Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Half of a Prom Dress

I've started the "muslin" for a prom dress. The customer is a student of mine, and she found a picture in a prom catalog that she originally wanted to copy, with a couple modifications.

Before I had a chance to object, she requested a much more coverage in the cleavage area (Thank God!), and she even found the perfect pattern for the job: New Look 6401. I'm using the bottom left view (light pink). I did have to alter the pattern for a FBA to a C cup, so we'll see if I did it right! I used my "Fast Fit" book, so we'll see how it turns out...

I picked up some $1/yd formal wear fabric at JoAnn's for the muslin. The real fabric for the job is a burnt orange/rust colored satin. Not a "spring" color, but that was her non-negotiable (her boyfriends' favorite color).
I'm really surprised how the bodice of this dress is constructed. It's fully lined, and uses just a 1-1 1/2" strip of fusible interfacing along the front edge of the bodice and top edge of the back for stability. I've never seen a "Big 4" pattern use this approach before, but I'm pleasantly surprised, it's a very thoughtful and smart addition.

I'm also surprised at the sequence of construction with all the back straps. I'm not quite sure what I expected, but it all seems like a lengthy process for some criss-cross straps. Oh well, I know it'll go faster on the "real deal".

Now that the bodice is done, I just have to piece the skirt panels together and attach it to the bodice. I should have her fitted by this weekend. With prom not until May, maybe I'll have enough time to take another job. Man, am I a glutton for punishment, or what???

The most exciting news this week is the planning of my New York City trip. I've decided to make it an educational trip, and have contacted a Student Tour Agency to help with the arrangements. Lindsay T has been instrumental in helping fine-tune the itinerary to make the trip not just fun, but phenomenal for all of us. I really can't thank her enough!! The tour company has arranged a nearly all-inclusive trip with airfare, hotel, 7 meals, a tour of FIT, a tour of the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center Memorial, the NBC Studios tour, a Broadway show, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute all for $1200 (students) or $1450 (adults). So, keep your fingers crossed for me. I need 17 girls/adults to sign up in the next 2 weeks to make the trip a reality. I'm a little nervous with the economy being what it is, but a lot of people keep telling me what a great price we've gotten, so I'm hopeful. If you'd like to join us, we'll be there from June 16 - 19, and take $250 off the price (you'll have to get your own airfare!).


Dawn said...

Wow, I can't believe you do formal dresses for people. You're amazing. I wish I could go to NY, it would be fu-un.

Bunny said...

I am envying your trip to the big apple. I would love to join but the economy is speaking to me!

I would think the position of that lower back strap is critical. Muslins can evoke such emotions!

Lindsay T said...

I so hope your NYC trip comes through because I know how excited you are about it. As you get closer to the date we'll talk about practicalities of NYC and things the teens will want to see and do, like get frozen yogurt at Pinkberry.

luckylibbet said...

Amazing prom dress - and that's just the muslin, right? WOW. Good luck on getting enough students for the NYC trip - my DD went there with her HS drama club 3 years ago and had a wonderful time! Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Summerset said...

Oh, I remember this pattern. I helped a student make a gown from this pattern one time. We definitely had to modify that neckline. It was a different view, but you're on the right track with muslin - those straps need to be just right.