Saturday, June 23, 2012

This is why we make a muslin

According to my high bust measurement, I should be cutting a size 20 of  Simplicity 1880 Shirtdress.
Well, I know I've gained a few pounds, but ...
So, that's what I did. After making my horizontal bust dart adjustment, I cut the muslin according to the pattern sizing. And this is what I ended up with:

Clearly, this is too big. But clearly, the horizontal bust dart is doing just what I want it to do. So, I re-marked my pattern, grading from an 18 through the waist (oh, that middle aged spread!) to a 16 through the bust and 18 through the shoulders ( I have broad shoulders). 
I also added an inch to the bodice length. This pattern has a very short bodice.  And my results?

Better. Much Better. Now, I have no concerns about cutting out my fabric and proceeding!  
All of the muslin sewing and adjustments? Took me about 30 minutes, tops. 
And that, my friends,  is why we make a muslin.


  1. Amen, sister! It looks awesome. Time to cut!

  2. Amen. Those pattern companies and their ease.. shits me to tears.

  3. Maybe it's just me, but it still looks as though you need to go a size smaller and do an FBA. It appears to be gaping at the back; pulling too tight across the bust, and then hanging down from the bust point.

    I say this from the point of view of someone who needs to learn to do an FBA and refuses to do so (because I'm lazy), but is fairly sure she knows when one is needed (and avoids lot of patterns because of it).

  4. The sizing of patterns is a little disconcerting, isn't it?
    I just cut out a skirt according to my measurements and then had to take it in to the next size down. That smaller size still made me feel like an amazon.
    I think I will go knit something.

  5. Thank you for sharing. The back looks really blousy. I bought this pattern and some wonderful fabric, now to muslin the day away. g

  6. Ready Thread Sew,
    I see what you mean as far as needing just a touch more room across the bustline. The back is meant to be blousier, with the gathers at the yoke and the waist pleating. I think I'll work on it a touch more! Thanks for your insight!

  7. GMarie,
    The back is has those waist pleats and gathering at the yoke. You could certainly eliminate those, and I may work on that just a bit. Also, my muslin had quite a lot of body to it. Remember also, until the whole dress is together with all of it's elements, you may see things on their own that will look entirely different when put together as a complete design.

  8. I hate muslins.
    Your pictures are pretty persuasive though!

  9. I love it. YOu are so smart. You don't look anything like a size 20! Im shocked

  10. Yes! Muslins are so helpful, and really don't take much time. I'd rather spend the time than regret the fabric waste.

  11. Years ago my mother told me that you need to cut a pattern size 2 sizes bigger than you wear in ready-to-wear. But the measurements will show a much bigger size than you really need. (All this only applies to American pattern companies, too.)

    For example, I was sewing for another woman, who told me she was size 6. Her measurements for the pattern size said 14; I cut a 10 and it fit perfectly. Once I cut myself a size 14 skirt pattern, complaining that it fit like a 10. Of course *then* I remembered what my mother had told me!

    Cutting a pattern size 20 is like a 16 ready-to-wear, and you don't look anything like a 16. :) I agree w/ ReadyThreadSew - and you - that FBA is the way to go, most likely.

    All that said - I hope it's helpful, and not annoying! I've just proved it too many times - I enjoy reading/seeing what you're sewing. I starting reading you when it was more about knitting, and stayed for the sewing! :)

  12. Mary, Muslins really are the best way to start a project, aren't they? But I have to admit, I still try to jump the gun on my projects from time to time. I think that comes from just being so familiar with the patterns, the process, etc. So much of it is intuitive for me.

  13. Deborah, I have heard that before, and it's been pretty consistent as far as sizing of patterns compared to what I would buy in RTW. I am so glad you have kept reading my blog! I still knit, in fact I just finished teaching a mitered square knitting class. I just love the whole process of knitting AND sewing! Or baking bread, or planting a garden, or painting a room....

  14. Much better! I think it will look so great in your fabric. I love that about making muslins too--they take so little time and effort and you can visibly see results. And it allows you to cut your fabric up with confidence because you've already dealt with the hard parts.

  15. Lynn, it sounds like we are kindred spirits! :)


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