Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Test garment complete and dress started

After completing the muslin for this dress, I got a bit side tracked a domestic project namely curtains, so progress has been a slow.

Here's what I learned from doing a muslin for the first time:-
- there's a great sense of freedom in cutting and making a muslin, knowing you won't make a mistake with  your precious fashion fabric
- as the dress is for someone else it give's you a great opportunity to try the garment and make any necessary adjustments
- as it's a vintage pattern, some aspects of the dressmaking is a little different, so the muslin gives you an opportunity to become familiar with the garment construction
- you don't have to bother with the time consuming finishing part of the dressmaking
- with this dress in particular, the waist is tiny and very nipped in, so some adjustment was required there
- the length was adjusted to around knee length

This is the selected fabric...it's 100% lightweight cotton.
As the cotton is relatively sheer, there was some discussion about lining the dress, especially the skirt. However the wearer prefers not to have it lined making life easier for the sewer :).

I haven't posted a photograph of the muslin yet but might add one later - it's a little crumpled....

If you have expensive fabric and are a little uncertain about your pattern and fit, I'd certainly recommend a muslin (or test garment). It 's quicker than you think.Yes, it adds expense but I'd rather have problems with the cheaper muslin at $3/m. 

If you interested in more thoughts on this, the delightful Gertie has done a number of technical posts on her muslins - here's one.... 

Let me know what you think. Do you do one? Do you have a different approach?


  1. Great pattern and fabric choice. Just a thought on the lining. I'm currently making a dress (for the Christmas Party) - very light-weight linen (a bit see through). Have opted to interline it - using cotton voile, cut out a duplicate of all pattern pieces and sew them (hand sew or long-machine stitches) to the main fabric, then you treat the pieces as one and sew normally. This allows your dress to hang/flow better and also hides the seam allowances - brilliant for this type of see-through fabric. I think Gertie also does this - think she calls it underlining. It's not hard like some lining techniques - hope this helps.

  2. Thanks Evelyne - that sounds like a great suggestion. Cotton voile did cross my mind.


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