Monday, 8 November 2010

The never-ending muslin

I bought some material some time ago from a shop in Timaru that has now closed down. I got it in the shop's final days of trading and got nearly 3 metres of fabric, 8 buttons, lots of thread, a Vogue shirtdress pattern (NZ$1!) and a remnant of a navy and white polka dot fabric, for less than NZ$20:

I had fully intended to make the Vogue pattern, but only a few days later I came across the HotPatterns website and fell in love with the Metropolitan Urbanista Coatdress. Having not made dress for years I thought that I would make a muslin, having read about them a lot recently (on the Cupcake Goddess, Sewaholic and Gertie's blogs). I had bought a couple of sheets from a charity shop, which I thought would be ideal.

The HotPatterns pattern pieces are printed on a very stiff paper, so doing a tissue fit would be quite tricky. I enlisted Husband to take my measurements, and these indicated that if there was such a thing, I would be a size 11. I traced off the size 12 with the thought that I would take it in if necessary.

I then very carefully cut out the pattern pieces from the fabric (I have been known to be a bit slapdash in the past) and started to piece it all together.
Even trying this on over my clothes (to avoid constant stripping of in the front room) I could see that this was too big. Just to make sure, I tried it on properly:
and a close-up:
At this stage I took in the seams where the side joined the front and the back, which looked better, but then I realised that I would need to change the sleeves too. I found a very detailed review of the pattern on PatternReview and having clicked through to her blog, got some advice from Michelle at Cheap and Picky. Following her advice I made the pleats bigger which seemed to help. I also got some similar advice from Sunni at Cupcake Goddess.

Having adjusted the seams on the body, the pleats, and the under arm seams on the sleeve I think the dress is still slightly too big and that the shoulder seam is sitting too low.

This last picture is oddly angled to try and show the shoulders being too low. I did put pins in where I thought the shoulders seams should be, but they haven't shown up in the photo. I'm not actually sure if the style of dress is really me.

Having worked this out, I gave up in a bit of a grump. Having taken a step back and thought about it some more, I think I might need to adjust the centre back seam to see if that helps with the shoulder. I haven't done any sewing on this for a couple of weeks now and I'm a bit nervous about starting it again, so I have been doing other things.....

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, interestingly, the illustration on the pattern cover looks as if the dress has princess seams, which don't show up very well in your dress. The contrast stitching here helps add visual shape to the dress; maybe when you have done your topstitching the dress will appear more shapely too. I agree that you need to take in the side seams more, and from below the waist as well... maybe the 11 was the right size! and yours appear a lot more A-line than the pattern illustration, which looks quite straight.
    I also think the shoulder seam looks fine and doesn't need adjusting.
    Don't give up! I think it's going to be great when you've finished it! It's tough when you've started to lose enthusiasm for a project to pick it up and keep going, but I'm sure it will be worth it.
    Oh, and thanks for your comment on my blog!