This morning I got up early and rooted through the tutu bin, and tried on about six tutus with the coat. I felt like a total glamour girl – all I needed was a pair of cycling shorts and I would be FABULOUSLY on my way!
Right. (I blame it all on the tutu fumes.)
Anyway, my conclusion from all these trials is that the only thing that matters whatsoever about the dress is the neckline, since that’s the only thing visible under the coat. It shouldn’t have a super stiff and poky waistline, but other than that, it really doesn’t matter. Which is nice, because it gives me maximum design freedom.
I also realized that most off the shoulder designs won’t work, because the location of the tan lines is inconveniently at mid-bicep, meaning those dainty little sleeves won’t even come close to covering them. To make them long enough to cover tan lines would make them decidedly dowdy (I think), so what I really need is a strapless gown with sleeves that start near the upper bicep.
I dove into my Glamour Queen pattern box (I have one entire filebox FULL of tutu, I mean evening-wear, patterns) and came up with these three contenders:
I like the first best, but the sleeves wouldn’t work at all with the coat (those huge sleeves would never fit inside the coat sleeves), and I’m not sure how the sleeves would look at 3/4 elbow length. It’s also a fairly crisp design (calls for dupioni, peau de soie, and brocade), and I don’t know how well it would sew up with the much more fluid and drapey silk fabric I’m weaving. But I like it a lot, so I’m going to make up a muslin and hope it works out.
The second one is OK, but I’ve gone up a size or 2 since making up the pattern, and it’s now out of print. It’s a pretty standard style, though, so I could adapt it if necessary – though I’m not at all sure that the wide collar/drape would actually fit inside the coat. (I’d definitely have to ditch the roses.)
The third pattern I’m not super fond of, but could fall back to if neither of the first two patterns worked.
All three patterns have varying degrees of floof, but I think I could tone down the floofiness to produce something that would go well with the coat. I think. More muslins!
The final alternative is to use that simple scoop-necked dress I posted about a few days ago, but I dunno…I just FEEL more glamorous in an off the shoulder or strapless dress, so I’d rather do that if I can pull it off.