Bad Dress or Detailed Muslin?
Okay, I seem to be psychologically incapable of making a muslin. I have thought and talked about this to no end. I still can’t decide what it is stopping me. Impatience? Perfectionism? A stubborn streak? Who knows. I have a vague, woolly notion:
1. I can’t bear the idea of sewing ‘academically’. Spending hours making something that serves no purpose other than to make me THINK about a dress. I want to wear one! I know, I know the point of a muslin is to make you think about your dressmaking, but I seem to rail against this with almost every fibre of my being.
2. I don’t want to make something that’s basted, cut up, pencilled on. A mess. I want nice, neat stitches.
My boyfriend had to virtually yell at me every step of the way on this make. ‘Stop thinking you’re going to wear it. You’re not!’ That seemed to work. To know from the beginning that I couldn’t squeeze a wearable outfit out of this. And I most definitely can’t, but I have learned a lot. What have I learned?
Cutting the fabric on my living room floor isn’t going to cut it. (Forgive the pun.) Each piece of this simple dress needs to go together with extreme accuracy. I know this because my back panels are currently out by a centimetre. Disaster in a dress like this. Does this mean investing in a self healing mat and rotary cutter? Is that the best option for accuracy? Opinions, please!
I did it! I inserted a full lining! I am EVER so proud of myself:
Very poor photo!
The version you see here hasn’t been hemmed, but I don’t want it going any shorter than mid-knee. So I need to add an inch or so to the length.
Don’t have fun with your zips!
On this make I thought I’d insert one of those groovy metal zips. Hmmmm. I won’t be doing that again. Metal zips are heavy and drag your dress down.
It’s not fitting properly
Ah, the biggie. I’d love opinions on this. The dress is bunching around my middle:
As you can see, my decision to make this dress in navy blue really helps us all spot what the issues are. Not! I apologise. (If you click on the individual photos, they will go bigger.)
Part of the problem may be that this dress is drafted so that the bottom is a 16 and the top is a 14. That middle section is cut into a 14. It may also be that the skirt section is a tad too small at present. If I suck my tummy in this happens:
Falling back in place
Actually, even as I type this understanding is taking shape . In order to make the skirt (cut 16) ease into the waistband (cut 14) I did a fairly unsophisticated slicing in at both sides of the skirt. Perhaps I should be doing something a bit better than that. Adjustment of the darts and gentler decrease at the sides? That way it may sit over my tummy better.
What do you think to the armhole above. Too gappy? I do have issues with a narrow upper chest…
Here’s a rear shot of the waistband bunching and the metal zipper. Can I just say, though. Va, va, voom! This dress gives a great, curvy silhouette, doesn’t it?
It has to be a second muslin. No shadow of a doubt. Another dress that I will make with no intention of ever wearing. Are we crazy, or what?
Before I depart these shores, may I share with you a recent investment that has proved its usefulness time and time again:
Table top ironing board
I have a really nice, large ironing board that I normally use. But every time I heave it out for another sewing session it feels as though my kitchen is immediately turned into an obstacle course, I’ll heave it back at the end of a session, heave it back out… There’s a lot of heaving going on! But this little thing? There it sits, not bothering anyone, minding its own business on the kitchen counter. I can wander over to press a small piece of a dress, wander back to my sewing machine. Compact, discreet, useful. (Though should a sometimes frustrated Sewist be that near a handy collection of knives?!)
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the V1183. I need all the help I can get! Thank you and happy Sundays, everyone. I’m off to IKEA now. Shudder…