I started with a size 16 muslin - the largest size in the packet. The skirt would need no adjustment, as this is my usual skirt size and being 165cm tall, I'm about 'standard' height. My shoes only had small heels.
I knew the front of the bodice would need large adjustments. So I actually traced this onto paper first and made my usual adjustments before using muslin. My front adjustments included:
- adding an extra inch across the bust (nearer to the size 18 measurements);
- shifting the bust point up;
- adding a few inches in length, tapering from zero at the sides to about two inches in the middle;
- reducing width across the waist by tapering the princess seams (back down to about a size 14);
- adding extra fabric to the top, as this is quite low-cut by design.
I didn't have to adjust the front any further. I basted it to the back muslin, which required a lot of fiddling. I had the assistance of a sewing aunty for the pinning! My back is very narrow relative to the rest of me (closer to a size 10-12), so the size of all the pieces was reduced proportionately. It was also a little bit lower than the top of my underwear, so I raised the top slightly.
Then I chopped the muslin apart at the seams, and thread-traced it onto the silk. I cut it out with somewhat wider seam allowances in case the silk shifted or frayed.
The sewing instructions were unremarkable. Mostly, I just followed them without too much fuss. The vast majority of the dress had to be hand-basted, and a reasonable amount had to be hand-sewn. The skirt was largely machine-sewn, and I stretched the narrow double-folded hem slightly while sewing to enable the ripply effect that I like.
|Luckily the silk felt lovely on my hands, because there was *a lot* of handwork involved.|
|Ruching basted, ruching pinned.|
|Bodice front - done!|
I'll be sharing a post soon about our elopement... a lot of people I've talked to are curious about why we would do it, and what the benefits and pitfalls are. It won't be the easiest post to write, so it might be a while coming!