To create the back I completely put aside the instructions that came with the Simplicity pattern, and used Koshka's the Cat's excellent tutorial on making an 'en fourreau' gown.
The beauty of this technique is you make up the bodice lining first and then you pleat your fabric down to fit it. This is best demonstrated through the centre back.
Top photos show the made-up back lining (folded in half) as a guide to cut out extra fabric at sides and centre back, which is then pleated down to fit the lining - next photo shows the centre back is now pleated down and pinned to the lining underneath.
This is the first time I've tried draping external fabric to fit an internal shell and it worked very well, I'll certainly be doing this again.
A second technique (new to me) was making rouleau loops - which are tubes of bias fabric sewn to create loops - to lace up the front of the bodice. See below:
|adding rouleau loops to the front bodice for the central lacing|
No cat-on-fabric photo today, but here's my dog helping out in her own way.
For anyone else tackling an Marie Antionette (ish) dress, please check out my collection of tutorials on Pinterest.