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the Ireland dress in wearable-muslin form

Phew, sorry about the delay! I took these pictures early last week, but my new camera (!) and I are stilling getting to know each other so I haven’t gotten all the technical kinks out of the editing process. My apologies too for the odd color cast going on in these pictures – it was a little dark and I can’t get the raw-files to work right now!

DSC_3601Anyways, I made a muslin for that dress I’m wearing to the wedding in Ireland (which is a long thing to call a dress. I do also call it the Ireland-dress, which makes not much, but still a little sense all things considered). I picked up this surprisingly nice polyester with its wonderfully funny color combination at Vogue in Evanston, IL on my recent trip to Chicago. I went with my friend Sara and we also found a couple of more poly fabrics that were surprisingly nice, and that’s saying something coming from a fabric snob like me. The fabric I picked up to use for a wearable muslin is a little stiffer than my real fabric, but other than that it drapes pretty similarly.

DSC_3353That’s at John’s mom’s house, and I am attaching fusible seam tape (I think that’s what it calls itself) to the back v-neck cut edge, and I learned that 1. it is 3/8″ wide, so I redrafted the pattern so the seamline is right at the edge of the seam tape, 2. that I should cut the seam tape to the right length so I don’t accidentally distort the proper length of the seam, and 3. it is almost inevitable that the un-fused seamline of the lining stretches, so to avoid bunching on the inside I will fuse the lining, understitch, and any excess width will be on the outside layer which will roll over to the outside because of the turn of cloth.DSC_3598So, the first full muslin ended up being a little big. I made a bodice muslin that my wicked skilled teacher-friend Julie helped me with, which needed an FBA, some diagonal pinching out in the back because of the v-neck, and some balancing. I’m realizing that to make  garments hang nicely on me and look balanced at the side-seams, the front needs to be wider than usual and the back narrower. Good to know!

DSC_3512I decided it would look best to take out most of the excess in this muslin in the front, so I pinched out an inch at the waist, tapering it to nothing at the cowl fold edge since I’m happy with the amount of cowling there, and how low it falls.

DSC_3526I can see the hem in the front is significantly higher than the back, but I redrafted the skirt pieces more properly than my free-form carpet and copy paper travel drafting, so I don’t think that will be a big problem. I also cut the skirt with a fair amount of extra length for hemming.DSC_3518 DSC_3558

As you can see, the back had some diagonal pulling after I pinched in the center back.  The v-neck has needed several rounds of pinches taken out, which is common for deep necks like this one. The straps were sitting a little too far out on my shoulders, so I pinned out a good 3/4″ at the v-point. That, combined with the little wedge I’ve pinned out diagonally on the left side in the picture above, will help with pivoting the shoulder seams further in.

DSC_3510The pattern is now all altered and fixed and trued up, and the *real* fabric all cut out. We’re leaving for Ireland in a few days, so….um.. chop-chop! As for this wearable muslin, it’s not really wearable at the moment, but I would really like to make it so. I’ll have to take out all the excess at the side-seams, so it won’t be perfect. But look at that fabric! Too fun to not make a proper dress out of!

  • Looking good, I like the cowl front neckline!
    Where’s the wedding?

    • indigorchid

      Thanks! The wedding is at a castle in county Laois in Ireland – doesn’t that sound exotic? 😉

      • Ooh a castle, fancy 😉 Laois is nice countryside, although my only experience of it is being there for music festival! If it’s more than a flying visit and you’re hanging around Dublin hit me up!

        • indigorchid

          Music, how cool! Do you play yourself too? I’m not sure if there will end up being oppurtunities, but maybe I should try to go hiking while in Laois!

  • That’s very informative to see how the alteration process like that. I think the final result will be gorgeous!

    • indigorchid

      I’m glad you found it informative – I know I enjoy seeing the process of garments coming together! I would have loved to make another muslin where the fit is perfect before going to the final fabric, but that’s just me being a perfectionist. So it’s a leap to *not* do it! Also… I really don’t have the time, haha!

  • So cool, I also thank you for showing the steps you took to correct the fit. Especially that diagonal pinch in back, I never thought to try that! Cannot wait to see the final dress. How come you did not muslin the bottom of the dress, that’s my favorite part?

    • indigorchid

      Thank you! I pretty much just follwed the draglines that looked like there was too much fabric in the back, but it has definitely improved the fit! The skirt I wanted for my final dress was just a straight a-line (because of fabric amount I could’nt do the godets and ruffles of the inspiration 30’s dress unfortunately), so I just made the wearable muslin knee-length since I don’t have too much need for floor length gowns!