Friday, 4 March 2011

My Sabrina Dress #3 - The first muslin

I have finished construction of the muslin/ toile for my sabrina dress and surprise, surprise? It's too big on the bodice. I read many times before that vintage patterns run smaller and because this one has my exact bust measurement I was hoping it would fit. But no. Alterations will be needed, especially as I intend to use to dress snug (unlike Audrey Hepburn in the movie, who uses it with a jumper underneath).
A couple of shots from the front. There is to much space on my bust and also on shoulders.

The dress has two pleats running from midriff to bust and the idea is to increase width to make it snugger. With the shoulders and neckline I'm not sure yet. I might just pinch around (like I did for the Crepe) and see what happens. What I will do for sure, is read my copy of Fit for Real People to see what I find that can be of help.
The back has to much ease as well. Pinch excess and remove?
The midriff sits nicely and the skirt as well. It will be longer that here.

What do you think? Any tips on this fitting?


  1. I never thought I had particularly small shoulders or upper-chest area (is there a better term?) until I start sewing. I've only been sewing about a year, but I've had to make pretty drastic alterations above the apex of my bust on every bodice.

    Although I haven't seen it recommended anywhere, I've become a fan of removing width straight down the middle of the bodice (or sometimes in a wedge that tapers to nothing at the apex of my bust). It brings too-wide shoulders in and reduces the amount that I have to take in at the side seams, thus leaving the armhole more intact. Sometimes this messes up an interesting neckline, but it shouldn't be a problem with the simple, round one on this dress. It doesn't look like those pleats need to move any closer together, however, so if you did this I'd recommend moving them back out to their original distance from the center.

    I don't think increasing the width of the pleats will solve your problems. That will make the waist smaller and the bust puffier... i.e., it's the alteration I would make if my bust already filled out the dress but the dress was too loose at the midriff/below the apex. (Although, the top of the midriff piece does look less snug than the bottom... I would probably start taking the side seam in gradually, starting in the middle of the midriff piece and moving up).

    And, yeah, it looks like you've got to pinch out both width and length from the back bodice.

    I am probably over-confident about these recommendations for someone who hasn't been sewing very long - so take my advice at your own risk! (But to reassure you that I'm not totally clueless, I'm an artist and have pretty solid understanding of form and the body.)

  2. I just love these dresses! I am going to check out the Vixen Vintage.evening gowns for less



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