I intended to put down the Van Noten dress for the evening, but here it is 12:55 am Alaska time and I'm still trying to smack the dowdy out of it! I figured out what was bugging me about the sleeves. The lines and proportions just weren't right. But I've got it looking more like my inspiration pic now. Here's what I did...
Took 2 inches off the length of the upper sleeve piece (black dot)
Altered the fullness of the bottom sleeve portion (lavender floral). I placed the ruler at the upper edge where the bottom sleeve would join to the upper sleeve and then angled it so that I tapered off 1.5 inches of fullness from the hem edge. Rotary cut that baby.
I then put the sleeve pieces together, basted their side seams and basted it into the armscye. The sleeve silhouette was now correct, but something still looked dowdy when I slipped the garment on. I finally figured out it was the shoulder line that was throwing things off. It was sitting ever so slightly off my shoulder. Only about 1/2 inch, but enough to give it that droopy shoulder line that made the whole thing look matronly. So I shaved off a 1/2 inch from the shoulder line and slipped the dress back on. MUCH better. However, I noticed that the bodice of the dress felt like it was pulling towards the back. The back of the dress is significantly heavier because of interfaced facings on both center back edges to accommodate buttons and buttonholes. However, I didn't think that could account for the way the bodice was looking weighted towards the back. It finally dawned on me to checked the shoulder seam placement and sure enough, it does not fall at the height of my shoulders. The shoulder seam sits a good 3/4 of an inch off my shoulder towards the back. There isn't really much I can do about that at this point as the bodice is already lined and facings set. :( :( I've made a note for the next time I opt for this OOP Vogue that I used for the dress bodice. If this was a fine fabric purchased just for this project, I would pull it all apart and reshape that shoulder seam. But this was an impulse project after falling in love with a magazine photo. The fabrics are "make do" pulled from my stash. This is, afterall, the year of the Fabric Fast.
So...the evening's Dowdy Smackdown is over. I am heading off for a bubble bath. Tomorrow, I will finish and reset the sleeves. All that will then be left is hem, buttons and buttonholes.
Anyone have a hint they want to send me for making buttonholes in satin????? :( :(