At this point I’ve completed all the chocolate work that can be done in advance, so I’ve gone back to work on Autumn Splendor. Here is a screenshot of my latest opus, in Adobe Illustrator (you’ll need to click through to the larger version):
In this version I have made quite a few changes: adjusted the center front and center back curves, adjusted the side panel to be less visible, and separated the undercollar from the main body of the garment. Quite a bit of pattern surgery!
I’ve snapshotted the entire window so you can see how I’ve set it up in Illustrator. I have each section on a separate layer (actually a set of layers); by turning visibility of a layer on and off, I can switch between viewing the left front, the right front, the left front facing, the right front facing, right back, and left back – swapping out the sections unique to each piece while leaving the lines they share in common.
Next step is to dye the fabric for the muslin. I’ve cut, washed, and dried 10 panels of white cotton flannel and (if chocolate allows) will dye them this weekend. I experimented with paint (on a suggestion from Bonnie Inouye) – but artists’ acrylics affect the “hand” of the fabric and I don’t have any fabric paint on hand, so I’m going to dye the flannel instead. (The other upside of dyeing is that I can do two or three panels at once, as long as I make sure the dye penetrates.) After that I can print out the patterns, and cut and sew the muslin. I’m guessing I can get the dyeing done this weekend (in between lots of chocolate work), but as Chocopalooza is next week, I probably won’t finish the muslin until after Thanksgiving.
Michelle asked what Autumn Splendor would look like as a floor-length duster. Alas, that is not an option. When I wove the fabric, I designed each panel with a calf-length coat in mind, and as a result, each panel is just long enough for a calf-length coat. (The color changes forced me to choose a specific length, as otherwise there would be too much gold or too much brown at the ends.) Making it floor length would require reknitting/dyeing/unraveling/weaving/dyeing the panels – best not to go there!