Thursday, 29 August 2013

Muslin making

Welcome back ;)
I am happy to report that my muslin is up and running, so to speak! After carefully drafting my old McCall pattern onto less fragile paper, I then cut out all my pieces. I had a plain cotton bedskirt in my linen cupboard that always annoyed the crap out of me, since it was too short to reach the floor (or completely cover the lower continental matress) and just looked silly. I decided to upcycle it into muslin :)

Making a muslin is something I had yet to do. I am always so eager to get going, and have this lah-dee-dah-approach to things, thinking it will surely fit ('cus it says "my size" on the envelope). I recently sewed up the WWII overalls from Wearing History, without doing the muslin. Even if it clearly said to do so in the description. It turned out fine, but mostly because of luck, rather than me being a clever seamstress. This will be covered in another post. Since I am now sewing for "the world to see", I'd better do it properly. And I clearly need the discipline :)

So; onward! I pinned the pattern pieces onto my fabric like normal, making sure to match the grain line on the pattern to that of the fabric. I then carefully marked all notches , darts and other markings onto the muslin pieces before removing the paper. Don't leave out any, thinking you'll remember. If you're anything like me, you probably won't :)
Next, I stitched along the seam lines on all pieces with a contrasting color, a tip I got here. At first I thought "is this really necessary?" , but then as I sewed, I realized just how much practice I actually got from this! This dress bodice has some really curvy seams due to the yoke, and those can be tricky for us beginners. I sometimes struggle with keeping the same width on the seam allowance around curves so this was great. It also makes you familiar with the different pieces and shapes.

All pieces marked and stitched. Neat!

I opted to make a muslin of the bodice only, since this is the part of the dress that is close fitting (note to self: do the sleeves aswell!). The pattern envelope stated a size 17, with a 37" bust (like mine) and a 29" waist. Now, sadly I can't claim a 29" waist, I am more like a 31".  But as I plan to wear foundation garments with this dress, I didn't make any alterations to the pieces of the bodice, thinking there must also be calculated some ease into the size (lah-dee-dah-much??!).

This is the wrong side, showing the facings, before stitching the front onto the back.
Look how nice the seam lines matches! *squee*

The bodice went together very nicely, although some of the notches on the yoke did not match the ones on the front pieces where they were supposed to. Not to worry, I decided to match the fold lines for the facing instead, so in the end it was no problem at all. I am really glad for this test run. The curved yoke did take some extensive pinning to get in place without puckering, and there were other little details that I know I will have to pay special attention to on the real deal. The pre-stitched seam allowances helped greatly on overall accuracy and if I need to make adjustments anywhere, they will make that much more easy to do.

Now you are probably wanting to see the thing in action, and you will. But that's for the next post :)
I did try this one on, but it was getting late and photos were not happening (my camera has currently a broken flash, so is just useless indoors). I am happy to report that I managed to stuff myself into the 29" waist area of this creation (thanks Rago!) but I think I'll be adding a small inch to it. You know, for breathing and moving ;)

More to come!

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