So, I met with Mily (the seamstress) yesterday, and she’s exactly what I’d been looking for! She works for a couture house in San Francisco, and is expert in pattern drafting as well as sewing. She and I talked over my planned dress, and we decided to make some changes:
Instead of having the two-piece, long-sleeved dress with overskirt, we’re going with a one-piece, scoop-neck, short-sleeved dress. (It remains off-the-shoulder.) The princess seams will start at the shoulder (instead of the underarm) and sweep down the length of the dress. The lace scallops would be used to trim the neckline and possibly the sleeves, with some of the lace motifs on the center of the bodice (down to the waist) and additional ones on the skirt. (Mily suggests placing them asymmetrically at the hip and towards the bottom of the garment, but I’m not sure how I feel about that yet.)
Also, instead of a fuller garment, Mily suggested making the dress an A-line.
Finally, she suggested a more prominent closure for the coat, but I don’t know how I feel about that – it would provide a visual focus, but would also interrupt the fall of the collar/opening, and possibly clash with the double-happiness ribbon that also goes along the edge.
And, the reasoning behind the changes:
- The long sleeves on the dress would be very hard to fit under the coat without wrinkling. We can make the sleeves just long enough to camouflage the tan lines.
- The two piece dress would make me look shorter than a single dress with no waistline seam; the princess lines would fall straight from the shoulder to the floor.
- Poofy/full skirts would make me look shorter than an A-line dress. (Which, gentle reader, you may recall from the coat muslins. And I should have remembered that too.)
Mily also suggested a sweetheart neckline, but I vetoed it on the grounds that the little point at the bottom of the sweetheart neckline would look strange under the coat, if it got the least bit off-center.
Overall I like this design a lot better than the one I was using before – I think she’s got it dead on. The only thing I’m not sure about is the lace edging at the bodice – from a pure dress design standpoint I think it’s great, but it might interfere with the look under the coat. But I figure that’s easily tested once I have the dress and coat almost done.
Mily was very interested in my Bridal Couture book, and said she could teach me out of the book once she’d read it, so I left it with her. Tomorrow I’m going back up there, patterns in hand, and she’s going to help me modify/adjust them to fit. But I need to get some pattern paper first, which I’ll do in the city today.
She also said she could teach me flat pattern drafting, but that will have to wait until I’m employed again.
I’m really excited! This is a priceless opportunity to study with someone who knows couture.