I was pretty stressed out today, and didn’t get much done at work, but I think I’m getting over the shock. No matter how many times I get laid off, or how obviously it was coming, it’s still a tremendous life change, even if it’s a temporary one. It’s not as bad as it was the first (or second) time, but it is taking me some time to work through it.
So, after work, I dove straight into muslins to keep me busy:
I made quite a few changes from muslin #1 to muslin #2. It fits a LOT better now, though there is still some bits that need to be taken in near the waist. I changed the sleeve around completely, “borrowing” a sleeve from a different dress and then altering it ruthlessly until I got what I wanted. I changed the neckline to a round scoop neckline, which doesn’t work as well with the angular lines of the dress but which works much better with the coat. (The “V” neckline, unless you’ve got it smack dead center, looks off-kilter when viewed from under the coat.)
I think I will do one last muslin of the top after doing my final changes to the pattern, and will then move on to the skirt. I need to alter the waistband, add some more fullness (especially around the waist) so it drapes more gracefully, and try horsehair braid around the edges (as Kathy suggested) to give it a trifle more fullness. I have no idea if it will be appropriate, but I’ve never used horsehair braid before and want to see what effect it has.
I am now starting to think about the design and trims for the dress. I had wanted to make a center panel of white and gold Alencon lace, with a similar trim on the edges of the overskirt, and sleeves made entirely of Alencon lace (because it’s so beautiful). But I am increasingly thinking that this would be a mistake. Partly because the organic lines of the lace would clash with the angular lines of the bodice, but also because I want this dress to showcase the handwoven fabric, which is beautiful in its own right. If I use a lot of fancy lace, people will only look at that, and I might as well use a machine-woven fabric.
Instead, I am thinking of using gold lace trim to ornament the seams of the bodice, and using a wide ribbon of gold lace down the front edges of the overskirt and around the hem. The center panel of the bodice would either have a tiny bit of lace, or else be embellished (by hand, of course) with embroidery and beads. (Gold beads, freshwater pearls, and crystals.)
Mike’s mom is in town this weekend, and was kind enough to send me a gift certificate to Britex Fabrics for my birthday, so I’ll probably make a pilgrimage there with her over the weekend, and see what turns up!