So here’s THE TEST. I’ve pinned the front hem and a halter strap, but the dress is fully lined and boned. The back skirt needs some tweaking (I’ve got some lines happening) but that’s the least of my problems. The test run started with undergarments, but remember, my goal is to have this bodice fitting as well as possible so that I don’t require undergarments.
Let’s start with what I think is good about this dress. First, I’m surprised at how much I like it. I like it enough that I’m tempted to keep tweaking it to ensure the fit is wearable perfect. Second, I like the sarong-style skirt. Third, I’m generally pleased with the bodice fit, although the bust line needs a few fixes.
And now comes the list of improvements required. To appreciate this you need to know that the one strip of spiral steel boning down the CF does not provide enough support for the bodice on me. I really need a completely inflexible piece of steel, about 1/2” wide to hold the CF flat against my breastbone, and that is a necessary thing on this dress. Looking over my shoulder with a clear view to my navel is not my idea of a good time.
In these first pictures the CF is pinned to my undergarment so that it lies flat against my breastbone like it’s supposed to. And looking at the picture below, you can see that I’ve still not got the perfect fit on the cups. This is creating a problem or two! If I’m going to wear this dress with the undergarment I have on, then I need to tweak the fit. The right cup has a lot of extra ease along the neckline, and needs to be adjusted in – about 2 inches, I would guess. And I would need to reduce the centre cup seam by about a total of 1/2”. You can see from the picture (above left) that the shape is a bit odd – I’d prefer a slightly rounder shape than the angular silhouette it currently has.
I’ve decided that wearing this dress without some kind of shoulder strap is not happening for me. Maybe it’s my age or my size or my mental state – don’t get me wrong! Strapless dresses have always been something that I wanted to wear. This is not a new opinion! I distinctly remember a strapless bathing suit I had when I was about 13 years old, and thinking there was just something about my (less-than-boney) shoulders that did not do justice to a strapless neckline. This dress has done nothing to change my mind about that.
However, here’s a pic of the bodice taken in along the neckline about the required 2” and pinned…… so I could take these pictures to see if the fit is any better.I think it is….. along the neckline anyway. But I’m still concerned about the gap at the centre front. Maybe I can steal a piece of wood (like a wooden busk) from DH’s workshop to see if it would actually make a difference to have inflexible reinforcement at the centre…..