With the bodice, the back shoulder width was equal to mine but the front shoulder width was much wider. That extra fabric was between the bust points. In the picture above, I've pinned the extra amount into a tuck at center front and ended up cutting off 3/4" along the fold or 1 1/4" in total from between bust points.
On the pattern envelope, you can see the gaping at center front on the modeled image. See how the points of the skirt swing forward. The seam that forms those points is the side seam which means that as the skirt points swing forward, they pull the back tighter placing most of the hip ease to the front of the garment. If your back hip is wider than your front hip like mine is, and depending on how tight the muslin is pulling, you might consider a larger pattern size for the back hip.
It's hard too see in this picture with the tuck pinned but the bust is pulling up. See how the swing of the points comes from my underarm? Even though I eliminated the excess at center front, I still needed a full bust adjustment to give the extra length and width where I needed it below the bust point. That would settle the garment back down where it was intended to be and eliminate some of that swing. In the picture above you can see the back tucks that are sewn to the outside.
This is the second muslin. The gaping has been eliminated and I'm holding the tuck forward to the front where it will sit. The bodice looks much better. I removed 2 1/2" in length and there is still a 3/4" hem to be turned so I think the length should be fine in the front. In the back (below) it still looks quite long. Luckily, I can make a deeper hem though so I'm not too worried about that.
In this side view, the skirt points are still swinging forward but not nearly as much due to the full bust adjustment. Less swing also lessened the pull across the back hip. In this image, the back tucks aren't sewn. I disliked the way they stuck out. On the "real" dress, I'll sew a traditional dart to the inside that will be smooth and less visible. Smooth to me is much better than sticky-outy.
I want a cheerful dress so I went with the purple and black stripe knit. Because of the stretch factor, this may require some minor adjustments to the side seam at the bodice level for less ease but everything else should work well. I'll baste that seam first and see what I think. I may even be able to ease in the dart instead of stitching it. I'll try a sample first.
With the muslins, I didn't like the way the front tucks were sewn but for different reasons than the back tucks. There are two tucks to the outside with a button hole placed below them. I'm not sure why the button hole wasn't in the tucks. The dress on the pattern envelope uses cord with a decorative cord stopper to pull the tucks toward each other but not touching. I'm not likely to be able to purchase something decorative locally so I'm debating other options... perhaps two buttons... or a tie or...
Today is quite busy. Hopefully there will be time to start sewing this evening. The pieces are cut out and ready to go and there are only two seams so that does make things faster.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - learning through muslins
I refuse to worry about anything. I have complete confidence that the God who is always with me is able and willing to direct everything I do, to lead me into the pathway of peace and happiness.
- Ernest Holmes