Monday, January 27, 2014

Knit Dress Update- Boy, Am I Glad I Made a Muslin

My latest knit dress project is well under way.  I traced my pattern on Saturday and made my standard adjustments.  For a few minutes I toyed with the idea of skipping the muslin and just cutting into my fabric.  After all, I've made tons of Burda dresses and I know how they fit...   Boy, am I glad I came to my senses.

Tracing and adjusting was as far as I got on Saturday.  Mr. Frogs and I went to the big city for a concert and didn't get home until late.  But Sunday I decided to test my pattern by making a muslin, and I am sooooo glad I did.  Turns out I needed some additional adjustments to make this dress work.

After throwing together a very quick and dirty muslin, I found that I needed additional length through the waist.  That is, on top of the 1.5 inches I already added by slashing and spreading the lower bodice just above the waist seam, and the upper skirt just below the waist seam.  To get the waist  seam in the right place and have adequate length, I had to add an additional 1/2" to the bodice and 3/8" to the skirt. That's a total of 2 3/8"!  That's more than I've ever had to add before, which leads me to believe that this pattern is drafted on the short side.  Or maybe it's just that I normally go for vertical seams, which are much more forgiving.

I also had to do a modest FBA, adding 1/4" to the bottom of the upper bodice and to the top of the lower bodice.  That horizontal seam goes right across the bust-  just FYI, in case you were wondering.  The pattern pieces are shaped to incorporate the bust dart in that seam.  (And yes, I raised the neckline 1 inch for modesty's sake.)

I also had to do an "FBA"or full bum adjustment, to the upper back skirt piece.  That horizontal seam across the backside seemed to ride up when viewed from the side, so I used the same basic adjustment I made to the bust, just upside down, to lower that seam line into place.

I also found that the straight part of the skirt is shorter than expected and the flounce begins higher than I thought it would.  No problem, though.  The overall length looks good... now that I added all that extra at the waist.  Oh, and the sleeves are loooong.  I actually used the shorter sleeve from a different view and they turned out a little bit more than full length on me.

I just noticed, looking at the tech drawing that I made a mistake in my lower front bodice pattern piece and in my cutting:  I didn't put it on the fold!  I am going to have a CF seam on my lower bodice!  Which helps to illustrate my next point which is, even though this really is a simple dress when you get right down to it (all the seams are straight or gently curved, there are no darts, pleats, or inset corners, and everything goes together very nicely) you have to pay really close attention when putting it together.  There are separate pieces for lower front bodice, lower back bodice, upper skirt front, and upper skirt back, which are all very similar, but need to be sewn together correctly to get the shape right.

My dress is all cut out now and ready to be sewn.  Unfortunately, I'm too tired tonight to start.  I think I'm going to go find some snuggly pajamas and head off to bed.  Tomorrow is another sewing day.


Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

What an interesting dress...what kind of knit are you using for the "real" dress?

Juliane said...

I really like the tech drawing of this way I would have attempted it without a muslin. Are those zippers at the sleeve cuffs? Nice.

Anonymous said...

Phew. What a lot of work. It will look fabulous on you though. This pattern has great style lines.

Shannon said...

Carolyn- I am using a ponte knit. It's my favorite fabric for dresses.

Juliane- Yes, the dress has zippers in the sleeves, but I won't be using them. The sleeves are wide enough and I'm using a knit so I won't need the zippers, and I like to wear a bracelet and don't want the zipper pull catching on it. And, I just don't feel like putting them in, if I'm honest. : )