite a few times and I've saved most of the iterations in their own folders - thankfully with a picture of the finished dress - so it was just a matter of digging through pattern folders.
And when I was just about to give up, I found the original pattern in pieces! This is the version I was using when I first started the blog. I'm probably about 10 lbs lighter than that now but I think it's easier to make changes from the smaller pattern pieces than the pieces I've enlarged over the years.
Here are the changes I made to the pattern pieces to sew my first wearable muslin:
1. First I taped the bodice and skirt front and backs together matching the notches to from full front and full back pieces.
2. I laid the new front and back pieces over each other, comparing notches and lengthen and shorten lines, to insure that the front and back piece hemlines ended in the same place.
3. Then I traced each pattern onto some new pattern paper. On the front pattern piece I made sure to include the new bust dart (something I noticed that I changed on the original pattern).
4. Also made sure that I got more markings placed onto these new pattern pieces. I neglected to do that with my last set.
5. I found the original sleeve pattern piece in a very fragile state. So I traced a new short sleeve pattern also. Later I will work on making a long sleeve version of the sleeve. I want to have all of the new pattern pieces in the same folder.
This was my starting place for this simple short sleeve floral ponte dress. The fabric is from Fabric Mart, of course, and the dress is unlined. I added an invisible zipper to the dress' center back mainly because I hate trying to get a dress over my head. Unzipping it and stepping in is so much easier ~ at least in my world! The sleeves are made from the leftover scraps of my white ponte top.
There are no special sewing techniques in this dress. The hems at the sleeves are pressed and stitched down. I added some stitch witchery to the dress' hemline to finish it. I must have stretched the neckline a bit when working with the fabric. So I gathered a section of it at the center front, secured it with a strip of fusible interfacing, and faced it with another white ponte scrap.
I did fit as I sewed it because believe me when I tell you that I'm not a fit expert! Then I made a few more changes to the pattern based upon the try-ons...
- I added darts to the center back to get a closer fit for this version
- For future versions, I'm going back to the 4 seam back because I can use the seam lines to fit the upper bodice back better
- I removed 1/4" from the center front of the dress pattern checking to make sure that it didn't affect my bust darts because this version is sewn with 3/4" seams.
- I shaved 1/2" off the hemline of the back pattern piece because it was longer than the front piece.
I'm okay with this version although it's not perfect. It's just okay. Though this process is reminding me of all of the work that I did to get my original TNT patterns to work. I'm thinking I probably wore some pretty terribly fitting stuff back in the day as I pinched and tucked my way to TNT patterns. At least if I lose a little more weight this summer, this one will still be wearable.
A few more pictures of the dress...
I'm trying this pattern out in a woven next to see if my changes work in that fabrication too. If you've been reading for awhile and wondered how I got my TNT patterns to TNT status...ummm this is how it happened...one garment at a time.
Now I'm sure there are some of you out there wondering why I don't just make a few muslins and get all of my fit issues worked out? That is one way to look at it. My answer is that I still hate making muslins. This way I'm ending up with wearable garments which I really need right now. These are more wearable than RTW...plus I'm learning a few things in the process.
...as always more later!