Monday, August 22, 2011

Help! My first muslin!

Blogoshpere,  I'm calling for your advice and guidance.  As you know I am making the Rooibos dress.  So I have measured and made my pattern ready.  The next step in the sewalong is to make a muslin.  At this point I thought I would only sew up the bodice because the pattern looked quite short in the armscye and I didn't want to waste time and fabric if I was to need a larger size.  Now I don't know anyone who sews that can help me with the fitting of the muslin.   I can't do it alone, so after much coaxing by myself I managed to get David to help.  Finally...I'm pinned in!  (He made it seem like  such a mammoth task - I had no idea!)  

Front view
Back view
What's with the boobs on my back?

Obviously I need to adjust the back darts as they are way to sharp creating a back bustline.  After more pinning (and loss of blood, not mine - David's hehe!) the darts are much better but I continue to have wrinkling across my back.  What is the causes this?

This is my first attempt at a muslin and I have not done any fitting before other than minor shortening etc.   I'm at a loss as to what to do hence my seeking your advice.  My dilemma is this.  To remove the wrinkles from the back should I a) lift it out at the shoulder (note- I'm short and always make shortening adjustments at waist level but I probably really need to take it from between the shoulder and bust if that makes sense) or b) do I need to make a full bust adjustment.  But then maybe I need to make a size larger as it is very firm.  I do like things to be well fitted but also with room to move.

The pattern also has a fitting problem at the shoulder, it's to wide for me.  I don't know how I should correct this either.   In the past I have just redrawn the seam line.  Is this the right way to do an adjustment here or do I make pleats/tucks in the pattern?  I have no idea!

So what do you think?  Is there some secret to knowing where or what adjustments I should make?   Or is my short curvy figure just not suited to this pattern?  Maybe my fitting assistant is not cut out for the job although I'm very proud of his efforts.  Even though he claims he needs a blood transfusion.  Hehehe!  Both the back darts are pinned to the same length and that in itself is a great achievement.  I'm going to put this project aside for a few days so I can return with, hopefully some guidance from you, my internet friends...


  1. I think you need a "sway back alteration" on the back. Basically a wedge-shaped piece out of the flat pattern that's wider at center back and disappears into the side seam so your side seams are still the same length as the front pieces and match up. Not sure about the shoulder alteration, but I've heard Fit For Real People has a good section for narrow shoulder alterations! Good luck!

  2. Hi Shelly! I'll preface this with the statement that I'm pretty new to fitting myself, and my fitting issues are pretty different from yours, so these comments come from a combination of book-learning and kind of random speculation. Ok, that said, my first question is: How do you like the fit on the armhole? Because it looks like it might be a bit shallow (of course that could just be because of the seam allowances). If it is too shallow, I'd go up a pattern size, and then try to make the back narrower by taking a vertical tuck out of the center back in addition to adjusting the back darts to make them more gradual. I think the bodice is awfully short to need a swayback adjustment -- I think that would usually be when fabric is pooling further down the back, above your rear. Going up a pattern size would also give you a little more length in the front bodice and might bring the midriff seam a little more below your bust.

    Good luck!

  3. Shelly, I have read that many people have made the back darts longer and shallower, I have too. I think this dress is definitely made for curvy figures!! I cut out my toile with a good 4cm extra seam allowance so I can pin the excess, it's harder to find extra.
    I found this to be helpful!!!


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