Before the session I had managed to get the darts in on the front. This was tricky as they needed to merge with the curved seam line of the side panels. Plenty of basting later and this is the result. At that point I hoped that the silk lining wouldn't stretch again.
Well that was wishful thinking! Let's talk about the bustier now, we will get to the stretching again soon. I also put this together before the class. The bustier is, quite frankly, the most fiddly thing I have put together. Ever. It was fun though as I only had the toile that my teacher created to work from. I unpicked one side to find out how it was constructed and then used that as my pattern. The other side was left in case I needed it as a reference. Somehow I managed to stitch everything together on the wrong side which meant a LOT of unpicking. I can now honestly say that I hate unpicking chiffon, it takes so long as the potential for holes is extremely high.
I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get the pleats in place and stitch them in so I left them overnight. I found myself thinking carefully about the construction while trying to drift off to sleep and hit upon it. This is the only good part about having very noisy neighbours at midnight! I just pinned the pleats in place and hand stitched them with a running stitch from the back, keeping the thread hidden under the top layer. It took an hour to do this but I was pleased with the result. Now, can you see the problem with it in the photo below?
Yep, the right side (left in the photo) had stretched at the top. A fitting in the class showed this. I couldn't face unpicking it again so my teacher opened up the side and clipped the seam (I may have forgotten to do that) which worked perfectly. We also had to reposition the centre seam. What did this mean? Yes, more unpicking! The lower two pleats moved in the alteration but I finally got them to match reasonably well.
From here I moved on to adding the bias tape to the neckline. Again this took a while as the chiffon likes to move but they are both in now, with the help of a catch stitch. I love the fact that you can hardly see it in the photo.
Now the really exciting part. I basted the neckline and bustier to the front. That's it, I now have a dress! Here's a sneak preview.
I also got the pattern for my sleeves which was incredible to watch. My teacher had pulled a pattern out of thin air for another member earlier in the class. It did feel like magic, or perhaps that was the heat getting to us. This was used as the basis for mine. We have added some puff to them and they will be gathered at the top and bottom. These, installing the zip as well as fitting and perhaps stitching the bustier in place, is my homework for the weekend. Good job I'm not back at work until Tuesday!