Making a muslin DOES save the day

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Another idea I like, but I don’t think I’ll do.  Thank goodness I’ve decided to do more muslins.  I’m starting to like the idea of the extra step of doing one.  Remember this lovely Burda 12/2011 #119 blouse?

B 12-2011-119charmeuse

Well, I’ll have to go looking for something else, because I don’t really fancy this.  I honestly would never wear this.  Even as a dress.  I’m not crazy about the front pleat or the under bust bow.  Such a cute blouse in the drawing, too, but not in my real life!  And that neckline has been raised by about 3 inches.  Maybe too much from this photo, but definitely necessary to avoid a wardrobe malfunction. >_<

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Shoulders are too tight, the hem requires more width, and the side view is appalling.  Jeepers.  Sometimes muslin photos make me wonder what the heck I was thinking, or why I bother!  Maybe I should make up a croquis.  Although it wouldn’t have given me the full onslaught of the side view horror show.IMG_7994

Moving on…..

Still drowning

I’d like to apologize in advance for making any readers who are strong swimmers cringe.  I’m desperately wishing I’d had swimming lessons at this point.IMG_4064

This is muslin number 3 for the Request Gown.  I cannot thank those of you who left comments on my last drowning post regarding this horrendous challenging project enough.  You were all very encouraging to one learning to swim, and I’m grateful.  I have never in my life had to create such an incredibly customized Franken pattern.  You may recall in my first muslin we were considering very full gathered sleeves, but, in all honesty – and maybe it’s the old sheets – everything looked like Little House on the Prairie or one of those long-sleeved flannel nighties I used to wear as a small child.  So the consensus was long tapered sleeves.  Split down the centre.  With loop/button closure every 6 inches or so.sideI did do the circle and draping in a mirror front and back, and we decided we’d see if a zipper on the right side of the dress where there’s no detailing would be better.  Certainly it is from an insertion point of view – less mess and patience required to match things up perfectly while inserting an invisible zipper (which is always a bit of challenge for me anyways).  Here’s the back view, and you can see that I still need to add more width through the shoulders.  I decided to leave everything above the waist on the bias as much as possible.  I dunno….  I don’t know enough about draping/drafting to make an informed decision on that one, but I think leaving it on the bias will give it a more fluid look.back The bodice is on the straight grain in the picture below, but will be on the bias, too, since more draping is required across the bust.  I just don’t know how the heck I’m going to get all the draping into the desired 1-inch wide shoulder seam.  This dress is pushing my comfort zone.  I have realized that I’m operating in an information void, which is frustrating me.  If I knew what I was doing, or what I needed to do, it would problem-solve much faster and easier.  And the front slit will still be as muslined with 5 buttons with loop closures at the top.  I guess it will have to be faced so I have a seam in which to sew the loops.front

Almost ready!

I must confess this dress almost had me crying the other night.  I had mocked up the 6th – read SIXTH – version of the bodice, had the cups shaped and the twill tape in the neckline and asked my DH to hold the back closed while I tried it on.  It so did not fit.  *hung head*  Talk about frustrating.bombshell V6The fifth muslin I thought fit just a little too big, so I self-fit it in front of a mirror.  I’m don’t have pictures, which is probably a mercy.  But I was confident in the fit, so merrily went on my way making it up.  Just as I was ready to cut the skirt and attach it to the bodice, I thought I’d just try it on again.  Y’know, just to make sure so that I didn’t have a beautifully finished dress that didn’t fit.   My DD1 asked me how it was going, and I told her I was going to have a beautiful dress, but I didn’t know if I’d be keeping it because it might not fit!  So sadly true when I tried on Version #6.  *cue copious sobbing*

Back to the drawing board again.  This time I went back to Version #5, which I thought was too big.  It’s still a little big, but at least the coverage is good and I don’t fall out of it!  I basted the skirt to the bodice and tried it on to see if it’s worth continuing.  I am so pleased that it actually fits!  I’ll have pictures of me in it once it’s completely finished.

The fabric is not exactly what I wanted to make this dress up in, but I had enough of it in my stash to make three of them if such waste was necessary to get the fit right.  My goal is not necessarily to have a dress that I’ll wear (although I think I will wear this), but to tweak the bodice fitting so that I have a TNT pattern to use at will.   I do have a Liberty of London Ros in red and some tweed that I’d love to make this up in.  I’m just satisfied that I’ve cracked this nut that almost made me cry “Nuff!”

I’m just going ahead

bustier 4I’m still working on the bustier for my bombshell dress.  I needed to redraft the cups yet a 5th time.  I’m really having a lot of trouble getting this to fit the way I want it to.  The centre piece of the bodice should lie flat against my breastbone – and it’s quite happy to do that until I get the cups in.  HA!  So I redrafted the cups a 4th time – I actually had to add width across the centre bust point – in order to get the CF to lie flat properly.  But it was a little too much!

So here I am again, re-drafting them a 5th time.  bustier 4 cup piecesI’ve decided to make the entire bustier and finish it properly with the lining, padding (for shaping the cups) and spiral-steel boning this time.  I’m curious to see whether the 12 channels of boning that are supposed to go into this bustier will help the bodice stay close to my ribcage or not.  The goal, frankly, was to have a bustier that did not require undergarments.  This may be impossible, but I’m still forging ahead.  My rationale?  If it doesn’t work as a strapless garment – y’know, sags, pulls away from the breastbone or whatever – there are several strap options that just may add that extra “keep in place” help that this thing needs – on my body, anyway.  So stay tuned.  I’ve not re-drafted and remade so many muslins for any garment EVER.  And when I get the fit just right, it’s going to be a good foundation pattern for any number of garments.