I thought it through and decided I wanted to do the following:
1. Make the back section more conventional instead of having the cross back pattern
2. Eliminate the need for 2 pieces for the front of the dress
3. Make the skirt either a gathered skirt or a pleated one, without the tiers.
1. The Back
This was fairly easy – I just used the original Burda pattern as a guide. I made sure that the tops of the shoulder straps still matched the pattern so they’d line up with the front shoulder straps, then drew a curved line from there to meet the underarm seam. I did this freehand since I didn’t know if there was a particular technique around on how to measure this up. It seemed like a logical enough approach in my mind.
2. The Front
Now this was a piece of cake. I just took the front piece and cut it on the fold (taking it in just a tad as the original pattern called for the 2 front pieces to overlap).
3. The Skirt
This step had me torn. Part of the reason I had picked the particular material was because it was thick enough not to need any lining. As a result, it was more likely to add bulk to the join and make me look a lot thicker around the waist. Based on this I reluctantly decided to have a go at pleating the skirt instead of gathering it. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find pleating hard work! Still, I figured that avoiding doing it wasn’t going to make me any better at it so a-pleating I went.
I started by drawing evenly spaced lines on the back of the material for the pleats. I had no idea how much material I needed and how to measure how many pleats to put in so I just decided that I would just pleat the length of material and then cut it to fit as the skirt option.
I had a lot of trouble working out the best way of sewing these up. I ended up folding the pleats on the pencil mark, pinning them in place and then sewing up and down the seam using the machine foot as a measuring guide so that I'd be able to replicate the measurements across the skirt.
So I kept repeating the pattern across the length of fabric I had set aside for the skirt and ended up with a consistent pleating pattern throughout.
I actually lie as I managed to get distracted along the way and incorrectly sew an extra seam where it shouldn't have gone. Urgh. Luckily it was close to one end of the fabric so I was hoping that I wouldn't need the whole length for the skirt - either way I was so exhausted from all the pleating that it was either pretend that it hadn't happened or chuck the whole project, so there are no pictures of the stupid thing to be posted :)
I then basted the skirt to the newly-fashioned bodice to get an idea of what the dress would look like.
I'm loving the look of the dress using the fabric but I have to say that after all that pleating work (did I mention that it took FOREVER?) I was really disappointed - the pleats have made the dress look really matronly.
So now - what should I do??
I don't have any more of the fabric left to start over but unpicking the pleating will take a huge amount of time - probably longer than it took to do the pleating in the first place (and like I said, it took a really really really long time - there must seriously be an easier way!).
I think I might take leave of this particular project for a bit - it's causing me a bit of frustration to say the least.