I’ve been working quite hard on the toile of the bodice of my wedding dress. The skirt has quite a ways to go but I’m ready to share my fitting process for the bodice. My design sketch is above but my full design post is Wedding Dress: Part 1 (planning)
I’m using McCalls 7124. I initially bought the pattern for the tiered skirt, however I’ve changed my design to be a long elegant tulle skirt. However, I still thought this pattern had a good base for my bodice, I knew there would be some fit issues as McCall’s typically doesn’t fit my well. Particularly in the boob area.
I started by tracing off the pattern in my standard McCall’s size with is a 10 in the bust, 12 in the waist, and 14 in the hips. This did result in the waistband being inverted from it’s original shape, but it worked well for me.
I should have wrote this as I was going as I’ve forgotten some of the changes, but I’ll try to show you everything I can. I wanted to start off as close as I could, so I made design changes before ever making a toile. The first was I wanted a low V, so I adjusted the CF which you can see in the photo. I also lowered the back so it would be mostly backless, meeting at the zip.
When I sewed up this version, it wasn’t too bad. The V was much bigger than I’d like, so I knew I had to cut it closer and use a smaller seam allowance at the V. I struggled with knowing how to adjust it as it didn’t have any boning or interfacing so it was hard for it to hold itself up with no back. You can sort of see the pin on the side seam I added. I did know I needed to take out a little at the top of the side seam.
I also worked on the Overlay at the same time. It took me a little bit to wrap my head around it. At first I thought I would just cut out overlay pieces in the bodice as well and follow the pattern to get the sequins all over, but the deep V made that difficult and I didn’t want the princess seams to stand out. I really wanted the overlay to go over the bodice, like the David’s Bridal dress I liked. So what I did was overlap all the pieces to create the overlay after making my initial design changes. I wanted a cap sleeve, rather than a tank top looks, so I borrow my Anna dress from By Hand London, to see the shape of the sleeve. I moved the start of the sleeve over, adjusting the back piece as well.
Overlapping this way created a huge dart. So I knew it wasn’t going to work but I did think sewing it up would help me know how to change it.
The dart didn’t even line up in the right spot with my bust. So much extra room. I thought I might need a small bust adjustment but I needed to change that dart around. So I just googled how to move a dart from the waist to bust. I didn’t want to move the whole thing but just a small part. There are 3 main lines you need to move the dart, which I put in the pic below. I moved the dart as well to match my bust. Then I squished out the bust dart in pattern form. You can also see in the photo below that I did make a small bust adjustment.
I pinned this tissue to my dress form and could tell it would put me a lot closer, so I then sewed it up with a lot of success. I adjusted the neckline a bit, making it a bit lower and bringing the neckline in a tad so it wouldn’t fall off my shoulders. The waist darts needed to be a smidge bigger as the length was too long for the waistband.
The back of the overlay comes down into a triangle.
Sorry to jump around but I wanted to follow my process. At this point I tried the bodice piece on again and this time I could clearly see it needed a small bust adjustment, the length was too long. I followed the same By Hand London tutorial I used in my jumpsuit
I feel pretty good about the fit of the pieces, my fabric is here. I’m ready to cut and make the bodice. You’ll have to wait for that reveal. I know I missed some changes to the patterns, if you are interested in each mock up and the changes, you can go through my highlight reel on my instagram, I saved the bodice testing there.