Bodice: The bodice has princess seams, on which I did a princess SBA (I will get a tutorial up about this SBA soon). The princess bodice has a twist - the front, side front piece and front sleeve pieces intersect each other to form a point, which is an interesting feature. This feature does require some very precise sewing however, to ensure that the point forms properly and lies on the chest nicely. Thank goodness for the muslin I made - I really helped to work out the kinks, so sewing of the bodice of this SWAP dress was a breeze.
Recall that the bodice fabric is a beaded and embroidered paisley printed silk. Silk...good, embroidery...good, paisley...good - beading...PITA! Anyone that has worked with beaded fabric knows that it can be a bit persnickety. Beaded fabric requires that all the beads be removed from the seamline, so that the needle will not hit them. It took me close to 1.5 hours simply to remove these beads, yet I still managed to break five needles on this project. I swear the beads grew back into place when I wasn't looking.
When the bodice was finally constructed and attached to the skirt, I realized that it wasn't quite right. The sewing looked great, but the bodice and the skirt fabrics were not as compatible colour-wise as they seemed in flat fabric form. The problem was that the skirt fabric is a dark, rich orange and most of the orange in the bodice was lighter in colour. The bodice, although covered in beads and embroidery seemed to fade into the background compared to the skirt. I mulled over what to do and finally, after rooting around in my notions stash, I found some lustrous dark orange embroidery yarn. I embroidered running stitches of this yarn around each of the paisley designs, which provided the dark orange accent the bodice needed.
The before and after shots of the bodice fabric can be seen above, with a close up of "extra embellished" fabric below.
After the invisible zipper was inserted, the bodice was lined with cotton batiste. I really like the batiste as lining for silk - it provides body to the silk, but keeps the garment cool and breathable.
Up Next: Skirt Construction and Project Photos