Monday, February 25, 2013

Fixing the Lotto dress

You may remember this dress here. Based on Lorenzo Lotto's "Lucretia" I made it last winter.  There is so much about this dress that I love.  It is unusual and striking and the patchwork is rather amazing if I do say so myself.  I don't wear it often though.  I still don't even have a full picture with the sleeves.  I kept resisting the big glaring fact about it.  It just didn't fit well.  I wanted a higher neckline, but what I ended up with was monoboob and a bodice that projected away from the body. 

I was stubborn about it.  Some people even tried to tell me what the issue was, but (due to some other circumstances and the accompanying frustration) I wasn't willing to listen to the advice.  Besides that, if I trimmed the neckline I'd lose some of the beautifully aligned patchwork stripes.  Not to mention the snipped bias trim I'd fretted over!  So, it sat in the closet.  I've worn it twice. 

It is a year later now, and the pretty colors and the snuggly warm flannel lining have convinced me I need to fix the problems so I can wear it to Coronation this weekend in Montana. So, I woke up this morning, threw the thing on (man, it is heavy with the fully lined skirt,) stood in front of the mirror, drew some lines, and took some scissors to the bodice.  I ended up cutting the front down about 3 inches.  THREE INCHES!  That's a rather big chunk. I have some nice cleavage now though and it instantly fixed the way the bodice sat on the body.  Not trying to fight my chest and giving it an escape route made everything happier.  I angled the cut back along the shoulder strap, slimming the straps by quite a bit.  The back was trimmed about an inch lower.  It is still rather high, but the straps sit comfortably, and I didn't see a reason to try to accomplish a lower, more accurate, back to the dress at this point and just mess things up.  Maintaining the integrity of the piecing was also a concern.

Now I just need to figure out if I'm going to try putting the snipped bias back or not.  I do have a yard or two leftover blue silk so that isn't a concern. The thing I'm most worried about is getting the finish right in front where the eyelets are.  There's not a great deal of space between eyelets, so the turn under is minimal and I can't do it how I'd prefer with the fashion fabric wrapping over and being stitched to the lining.  I'm actually wondering if I can do a thin bias binding and finish it all that way. I also need to decide if I'm going to rehem it, add a tuck above the hem, or try the bizarre fold over at the top from the portrait which is why the skirt is so long in the first place (well, chopines also figured in to the decision, but I never made a matching pair for this outfit.)

We leave Friday morning for Montana, and I have a Provincial banner to applique, birthday presents for my daughter who turns 9 on Sunday to make, and some cleaning and food prep to do before I take off for the weekend.  Guess I better get going.

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