Yes, I know I already made a dress for my graduation, but as much as I think it is ok I'm just not loving it. I just picked up some beautiful cotton weave fabric with 3% spandex that I was itching to get sewing on. The fabric was not cheap at $27 a meter (although I did get it on sale for half price and then paid for that with a gift certificate so I guess it was free lol) but in the end I have a dress that I love for much less than I would have paid for a ready-to-wear version. I think the biggest disappointment with the previous dress is that I had bought a woven suiting fabric with 3% spandex and then lined it with a woven rayon lining - zero stretch. I should have used a knit lining. So Grad Dress 2.0 didn't get lined at all. I didn't have a lot of time and I will just wear a slip with it.
It's amazing how using a pattern for the second time can be so much better. I guess that's the reasoning behind making a muslin first. The pattern is already fitted and I was able to focus on technique. This cotton fabric was a dream to sew on with Phebes. In fact it was a dream to work with period. Pressing, making the bias tape, hemming, it all went like butter. This could be because this cotton has some body or structure to it; more than the suiting I used for the first dress. Since it isn't lined I serged all my raw edges. I'm really happy with the fit of the back.
The other difference is I had previously misunderstood the pattern for how to apply the bindings around the neck and armholes. The first time around I attached the bindings to the "right" side of the dress, then stitched-in-the-ditch to finish it, just because that is how I had originally learned to apply a binding. This time I followed the instructions that actually have you do it the other way around - sew it to the inside, then top-stitch it on the good side.
Another change I made this time is to use my bias tape maker to fold and press the bindings. I think I ended up with a much more professional result. I am especially happy with the back neckline compared to the wonky finish I got on Version 1.0.
And here's the money shot. It really is when you think of what that piece of paper cost! lol And it only took me 7 1/2 years to get it. Or 52 years, depending on your perspective. Have I mentioned how glad I am that it's over? And Holley put her seal of approval on it :)