Making A Muslin

With the holidays approaching, along come the ┬áholiday parties. So many reasons to wear a dress, something I haven’t bought for myself in a while.

I’ve had a very specific project in mind for some time, but haven’t been able to find the exact pattern for what I’m trying to achieve. So when I can’t find exactly what I want, I start to play with what I have on hand and figure out how to make it work.

I’m looking to make a high-waist flared dress with short sleeves.

This is the closest thing I had on hand:

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This already is a variation of an existing pattern, but at least some of the pattern alteration math has been worked out for me. (I’m nixing that collar though, you know, to make this harder).

Of course it did mean a lot of this:

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The one thing this pattern is missing is sleeves, so I needed to go about mocking up those.

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So, lets recap so far:

I’m working with an already modified pattern, removing a feature of it, adding my own mock sleeves, and p.s the fabric for this piece is flannel which doesn’t have any give. This dress lives or dies by the fit of the bodice and every change happening smoothly.

I think I hate myself a little…

So today, I’m doing the test run of the bodice, by making a muslin. A rough dry run of the structure by using a pile of old cheap broadcloth I have in my stash.

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It feels like so much work to be making something that’s never going to see the light of day, but I’m happy I stuck with it. I like my dresses to fit close, and nothing feels less attractive┬áthan clothes that are too tight or too saggy.

After a lot of troubleshooting and readjusting, the torso is a great fit.

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Now the real reason we’re here is the sleeve addition. This took three attempts:

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But eventually I figured out the notching and size I needed to not feel like my armpit is choking and to have a small amount of gathering at the seam.

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Phase one complete.