Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happiness is... a good muslin.

Okay, I've started making some design decisions around this year's Smithson gown. I really didn't have a starting point, but after a lot of people posted and emailed that the Bug Gown was one of their favorites, I started thinking that perhaps it was time to try a strapless style again.

I hadn't tried doing a strapless gown with Wild Ginger's formalwear program, Celebrations. But I was game to try. So I designed a strapless bodice with a v-front, printed it out and gave it a try. The hip and waist fit fine, but the bust!! It looked like it could accommodate Dolly Parton. I couldn't figure out what the issue was; I had chosen zero ease.

Fortunately, Wild Ginger has the most amazing tech support. A quick chat with their wizard, Karen, led to the solution: reduce the cup size in the measurement chart. Couldn't be that easy, could it?

It could. Taking the cup size from a D to a B yielded a darned good muslin. And here it is.

Now, keep in mind that this is just a rough draft. There's no boning, no foundation... just the suggestion of a style. It's a dropped-waist with a V front and a gathered skirt. There's a bit of fine tuning to do below the waist, but there's plenty of time for that. The event isn't until the end of April.

I'm going to make a waist-length foundation using this pattern as a starting point and boning the heck out of it, as well as adding an elastic underbust stay. I want to feel completely secure when I'm wearing this!!

So, now the decisions need to be made on fabric. Ideas? I'm leaning towards a periwinkle, as several people have suggested. But what fiber? And should I have an overskirt? Layering of fabrics? Contrasts? A matching shrug? Post your ideas... I'm all ears!


  1. I'm sure periwinkle would look lovely on you with your fair complexion, Welmoed. And by all means, go strapless. Too soon we get to a place where we can't, so take advantage of your youth! And I know you have the expertise to make it work, engineering-wise. And wow am I jealous of your printer, though I might not have the tech savvy to set such a machine up for myself. You go, girl. Christine

  2. Periwinkle would be lovely. Dupioni silk is lovely and it breathes! In a hot crowded room that could be important. (I would think it would be more comfortable than drapery fabric.) How about some delicate lacy embroidery? A matching wrap would look great.

    Bonnie--who just realized that you could easily become my vitual Barbie doll.

  3. I just ran on to your blog today. I don't even remember how I got her, but I find your dresses absolutely fabulous. It must be wonderful to plan a project and know that you will get to wear it. I've sewn for many years, and I have enjoyed making formalwear. I usually take a commercial pattern and add to or subtract from. I've had the Wild Ginger software for slacks for many years, but just never got involved with finishing a project. You suggested periwinkle as a color... and I would agree that periwinkle would be pretty. I think I would go with a black bodice... and periwinkle skirt. I wouldn't add an overskirt.. to much bulk. I would add a shrug or shawl. I could see a periwinkle shrug or shawl in an illusion type fabric with some black embroidery to embellish. Oh come to think of it... you could add some black embroidery design to the skirt to tie it all together. What fun!


I would love to hear your thoughts... Please share!