I started with this dress for inspiration:

I love the red sash/midriff and I’m going gaga for maxi dresses. I like the simplicity of the bottom ruffle and was thinking of using some fabric in my stash for something like this dress.

Then came this pattern, also from my stash:

Actually, since I had this pattern in my stash, you could say I had this image in the back of my mind and the maxi dress above the pattern was just reminding me of this look. I did use the straight skirt part of the pattern on my teal cocktail dress you might have seen here on my blog.

Full skirts aren’t flattering on me so I’m going for a pretty straight skirt. I’m just gonna eyeball that part. My biggest question was how to do the bodice. I knew I’d have to do a Full Bust Adjustment if I used a pattern. I tried draping a bodice like these two but I just dropped the ball on it. It’s in the neglect pile as we speak.

I had a go at doing the FBA but it just didn’t quite work, mostly because the side line that adds fullness made for a really ugly top. I started to think that maybe I could close that space, as if it were a dart, and move it to where there would already be some gathering at the bottom.

If you’re confused by that last paragraph, that’s how I was feeling. I just wasn’t sure it would work. I figured, from learning about working with pattern blocks that you can just move a dart anywhere… but I kept thinking I’d mess it up.

I think this is one of my biggest hangups when it comes to sewing. I get nervous that all my effort will be for naught. Just typing this makes me realize how silly AND how real this statement is for me.

If you know me from my other blog, you know that I like to reflect on the process- any process. I seem to think it helps me move forward. Even if I can’t figure out where the lesson lies at first.

I send a friend a long email going on and on about not feeling competent. Then, I googled “full bust adjustment for empire bodice”. It was the second search: “full bust adjustment for gathered bodice” that gave me just what I needed. It was exactly what I needed.

As it turned out, Alana from Lazy Stitching did the same thing I needed to do. She did the FBA and then moved the side fullness to the bottom of the bodice. Just reading that she did it, seeing her pictures, made me feel more confident.

I went back to my pattern. I cut a smaller size- appropriate to my high bust measurement- moved the apex down (as per usual), did the FBA (as per usual), and then follow Alana’s Step 15 in her tutorial.

Thanks to Alana, I’m ready to move on. I need to install a zipper to double check that the midriff fits, though I think it’s still a little big.

Again, a huge thanks to Alana for putting up her tutorial last November! Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

 

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