Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Uh, You're Not Really Going to Wear That, Are You?

Don't worry, this is just a muslin.
My 17 year old photographer is so used to me and my sewing escapades, that he doesn't even ask questions anymore. He fully understands the concept of a muslin, which is great for me, since I don't have to deal with him rolling his eyes and questioning my taste level anymore.

Anyway. On to the details. This is Burda Style 07-2011-131:

I plan to make this (if I get that far) in a ponte knit, but I didn't have any on hand to use for a muslin. So I used this cheap, loosely woven flannel. Yes, those are, indeed, the Powerpuff Girls. I thought the flannel would have enough give to it to sort of approximate the fabric I'm going to use.

I cut a 42 through the bodice and eased out to a 44 at the hip. The fit is actually pretty good. The hips are snug, but not uncomfortably so, and I think they'll be just right in the ponte. It's the bodice that scares me.

Seriously. What is up with Burda and these scandalous necklines? You can see how much bra is revealed on each side of the neckline. The top edge of the front isn't much higher than the bottom of the armhole. Maybe it's just me and the way I'm made, but it just isn't working. Funny, but the magazine photo did not look this revealing.

After standing in front of the mirror and studying the photos, I remembered that I often have to make a length adjustment above the bust on BS patterns. So I pinned out approximately 3/8", basted it, and tried it on again. It was better, but still too much bra was showing.

Now the issue could be size. I could try going down one size, but I don't think that's the problem. It's hard to see in the photo above, but the shoulder seams appear to be in the right place, and the bust circumference looks and feels right. I measured, and in order to just cover my bra, I needed to raise the neckline 1.5". I basted in a strip of fabric and it seemed to do the trick. (All these photos are of the original muslin before any additional adjustments.)

Of course, the adjustment above the bust raised not only the bust and the neckline, it raised the entire dress, which was already bordering on too short through the body. So I knew I'd have to add my customary 1" of length at the waist to get the hip shaping down where it needs to be.

You can see some of the wrinkles in the back that indicate a length problem. I also had to keep tugging the dress down to keep the fullest part of the hips from riding up.

The petite adjustment helped with the wrinkles in the upper back, but I may still need a small sway back adjustment.

I went back to my pattern and made all the adjustments to the pieces. Really, these adjustments aren't all that drastic. The issues are mostly with the length and are easily fixed. And since I still have a good 3 or more yards of this lovely flannel (what was I thinking?!?) I might just throw another muslin together to check the adjustments.

Incidentally, I planned to put a center back zipper in this muslin, but I forgot and cut the back on the fold (the pattern calls for a side zip.) I figured I'd just slap a zipper in the side instead. But when I went to sew the side seams, I couldn't find a regular zipper in my stash. I just decided on a whim to stitch the side seams and see if I could squeeze into the dress without it- it's just a muslin, right? Surprisingly, I was able to pull it on and off over my head with almost no trouble at all. Unbelievable, huh? But it bodes well for using a knit and omitting the zipper.

I really like the dress. The silhouette and style is good for me, and it's very easy to put together. I'm confident I can fine tune the length issues. It's that neckline that will be the deal breaker for me. If I can get that adjusted to safely cover my undergarments, I will go ahead with this dress. I have my fingers crossed.

Stay tuned for an update...


Anonymous said...

This is looking good already.
Great that you can get it on without a zip!
That neckline is weird. It could only really work on the small busted with balconette bras or if you add bra cups or boning to the bodice. Do the style lines still look okay when you raised the neckline? If so, why didn't Burda draft it this way to start with??!

sewing spots said...

This is a cute style and worth the aggravation of all the modifications! Aren't you glad you made a muslin??!

lakaribane said...

I love that pattern too! Can't wait to see your FO.

Lisa Marie Miles said...

I love the dress and wish I could sew like that! I have an award for you on my blog:)

Anonymous said...

It is a really cute pattern! The neck line does look way higher on the model though. Can't wait to see the finished product.

bibi said...

I want to come and shop in your closet. I am so busy with granddaughter clothes that I can't sew for myself. You make some BEEEutiful dresses!