Hepburn Sheath Dress

Well, I cut the dress out of my ‘extra’ chocolate RPL, as noted in my last post.  And I thought I’d share my adjustments. The pattern is very straight.  Sheath dresses usually have some kind of shaping happening in the back, but this pattern is STRAIGHT down the back.  It’s got front and back waist darts to make it fitted, and one set of bust darts.  Well, before cutting, I assumed I’d need to make my usual FBA, and here’s how I did the adjustment.  This differs slightly from my other post on doing an FBA, since this pattern already had darts.

  1. I cut the front of the dress out in muslin.
  2. Then I drew a line parallel to the centre front from the shoulder through the waist darts.
  3. Another line through the centre of the existing bust dare, ending at the bust point.
  4. A horizontal line, exactly perpendicular to the straight grain of the centre front, beginning at the bust point and ending at the front of the pattern.
  5. I marked the quadrants a-b-c-d and shown below.

    quadrants marked for FBA
  6. Then I slashed through the horizontal lines and up through the vertical one to but not through the neckline seam allowance, and s-p-r-e-a-d the quadrants apart (about 1 1/4” in my case) to allow for bust depth and width.
adjusted muslin laid out beneath pattern


Now, technically I should redraft the entire front of the dress, but I’m too lazy, so I laid the adjusted muslin on the fabric and the pattern piece over that at the waist line, which is where the adjustment ends.  You’ll see from above that I also shortened the waist on this dress about 1 1/2”.  I will take a shortcut on the darts and mark them directly on the fabric.  Once it’s all sewn up, I’ll show you a picture.  I didn’t bother making a full muslin, since this type of pattern is straight forward, and I have made many such adjustments before.  Here’s a picture of the full dress front laid out waiting to be cut.

~ ready to cut ~

I’m not really concerned about this failing or fitting ill.  Do you ever take shortcuts in muslins and adjustments on a whim, a hunch or because you think you’ve done it enough times that you don’t need to go through the long arduous process of doing a proper muslin?

One thought on “Hepburn Sheath Dress

  1. Beautiful, yummy fabric! And yes, I do take shortcuts on my casual clothing. I sew lots of things for travel and outdoor activities. These get the “good enough” treatment because they get worn out quickly. I mean really worn out with horse hair and other horsey stuff on them. Then into the washer after each wearing. They just get USED. But with serious work (like my recent jacket), I measure twice, and cut once…make muslin after muslin…and sometimes even add details to the final muslin to test techniques.


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