I had an unexpected day off of work yesterday. It was pouring down rain for most of the day, and generally when that happens, I get called and told to take the day off from the garden center job because they don't get enough customers to keep a cashier there all day. Bad for my wallet, good for my time. And then my one flute student of the day ended up not coming because her mom forgot about it! (Which is understandable, since this was just week 2 at her new time.) It was probably a good thing I didn't have work, because I had a massive nauseating headache (I miss the days when I didn't have allergies), but it also gave me time to work on my sister-of-the-groom dress.
Thanks to Antoinette's suggestions, I was able to make some tweaks to my muslin that made it look much better-- still not the perfect fit, but good enough (and probably still better than I'd get with a RTW dress, since those tend to be huge at my waist) given that I'm basically at the point of trying to make a couture dress on a Project Runway deadline! So I'm giving my inner perfectionist the smackdown and carrying on with it. Yesterday I finished the muslin, marked all of the seams, and transferred that to my paper pattern (you kind of get the idea here-- the original black lines were the ones I marked on the muslin at first, and the red lines are where I ended up having to move the darts and seams to! Except for the shoulder--I had to take in a good bit there too so that's the new seam line.) I also spent a couple of hours last night doing my first attempt at thread tracing the seam and dart lines. (Except on the last piece I got lazy and decided to skip the neck and armhole seams, since they're still going to be your basic 5/8" seam).
It was insanely time-consuming, but I'm glad I did it because so far it's been helpful. I'm having my own personal Project Runway day today (currently on lunch break) and trying to see how much of this dress I can get done before my best friend comes over for Beatles Rock Band time!! So far, I've gotten all the darts sewn and pressed, and the invisible zipper put into the back. I'm still afraid the side darts may have gone a little wonky because I had to tweak them a bit further to get the ends to line up properly and not take a huge chunk out of the seam. But I'm thrilled with the zipper-- provided I don't screw up the rest of the back seam, this may very well be the best invisible zipper I have put in to date. I'm also glad that I thought to do a test seam first with some of the scraps to check about stitch length and pressing, because I discovered that silk charmeuse will show every single line from both the edge of a dart and the edge of the iron. So I had to play around with a couple of pressing cloths around here in an attempt to avoid that. I'm also going to be making my first attempt at a Hong Kong seam finish, because the edges of the fabric are fraying badly and I know it won't hold up to a serger. So this project is just a ginormous learning experience, isn't it? I just hope it looks good at the end!!