Friday, 2 September 2011

The hour of the muslin!

Before I even say anything else let me share with you all that for some reason that I'm unaware of, I have a deep dislike for the word toile. Not so much writing it but saying it. Silly I know, but that's the reason I always say muslins. I know I'm in the UK and should be saying toile but hopefully none of my UK readers will take offence.
I have done some progress in my sewing and done two muslins. The first was a Colette Beignet skirt. I've cut a size 2 at waist and 0 at hips and the result is perfect. Photos were taken but they are not that interesting and everything fits fine so why bother you with that.
For my second muslin, for which your fitting feedback is more than welcomed, I present you lots of photos:
The Perfect Fit Bombshell Dress from Gertie Sew Retro Craftsy class. The above photo presents a few wrinkles but feels pretty good overall. Length is fine, as it hits the waist.
The next couple of photos show a gap on side seams. Now for me the most, in my face fitting issue is this. I need to take in the side seams, about 3/4" maybe and reducing as I go down. It fits fine at the waist.
The other issue I think I have is a slight drop of bust cups. They fit fine but they drop. Now this might be resolved by taking in the side seams but I am thinking that the real problem solver will be the halter neck strap, which I will use. I don't like strapless dresses or blouses. Now surely that will pull them up, no?
Finally a shot from the back. I know it looks like it's too tight but in all honesty, it isn't. And I don't have any extra fat there, so not sure why those flaps of flesh there.
What do you think? Any glaring or not so glaring fitting issues I haven't identified?
I'd love your opinion!


  1. I would reassure you about the bust cups. By the time you've underlined and added the bust padding, those babies are going to stay in place! I made adjustments at the side seams, too. I used a French seam to grade my adjustments but that's given a bit of a curve to the final seam (!) so I would use a ruler. That's about it! It looks really great - fabulous fit for a first toile, ahem, muslin!

  2. It would help the "flaps of flesh" effect on the back if the dress came up a little higher, particularly at the side back. I agree, you don't actually have any fat there, it's just cut off at an awkward place.

  3. This is looking great and while I am in total agreement about strapless tops, there was a great little tip at BurdaStyle for a waist stay. I made a strapless top once and although I didn't have to worry about it too much, because of the girls, I seriously hate watching all the little teens on the beach constantly tugging up their tops..... But I love your tatts and a strap would cover them :(

    And that's not flaps of flesh... that's your musculature! It allows you to pick things up and lift your arms :)

  4. Haha I say muslin too and hate saying toile perhaps it is just because it sounds pretentious to me. Why do the English like to use french words instead of English words for things by the way? Like courgette, is zucchini not English term for the same thing? The top looks great and i agree about raising the back a tad but you are far from fat.

  5. I've always preferred toile, myself, but I think muslin actually sounds more British. You can say it in a kind of stiff RP without being so vulgar as to show either tongue or teeth. Toile involves that ever so vulgar tongue. :D

    @Living Vintage:

    Why do the English like to use french words instead of English words for things by the way? Like courgette, is zucchini not English term for the same thing?

    Courgette is about as English as zucchini is, though. :) Both are foreign loan words, both entered the language at about the same time.

  6. I think the fit looks good, though I have not made anything so fitted myself before so am certainly no expert.
    I probably use 'muslin' more than 'toile' but if I'm speaking to a non-sewing person I feel a bit pretentious saying either and call it a 'practice' :)

  7. Hi S. Fitting looks great .. taking in the side seams to the waist will help with the cup drop. Also, the boning and the interlining in the final dress will help .. and ofcourse the straps will hold it all up beautifully, so I wouldn't worry about cup drop at this stage if the cups fit nicely. You could just put a toile halterneck on to check if unsure.

    As for the bulging at the back, just try letting out the back two seams FRACTIONALLY on either side - go about 2 inches down and curve outwards gently .. hard to explain but if you look at the shape of your back in a mirror you will see that it curves quite considerably. I would try 0.5cm on each seam to start with.

  8. How wonderful that you've already started on your muslin for the bombshell dress. I hope to have time to begin this month. Your first version is inspiring. It looks great! I also agree that once you get the underlining, lining, and padding in there, you won't have any more drop in the cups. And, as JulieB says, letting out the side seam just a fraction at the top might help the shape of the top. The boning is going to hold everything up, so there's no need to worry about the dress staying in place. You could always restitch the top of the seam with the muslin you have there and take new pictures to compare just to see what you think. Great job though! I can't wait to see your final version, and I can't wait to start myself!

  9. I think with the right fabric and the adjustments you mention this will so cute.

  10. I will happily continue to say muslin and can always blame it on the fact I am foreign and watched too many american movies when I was younger (which is actually not untrue).

    Thank you so much all for your feedback regarding fitting. I will make some changes to muslin this weekend.

    Julia: Yes, I think I got it :) Will fiddle around with it and see what I get.



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