Monday, August 18, 2014

Comparing Muslins

This post - hopefully - illustrates that just because you have enough fabric to go around doesn't mean you have enough fabric in the correct place. Unfortunately, the two muslins were sewn from the same fabric so they look very similar. The first two pictures are of muslin one and the second two pictures are of muslin two. We're comparing muslins.

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


  1. This is such an interesting design. I've been fascinated by this dress. All the adjustments you are making look great. It's going to be a unique and flattering look for you.

    When I first saw your post in my blog reader, I mis-read and placed an "m" where the "n" at the end of the word is. Took me aback for a moment because I didn't think you wrote those kind of posts. HA.

    1. Thanks. I think the dress will be fun to wear as well.

      LOL - no... I don't write those kinds of posts. Too funny.

  2. I appreciate your sharing the alterations you made! I will definitely make this dress in linen and it helps a lot to have you point out different issues with the pattern. It certainly gives me a better idea of how I may need to make adjustments. I love the dress. It's very chic on you. I look forward to seeing the finished product.

    1. Thank you. I'm glad you found the posting helpful. That's what I'd hoped for. I'm debating some kind of shrug to go with the dress for cooler days. Something in a fun style-wise as well.

  3. Aren't muslins just marvelous for showing up crap you would rather not have hanging on your body? I love making them and slashing them and pinning out all the it! Just starting to follow you to see where this dress takes you...great job!

    1. Muslins are marvelous. I'm highly in favour of them. They're quick, informative, and save a lot of time and fabric.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.