Wedding dress muslin #2

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

After finishing my inner bodice and petticoat I was all ready to dive in and start cutting the fabric for the "real" dress, but something funny happened. I didn't work on anything sewing related for about a week, and while I felt guilty and stressed about the work that needed to be done, I couldn't bring myself to do it for some reason. I eventually realized that my first muslin, while it fit okay, really wasn't up to snuff. So I decided to make a second muslin the "proper" way, and I'm glad I did.

I don't have many pictures of this process because I was trying to make up for lost time, but here's a summary of the changes I ended up making:
  • I shortened the front bodice by almost two inchs at the centre
  • I completely changed the shape of the side bodice
  • I shortened the back by about an inch at the sides tapering down to nothing at the centre
  • I pinched the princess seams about a half inch each (a total of 2" removed from the front width!) and added about a half inch back to each side
  • I eliminated the top pleat in the front skirt panel entirely - it kept pulling taught and the result was kind of a weird thickness that seemed unnecessary. You can see the same effect in the close-up on the pattern package, but trust me, it's unflattering from the side:

To begin making these changes I thread traced all my muslin pieces and then basted them together by machine. I thought I would have to make significant adjustments to the side seams so these I just pin-basted:

Boomer helping, as usual
I didn't end up needing to change the side seams below the empire waist, but I still liked the construction of sewing the front and back together first rather than how the pattern instructions want you to sew together everything below the waist first, then above. If do end up needing to make adjustments to the side seams, it'll be easier this way.

I made all my adjustments by pinning the muslin on top of my inner bodice on my dress form. I was skeptical when I had to fold up the empire waist by an entire inch, but when I took it off the dress form and tried it on myself (pinned to the top of the inner bodice), sure enough, it fit. I am rather short-waisted and small busted so I suppose this makes sense:

Taking a big bite out of the centre front
I don't know what was going on with the original bodice side pieces, but they were completely the wrong shape for me. Again, I couldn't believe how much I was changing the pattern, but I'm actually trusting myself at this point. In the picture below the red and black lines are the new shape, while the blue ones are the original pattern (minus a half inch off the top from my first muslin adjustments):
Hugely different side bodice pieces
Finally, to remove the top pleat I simply drew a new stitching line along the fold of the top pleat. I also curved it down a bit at the edges, possibly because I had brought the side bodice piece down, but both were necessary to give me a horizontal empire seam:
Begone, pleat!
With my new pattern adjustments I'm feeling more confident that I'm actually ready to begin cutting in to my silks. 58 days to go!

No comments:

Post a Comment