crafts · Sewing

Making a full muslin pt.2: the results

All told it took me two nights of sewing to make a full muslin of the Michael Kors dress.  The first night was spent cutting and marking, and the second sewing.  I’m really glad I took the time, because this dress needed some adjustments!  I tried it on last night and then made a few changes – here are the results:

It’s a very dramatic shot, yes?  I look very pensive about the outcome of my muslin… but actually I’m just not wearing makeup, and waiting for my morning coffee to brew.   I think I’m happy with the fit.  Here are the changes I made:  I took one inch out of the side seams of the bodice and added one inch to the side seams of the skirt.  I shortened the skirt by 2 inches.  I considered shortening the straps, but after fixing the size of the bodice I decided that it was fine.  I think this pattern runs a little odd, sizing wise.  I cut a 10 in the skirt to start and an 8 in the bodice, and I basically turned them into a 6 bodice and size 12 skirt.  I have larger hips that my bust, but not that much larger!  Here is the back:

You can see that I’m going to have to shorten that slit – I shortened the skirt along the lines marked, but that makes the slit way too high.  The wrinkles on the skirt are caused by some shoddy easing late last night, and not a flaw of the fit.  The actual dress will be made of wool.  Sometimes I use a fabric more similar to the one I’m using for a muslin, but in this case I didn’t have anything.

The pleated bodice is lovely, and it fits me fine – the pattern is definitely drafted for a B cup.  I did have to have my husband help me stare at one portion of the diagram to figure it out, but it’s really not bad.

So… now comes cutting my wool and my silk lining!  What do you think about the length?  With a hem it’s going to be right above the knee.  I know I don’t like the just below knee look on me.    But should it maybe be mid-knee?  I’m not sure… This pattern also calls for about a million different markings, and they are all important.  What should I use to mark black wool?  I hate using chalk because it always brushes away before I get to it, and I think the chalk wheel markers are even worse.  Any suggestions are very welcome!

21 thoughts on “Making a full muslin pt.2: the results

  1. Lovely design on you…no comment on the length. I’ll defer to others as I’m not sure…
    I generally mark with a contrasting thread. I pin through the pattern and then 2 quick overlapping stitches at the spot indicated by the pin does the trick. I only use chalk to mark the wrong side….Happy Sewing!

  2. You could try using a white crayola (or other washable brand) colored pencil–I’ve had good luck with them washing out of everything I’ve tried them on. With wool though, you might want to dry lifting it out with a few spritzes of water and a towel to blot it with. Definitely test it before getting mark-happy on your fabric though! 🙂 As to the length, I’d say if you did a 2″ hem, it’d be about perfect, not sure what they suggest for hems though, or how it would affect your lining (if applicable) or the slit…maybe someone who’s made a slit would have better advice. Can’t wait to see the end result! 🙂

  3. Looks neat!
    I quite like this length on you – it is elegant and the dress proportions (bodice 1/3, skirt 2/3) look right to me. I could be biased because this is my favourite length on me!

  4. I think the muslin looks good on you. Length is such a personal thing, I’m sure either option will look great.

    The Colette Patterns blog actually just did a post about different marking tools. Take a look at it. I want to try the water soluble pencils and the chalk pen she mentions.

  5. It will be lovely! My favourite marker for dark wool is called”Miracle Marker”. Looks like a flat square piece of soap. You can sharpen the edges with a knife. It disappears with the steam from your iron. (You have to be careful not to lose marks as you press.) On the package they list a website: Lasts forever, so I haven’t had to buy any in a few years. Hope the website is still good.

  6. Lovely dress. As far as marking, Sewline makes a pencil (probably would be able to find it at JoAnns or your local quilt store) that is like a mechanical pencil that I love for marking fabric. It comes in different colors (white, green, pink, etc) and is refillable so you only have to buy one and then get whatever lead color would work for your project.

  7. I love your muslin. Your blog is very inspiring to me, because I need to make more muslins. I usually just sew with abandon and sometimes end up paying for not making a muslin. I really enjoy reading your blog.

  8. I’m always so impressed with the work you put into your garments. I feel like I’ve a fitting wall that I hit, but the pay off is that your clothes always fit your fabulously (from my perspective!) This is a gorgeous dress, looking forward to seeing the finished object. 🙂

  9. I agree that the length needs a little adjusting…maybe mid-knee, or just above would be about right for you!
    I’m small like you and I have a hard time finding skirts the right length!

  10. I really love the neckline on the dress. I would definitely go to above the knee for skirt length. Just barely above is so much more flattering than the length it is right now.

  11. Looks great. Lovely pattern. I’d cut the fabric a little longer, just in case you like mid-knee length. And, what I know from 30 years ago: I have some waxy white marking stuff which would work for on dark wool, but I agree w. an earlier entry that thread for marking is best. Precise!

  12. This looks lovely. Even as a muslin, it looks lovely! I can’t wait to see the finished item. I’m getting very frustrated with my own sewing – just too much going on to settle down to it.

  13. It looks really beautiful. This style does look really amazing with the length above the knee. I mark with threads on really nice fabrics. I just don’t trust any of the markers–especially when I put some good money into the fabric! Can’t wait to see the finished garment.

  14. I have a white wax markers, they look like the chalk squares, but it disappears (melts?) when ironed so it is great. So it can be used on the right side of a garment. Usually I use it for tailoring, on any wool it is perfect, especially for welt pockets.
    I bought it ages ago so no idea where to find it.

  15. I think mid-knee would be great, especially in the wool. I’m not sure about the marking options. That’s a problem I also have. My mother-in-law marks with a needle and thread. I find this tedious, but for the black wool it may be worth it. By the way, I love the bodice. It’s very cute. Good luck!

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