Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Manatee Dress!

No, really... it's just a muslin! But those really are manatees (and dolphins) in the print.

This is Simplicity 2588, one of the latest Project Runway patterns to be released.
The photos on the envelope really don't do this pattern justice. The drawings are much more interesting. (And hopefully my dress will be, too.)
This is basically a princess seamed bodice with two skirt variations: straight or flared. There are two sleeve options as well as the choice to go sleeveless. There are also two neckline/yoke variations as well as several extra details to choose from: belt, waist tabs, bows, knot, etc.
The photos in this post are all of the muslin I made of this pattern last weekend. I used the slim skirt, wide yoke, and flat sleeves. For the actual dress I'll be adding the waist tabs and piping to some of the seams.

I cut a size 16 bodice and morphed out to an 18 at the hips. The only adjustment I made for the muslin was to add 1" of length to the bodice at the waist. Thank goodness I did, because it is just barely long enough!
It's really hard to see because I used a dark, busy print, but here is my assessment of the muslin:
Overall I like the dress. The slim waist and square look to the shoulders give it a retro vibe, even though it is not a retro dress. I am going to make it up for real, but I need to make a few adjustments.
1. I will add a 3/8" FBA. It's nearly impossible to see in the photos, but the waistline is pulling up ever so slightly in front. I need a smidge more length.
2. Let out the waist. The pictures look pretty good, but that waist is tight! I can barely breathe. Literally. I really should have cut an 18 in the waist and it would have been fine. I think letting the waist out will also solve some of the issues with the top of the skirt pulling.
3. I will add a smidge of width- maybe 3/8" to the back skirt piece. Although the circumference of the skirt is fine, the side seams are pulling ever so slightly to the back.
4. I will tweak the yoke. You can just barely see in the first photo that I've pinned out a scant 1/4" on the back yoke and a scant 1/8" on one side of the front yoke. The back really stood away from my neck and the front kind of rippled. Taking these small tucks helps it lay nice and flat.
5. Add a 1 and 1/4" hem allowance. As usual, the raw edge hits me right where I like it, so I have to add enough length for a hem.

So. Muslin is made. Pattern pieces are adjusted. I'm ready to cut out a dress. My only problem now? Which fabric to use. Right now I'm debating between a pink and black all-over flamingo print, and a multi-colored Kaffe Fassett print. Decisions, decisions.
In the meantime, here's a shot of me, Juno, and Banana. (Yeah, I let the kids name the kittens.)

Stay tuned for a progress report on Summer Fields and more kitten pics!


Paulette said...

Like the style of the dress on you...LOVE the kittens!! :)

Anonymous said...

now that's what I call cute muslin! can't wait to see what you make it up in!

angie.a said...

Haha!! I want a manatee dress! Now I wish I had bought this one when Simplicity's were on sale. Thanks a lot. ;) It looks really great though, I can't wait to see the real one!

LOVE the kitties.

Blakely said...

The funny thing is I have this same manatee fabric.

Chris said...

Dress looks really nice on you. Did you line it? And if so with what? I have a lot of quilting cotton that I want to use up for summer dresses, some need lining more than others and I was wondering what you prefer.

Adorable kittens

Cennetta said...

Great looking manatee dress. I agree that the pattern photo does not do the dress justice. Patiently waiting to see the final version.