If there's one thing I've learned so far about making my own dress, it's that we were almost swallowed alive by the amount of muslin I used. Good grief. I've never bought muslin in the 108″ wide variety before, and after making three mock-ups of this dress, I hope I never have to by that much muslin again.
The first mock-up was kind of disastrous, looking back on it now. Mostly I was curious to see how difficult the pleating would really be in order to decide for real whether or not to buy the dress or make it myself. The pleating, as it turned out, was pretty easy, so I just decided to go for it. Honestly, the dress only has to last for about 8 hours. How bad could it be, right? Anyway, here's the first one.
Ha ha ha ha! Oh man. That pleating! I love how the top pleat is about two inches narrower than all the other ones. Oh well. I actually sent this picture to my mother in an attempt to convince her that making my dress was a great idea. She was awesomely supportive, but looking at this photo, I kind of wonder why.
So, basic changes. One of the first things I changed was the bodice itself. This is what the bodice looks like on the original:
As you can see, the pleats in the bodice are sewn down so that the bodice is quite flat. I ended up changing that by releasing the pleats and I think it is actually more flattering. I also ended up extending the pleating downwards. When I tried on the original, the pleating hit about an inch and a half above my belly button. I'm thin, but don't have a super flat belly, and this definitely showed in the dress. I lengthened the pleating downwards a few inches (it now hits right at my belly button) so that it produces a more flattering profile. The second mock-up was noticeably better, especially in terms of the pleating. The split in the bodice was still too wide, though, and the pleats in the bodice weren't quite deep enough for the released look I wanted. Still, not too bad: