I’ve heard people really attack the notion of a ‘wearable muslin’. Some advise that you’re going to make a muslin anyway. You may as well start with cheap fabric and planning to throw it away. For me, I really dislike spending my time on a ‘test’ garment. I want to get to the real thing. Plus there are patterns I know I’m only going to make once. I don’t want to spend lots of time on a test and then make the garment only once. However, I have to agree, this time, with the people who say “you’re going to make a muslin anyway” because that’s what I did with the pink/black peach skin. I counted that experience as a a muslin which paid off. I made several changes to the pattern and selected a rayon Challis. I wanted to keep the fitting experience as consistent as possible but at the same time I didn’t want another fight with my serger. All that work I did with the peach skin was well worth the effort. Look at this first fitting:
After cutting the fabric, I serge finished several places, stitched darts and front tucks. Last time I made the tucks public but wasn’t wild about it. This time I put the front tucks on the private side. It doesn’t wow me either but I think with this print the tucks would be nearly invisible no matter which side they are on. I like the tucks as a change but prefer the look of nice pleats towards the side seams or (first choice) a smooth front skirt.
I serged shoulders together and empire lines i.e. front bodice with skirt and back bodice with skirt. I stitched the facing to the front, but I used a 3mm stitch so I could easily remove if needed. The shoulders, armscye and sleeves were perfect in the pink version. No real need to baste them together but I opted to serge finish the sleeve and bast it in the armscye before basting the sides seams for the first fitting.
I may have a little ‘velcro butt’ going on in the back. I’m more interested in what is not there. No tightness across the back between the shoulder. No drag lines from shoulder-blade to side seam. The sides concern me only because the hem of my left side looks uneven but the hem on my right side is nice and level?? I can’t a change when I can’t be sure there is something wrong. I hadn’t finished fitting the front and knew it would require attention now. It almost looks like the entire center front from neckline through waist (empire) and all the way to the hem is drooping. The V neckline wants to overlap more than the drafted 1″ and at an angle. Not sure if that creates the issues below but it could be the cause of the drooping. I also really don’t like the gathering under-bust (which I did between the two * as directed by the pattern). I wonder if the gathering adds to the drooping.
I did one quick fitting for which I’m not sharing pictures. I was tempted to finish the sleeve put it off to work on the front. I basted a wedge 1″ wide at the neckline and 0 at the waist on both sides of the center front. Just like that, all the issues above the apex disappeared. However I kept thinking the empire line was almost in the right place. It look just slightly off and so I basted the empire 1/4″ deeper. Amazed at the difference, I finished this blouse.
The finished back is perfect! I stitched the empire at the basted 1/4″ deeper mark. Lightly starched and pressed. Suddenly Velcro Butt disappears and the proportions ar excellent.
I finished the sleeves with the same faux cuff as the pink version. Turned up 1.5″; edge stitched at the wrist; top stitched at the top of the serging and 1×10″ elastic inserted and joined over bias tape. Sometimes a finish looks great with one fabric but not another. In this case both fabric have nearly the same drape. So with the same pattern as well, both sleeves look very much alike and verrrrrrrrrry good.
I’m leaving the verdict on the sides and hems open. I realized that the center front were somehow different lengths because one facing stitched evenly to the center front and the other did not. I should have stopped then and discovered why but I didn’t. So when I took these pics one front is longer than the other. On side the hem seems level on the other side the hem appears uneven and oddly instead of high-waters, it is lower than the back. I did pin the longer front to determine how much to be change and I fixed it. But I didn’t take new photos. I was more concerned about the bodice which looked great in the mirror but in the final pic looks like it is drooping right at the empire line:
I have removed nearly all the droop but there’s still a little that the camera’s eye finds. That will be a tweak for the next version.
Will there be another version. Will I sew this again? Yes I plan to use this as a basis for my anniversary dress which will be styled very similar to Pamela’s Softly Pleated Dress. I’m really overjoyed that this Burda pattern is so similar to one of my favorite Louise Cutting patterns, the Ebb on which I’ve worked repeatedly this year attempting to fit my maturing figure. I like to have at least one Ebb each in summer and winter wardrobes. In fact, I like to make style changes and have more than one. I love this style which skims all the rolls but still makes me shapely. This is a great style for me.