So, last night I undertook to trace off the skirt bits of the dress pattern and attach them to the bodice pieces that I'd traced for fitting purposes.
And I discovered some thing...interesting. I've seen articles over and over about skirt gores...that, for the prettiest drape, the grainline should run down the center of the gore. Well, on this dress the grainline ran more or less parallel to one edge on each of the pieces. The fullness wasn't balanced. I thought about trying to correct it by just re-drawing the grainline, but that threw the grainline on the bodice pieces off so I decided to just let it go. I wondered if there was some purpose to the skirt gores being drafted off center of the grainline, but frankly couldn't think of one.
Then I measured my fabric and discovered that it's 6" narrower than I thought, and I lost a fuzz over a quarter yard in length when I pre-washed it. Given that it has a pronounced directional print that meant I had to cut everything oriented the same on the cross grain, I did a little trial laying-out on my cutting table mat and discovered that I was around 20" short of having enough fabric.
Gnashing of teeth ensued; I considered making another dress altogether; a sheath dress out of some pretty dogwood-floral-print cotton sateen but, when I pulled the fabric out, realized the black background wouldn't work. I pulled my Loes Hinse City Dress...a stick straight pattern that should fit on the fabric I have...and then had a thought. What if I just reduced the amount of flare on the gores? AND...that would allow me to balance the flare on the grainline.
So, after another round of pattern alterations I did another layout and, if the math works...I have 3" to spare. And then it was time to take a break and do the hand work on the altered bridesmaid's dress, so I can tackle cutting out my dress after I've had a bit of a sit-down.
I will be cutting that puppy out single layer, to move every piece as close as possible together, and crossing my fingers, because. there's no going back if it's wrong...although I may end up piecing a bit if I have to.
I think I can...I think I can... I think I can...
Such a mess...