Thursday, 29 August 2013

Muslin fitting, #1

So I've just spent my afternoon with my bodice muslin. I sewed it up yesterday, and was just able to briefly put it on before I left for work. Today I got a better feel for it, and I must say it needs some work.
Here is what it looked like, right off the bat (please pardon the tragic sweatpants):

For starters, that neckline is tight! I could hardly pin it together without gagging. Some of this, however would be due to the fact that I didn't clip the seam allowance and turn it in. This would have given a more true picture of it, because looking at the seam line there, it looks kind of ok (placement wise). Maybe a bit high in front, though. The 29" waist of the bodice is properly mocking my 30" (firmly controlled) waist here, and is too tight. The darts up front seems to go too high up, but I don't really know if they are supposed to hit the apex of the bust, or not.

To fix the waist issue, I first tried letting the side seams out by half of the allowance. That should give nearly 3 cm extra (1.1inches), but once I had made the correction the whole thing went kind of baggy on me.

There is rather a lot of extra fabric pooling on the sides there, and I kind of get the urge to add a small dart on the side seam towards the bust. Looking at it again, those front darts are just too high.
I also wonder if the back is slightly long, but again, I may be fooled by the seam allowance not being turned in. The front actually looks a little short..

All in all, I think it looks good with the yoke and all, and the changes I need to make looks to be small tweaks. I have decided to make a new muslin (with sleeves) and add the extra inch to the mid front and back, instead of letting out the sides. Seeing where the seams of the sleeves will sit, I fear that it will be a tad tight across the back. So I need to try it with the sleeves attached. I will also try to add a bust dart to take up some of that extra on the sides there.

I am really enjoying this muslin business! It is way better to see possibilities in a mock-up, than loose complete faith in a garment went wrong.

And as always, tips and pointers, comments and constructive criticism  are highly welcome :)

Wishing you all a splendid weekend!


  1. Hi Siri!
    Thanks for visiting my blog! :) Your muslin looks good. I have a hard time making muslins because I always just want to get right into it. With the FFC though, I wanted to do things the right way, so I made a muslin. I can't wait to how your dress turns out! :)


    1. So nice of you to stop by :) We are definetly on the same page muslin wise, but it is very helpful now that I am actually doing one! Thanks for commenting :)

  2. Hi Siri,

    It doesn't look too bad for a first fit! Looking at some of the drag lines on the front, I think you might need a full bust adjustment. Only a slight one mind you, maybe an extra half inch. See the lines radiating from the bust apex? This post has some good photos that show the need for a FBA in a muslin, and there are plenty of good FBA tutorials around if you Google:

    You might want to try this before adding anything else in widthways as it will change the fit quite a bit and might fix some of the issues with creasing around the bust and into the side seams, and you can add to the front waist at the same time. Just cut your muslin and tape in some strips of fabric behind to fill the gaps. A couple of other points that you've already mentioned: the neckline is a bit high at the front. Don't be afraid to trim away the edges until you get it to sit nicely- you can always add seam allowances back onto your pattern afterwards. The back does look too long. Pin out a horizontal fold across the back and see how that looks.

    Oh, and no, the darts shouldn't normally go right to the apex. Imagine a circle about an inch or so across where the apex is: darts should stop at this circle.

    I know this sounds like a lot of alterations, but aside from the full bust adjustment they're really very minor. Trust me! So, FBA, trim the next, pin out some back length then re-fit with the sleeves attached. Hope this helps :)

  3. Thank you so much Ginny! This is very helpful! I mean, I can see whats wrong, but I don't quite know what to do about it :) Thaks agfain for taiking time to leave such a great comment!

  4. Hi Siri! Nice work on your muslin. Like you, I haven't bothered with doing these so far- it's one of those things I'm going to have to learn to tackle.

    Good luck with your various alterations!

  5. Hi Bea! How nice to have you over ;) Yes, I really needed to force myself to finally make a muslin, but very glad I did. I have been thinking this FBA over, but I wonder how to do it without messing up the yoke. In all FBA I've seen the pattern has had a bust dart, this one doesn't. The muslin is not at all tight anywhere on the bust, so I will just have to try both a (small) FBA on one, and adding a little bust dart on another.

  6. The muslin only needs minor tweaks. I second the FBA and I definitely think the front darts are too high. As for the back possibly being too tight with sleeves, try the FBA first, you'll be surprised at how much an FBA fixes!

    1. Thank you Zoë, I think I'll take your advice :) And if it don't fix my dress, I will at least learn the FBA!