Monday 10 January 2011

Wadder or Muslin? Badgley Mishmash!

I'm sorry to report that so far, I'm not enthusiastic about the Badgley Mischka dress I'd planned for my first 2011 project. The fabric that seemed so interesting in a Chanel kind of way, black roses on poly chiffon, looks more like a cheap bathroom rug from a distance. With very narrow shoulders, I perhaps shouldn't have chosen this style. It features a V-neck in front and a V-back, and I think you need the shoulders of Charlene Wittstock
 (the future Princess of Monaco and a former swimming champion built like a linebacker) to hold up this design. Frankly, can any dress have a V in both front and back and stay on? Although I used a size eight for the neck, (I'm usually a 12) it was still way too wide and low and required a "dirty fix" of a centre dart immediately:
And of course, that killed a lot of my excitement about the project, especially when it had to be done at the back as well, (the thing was still just falling off...)
Having finally got the neckline to a manageable position, of course my beautiful bound buttonholes for the inserted belt were now higher than my waist, but not a convincing "empire" height. A lose-lose that I didn't see coming.

The chalk markings for the side seams had by now disappeared and were completely irrelevant as the hang of the garment was adusted, so I tried basting new side seams but couldn't get the thing on. Finally, I decided to forget Vogue's markings altogether and have now stitched up one side (windowside in the photo above) to see if this style works at all.

I'm beginning to think it looks like a bat costume. I have to decide whether to go ahead and finish the ensemble by cutting the very expensive black silk charmeuse I invested in for the underdress or whether to just bin this number.


  1. ADORE the fabric!!!!!!
    Don't give up. This fabric is talking to me!!!!!!!

  2. Lovely fabric, I agree. I'm wondering if it's right for this particular pattern though. I think it's the neckline that's bothering me - maybe the fabric would look better with a boat neck? Not that that is something that's easy to try out, unfortunately. I'd sleep on it before cutting the charmeuse. I hope you find a way to make it work.

  3. I really think this is a worthwhile project. First I adore that fabric, so I think you did the right thing in getting it. Second, you're right, something with V in front and back requires glue, skin tape and a bunch of other machinations that are just too much for me. Usually when you see this on stage/screen/runway, there are some support things going on that you can't see that make this work.

    I'm not sure there's a fix here, except there are some great lessons. I think V necks are the hardest of all necklines to wear. You really have to have almost perfect proportions, and I'm talking about waist/bust/neck/shoulder proportions which has everything to do with genetics and nothing to do with weight. I love a bateau or boat neckline, or a gentle jewel neckline for something classic, and if you feel its' too boring, then add a trim or piping to it.

    This is also a hard design to wear cause it has no real waist line delineation, and always looks "baggy" with too much fabric around the waist. That's just the design of the top. So it has to be worn with really tight or really fitted bottom to make it work.

    But don't despair. You've learned a lot in the process, and remember it and you'll be fine.

  4. I love the look of your fabric! I think once you get the neckline finish on, the bias edges won't stretch out as much. How is the neckline finished - is it bound or faced?

  5. Hi, Sherry, the neckline is now bound, but I turned the binding entirely to the inside, rather than use it as visible binding, and finished by hand. Now I need to cut the belt and give it an airing over slim trousers to see if its worth going on with the dress. I'm thinking that the dress itself might turn out to be the winner, especially under a silk overshirt or other sheer fabric top so the black charmeuse won't go to waste. i've got to get going on the Vintage Project for JoanneM.
    Thanks for commenting!