If I have to make a dress out of crappy fabric, I'm going to make the dress I want to make and not use the pattern that the designer picked out. Yes, it's probably harder than just following the pattern instructions, but isn't the fun of sewing in the challenge?
The other night, prior to ranting here, I traced off a BWOF strapless bodice and pinned it together. Last night, my friend came over to watch Project Runway, and I pinned her into it. With only minor tweaking, it fit well enough that I felt comfortable going forward - and she felt comfortable with the idea of using this design instead of that McCall's pattern, which just doesn't look stable enough for a 2 hour performance.
I also felt better when she saw the dress fabrics on my table and wrinkled her nose. Her question was, "Can you use the nice blue fabric on the outside and line the dress with the satin?" That might be taking doing it my way a little far, but I would prefer it - at least for the color. That ice blue is really dreary.
After she left, I took the pinned bodice pieces apart and made the changes. Obviously I needed some kind of stiffening for the bodice, but (a) the designer didn't provide me with any interfacing and I'm running low, and (b) it needed way more than interfacing. I rummaged in the scrap bin and came up with a half yard of denim and traced around my pattern pieces onto that. With the dark side facing in so the color doesn't show through, I can sew the boning to the inside to add structure, and build the satin bodice and lay it right over this inner construction.
I sewed it all together, pressed it, and added a temporary side zipper. Once I get the satin on the outside and hang a skirt off the whole assembly, I'll add an invisible zip, but for now I just wanted to see the shape.
She's coming over again tomorrow to check the fit of the denim, and I'll either tweak it again or just start building the satin on top of it. Making it look better - and hopefully more like the original design - will come later. Right now, I'm concentrating on fit and keeping the dress up.