Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Vogue 1175, the Donna Karan Dress


This project has begun and I am having a quandary over fitting the bust. But first, Let's take a close look at this pattern. 

The upper bodice is basically shapes meeting in a point in the back and in the front being separated by a center panel of fabric. There are two "cleavage" pleats at center front between the left and right bodices. That is  it for fitting the bust. If you look at the model on the right, there is gaping in her armpit. I am thinking that is because she even needs an FBA.  So I made a muslin. The muslin does not have that large pleated area of fabric between the two back bodice pieces. I was pinned that together so I could get it off and on. The rest of the muslin, other than the bodice pieces, are short versions because I knew the bottom skirt would fit. It is the bust I am worried about.

You can see this is very low cut, enough to show a bra band. Every version I saw on the web was worn with a cami or tee underneath and that is my plan as well. It really should be called the Donna Karan jumper. The armscye is cut VERY low as well. So a jumper it is.

This is pinned shut in the back. The neckline and armhole seam allowances are cut off. I am debating adding more height to the neckline but as I think it will always be a jumper I may just keep it the way it is. So far so good, right?


Here's the problem: I need more room in the bust. It looks fine in the front but that is because it won't pin shut in the back. I need additional fabric width directly across the fullest part of the bust, which lines up with those sharp corners.

But I need that extra in the front for my boobs. On me, with the bodice pinned shut, I have pulling where you see the red lines in the side view. 

So what I have done so far is pivot and slide out the front and back bodices to provide me with another inch all around. That should be enough to relieve the pulls as it has on Ms. Dumdum. BUT, there is another option, that seams foolproof and easier. I could simply widen the triangular piece of fabric connecting the two bodice fronts at the cleavage. Here's where you come in dear readers. Do you think if I simply add to the center front panel it will disturb the design too much and have an odd "widening" effect on my bust? Or do you think I should go with my Pivot and slide FBA which will add the needed  width at the underarm without affecting the design? What would you do or suggest? 

I hope to make some major headway on this on the weekend and look forward to your responses before I cut. From what I have read it goes together pretty quickly. The fabric is a cross dyed linen that looks like a denim color, really nice....Thanks in advance for any opinions.....Bunny

19 comments:

  1. Intriguing question. I'm not a fit expert and others will certainly have more knowledgeable answers, but I think that if you widen the center panel it would distort the design as you will also have to widen the horizontal line at the top. Your method looks better to me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It seems that adding width to the front panel would make you look wider....the back appears to have a very wide v, which I think adds width.....could you add an additional inch or so to the back along the v edge, making the back v narrower?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was also something I was thinking of. It may come down to a little bit here and there. Thanks Magpie.

      Delete
  3. Could you add a tad of width to both front and back at just the side? I think making that center front wider will widen too much across the front, and I don't think you'll be happy with it even with a cami underneath. I'd opt for your pivot and slide over the widening at the front center.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's basically what the pivot and slide does. Thanks for your input, Angela.

      Delete
  4. If you add to the underarms, you will have to also do that to the triangle that it joins to them but if the front horizontal darts sit well on your bust and they don't need any work then the underarm is the only place. If your stripes are really indicating the grain lines then all your pieces so far are bias...what a nightmare! Was your pattern mulit-sized..if so can you check and see what the grading lines are like for the next 2 sizes in the bust? Maybe you could use those and grade down to the waist so the lower triangle would meet and seam ok. If it were mine, I'd be tempted (like always) to slash along a stripe, where the neckline wrinkles are down to the next seam at the triangle and just see what happens and patch some gingham behind and pin it flat...you never know what will work the best with the least amount of future messing. Most patterns show when we get in there and do things but this pattern looks like it pretty much wouldn't matter because once the upper part is fitted the rest just goes nuts and spreads out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it does.
      That's a great idea, Jo. I hadn't thought of slashing and spreading. I think that may be the answer. I do have some fudge factor in the skirt with all the pleats in back. As you can see in the left front neckline, it is bias all the way. The center front fold looks to be the only thing on straight of grain. This is going to be fun!

      Delete
    2. Adding that the muslin front bodice looks really good. The ripples are in the back right in line with the apex horizon.

      Delete
    3. Could be you have to slash both front and back or just widen center back since there are no boobs back there. Can't imagine wearing or sewing up an all bias dress but the fitting would also depend on the stretch on the bias for every fabric...tricky stuff! May have to stabilize the seams?

      Delete
    4. I may even do a fusible tricot underlining in the bodice area, at least I am thinking about it. The pleats in the center front look good and seem to be enough to do the job. I feel some slashing and spreading coming on. Thanks so much for your imput, Jo.

      Delete
  5. Have I mentioned there will be no length adjustment? I think that will work out alright as I don't have the models leg length to show off. :(

    ReplyDelete
  6. I bought this pattern to read, and think the bodice center piece is already too wide. As it is, you're going to have the 'jumper' drifting forward to make room. If you add in the back, this will get worse. I think you have to add to the sides. I vote with Mrs Mole, to piece along the stripes to the back. The back piece looks like it's a little long on the end already. You'd be making the side top edge (bottom of armsceye) look like the front join, which would be a decent design echo (and not look like a mistake).

    Thanks for taking the bullet on this dress. I still don't know if I'll do more than make a muslin of it this summer, but I will take a crack at it after reading this.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would do a FBA. I wouldn't want to widen the front and distort the way the dress looks.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi, Bunny! I'm looking forward to seeing the process as you work through this dress. I made it up a couple of years ago, raising the CF and doing a rather significant FBA. You can see some of the details
    here and on my flickr stream
    here . I didn't own a dress form at the time, so did the alterations painstakingly with pins in front of a mirror! It's a great dress, and if you can get it to fit the way you like so a cami is unnecessary, it will definitely be a statement piece.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is so helpful. You did a great job with the fit. How tall are you? Did you shorten the skirt at all?

      Delete
  9. It looks like the garment fits properly on top of the shoulders. If you widen the front piece, I think it would be falling off your shoulders.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love where this dress is going. The striped fabric highlights the design lines very effectively.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Unfortunately, this is not the fashion fabric I will be using. It was only to work out the bodice. I do agree. It would have made a really cute dress but there just wasn't enough in the stash.

    ReplyDelete

Engaging commentary: