I was super lucky in finding a great deal on polyester shantung at Hancock fabrics right when I finished the second muslin of the dress. The only problem was that I could only find 4 yards of buttercream and 4 yards of silver grey on the clearance table. For one crazy moment, I actually considered just buying the buttercream and seeing if I could squeeze the dress onto it. Actually, except for the side and back skirt panels, that might have worked. Anyway, the resulting dress is a bit of a mish-mash of colors, but I kind of dig it. Maybe someday I'll make a gown based on this same pattern and have the back drape be a contrast color.
Anyway, here's the shantung muslin:
This is just the dress layer without the pleating, obviously. You can see the grey fabric peeking out the back. Here's a full length shot of the back (in plain muslin) so you can see the pleating as it comes to a point.
I didn't have nearly enough of the buttercream shantung to do the back and side pleated skirt panels, so I ended up doing those in grey instead:
It took freaking forever to get all those pleats exactly how I wanted them. I think I mocked up the pleated skirt panels at least 4 times, so we're talking about a serious amount of muslin (even though I reused where possible). I didn't want the entire seam line to have pleats, so I spaced them out. There are 7 total–5 on the side panel and 2 in the back. I especially like that the seam that connects the side and back skirt panels is hidden by the fold–you can't see it at all given the way the skirt falls and it will be especially invisible once it is all done in the white silk shantung.
Whew! This muslin is almost done. I need to add in the split bodice and the front pleating, and then I have to figure what on earth to do with the back of the dress. More pleating, probably!