Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fitting Vogue 1084 - Part III

Over the weekend I was able to sew and fit the muslin for Ms. PB's banquet dress. As a rule I make muslin for clients. It helps me with fitting, of course, and it helps identify the challenges in the construction process and how well the pieces go together. With each project I glean more useful information from the muslin process. Making the muslin provides information on how the garment will look draped on the body. One of Ms. PB's first questions about the pattern illustration was, "Will the dress stand out as it does in the pattern drawing?" My response was, "I've learned over the years that the drawing may be a little exaggerated. The truth in the shape and foam of the dress will come in the muslin made in a similar fabric as the desired dress." In this case, there was not a lot of body in the form of this dress. It hangs close to the body.

Fitting changes: The overall pattern fits a little big on Ms. PB. Throughout the bodice and skirt I could have cut the pattern between size 16 and 18 instead of size 18.

- Sides take in 1/2 inch
- Sway back adjustment needed -- increase the darts and fold out about 1/4 inch along the center back (small back area)
- At upper back seam where the sleeve and bodice join, take in 1/4 inch
- At shoulder seam increase the seam allowance of the back upper sleeve

There are a few challenges: the joining of the side front to the front bodice/skirt was that the upper and lower corners. And the upper seam of the side front didn't evenly go together. So that needs to be tweaked just a little bit.

Design changes:

- Sleeve length is above the elbow
- Add slits at upper sleeve seam
- Cut skirt at pattern length, but it may be adjusted at first dress fitting
- Deeper pleat at center back

That's it so far. Will see how the next fitting goes.


  1. It's looking beautiful! Did you suggest using a crinoline slip to give more fullness in the skirt?

  2. No. But that's a thought. Thanks for the suggestion. Ms. PB is the President of the Banquet Committee. I don't think want to wear it. But I will suggest it.

  3. Cennetta- I just posted on sew retro but will add it again! I saw this dress on two blogs recently-- Claudine's Adventure in sewing and at Sew Tessuti. They are both on my blog list.

  4. The dress looks good so far despite the alterations you are going to make...but i do wonder how you are going to accomplish the fullness of the skirt without a slip? Are you going to use more fabric?

  5. Looks great so far! I love this pattern, so classic with lots of interesting back details. If your client would like a petticoat/slip, there are lots of patterns from the 50's on ebay, and repros by Simp/Butt/McCalls. I can't wait to see it finished (please post a review on PR). Cheers - Kellie R. on PR

  6. Thanks, Cindy. I already gone to Sew Tessuti and saw the beautiful red dress. I will check Claudine's blog as well.

    Ambitious Sewer - Ms. PB asked that I make the pleats deeper. I but think that will get the affect she looking for. Years ago I made a dress for my sister that had a detachable floor length skirt. The pattern instructed to put a underlining of tulle and then add lining. This gave the skirt great body. This is another option. Also I thought about adding lining to the center back for a little more body.

    Kellie - I will certainly post on PR.

    Thanks, ladies.

  7. Thanks for taking the time to share your fitting process which include picture details along with the markings.

    Yes, your suggestion for making the dress fuller was what I thought about. (Sandwiching the tulle or netting between the dress in lining so that it wouldn't be of a bother to Ms PB skin).

  8. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.
    This dress looks great and your fitting explanations are intersting. Thanks for sharing it.
    I remember my sister wearing dresses like this one, in the early 60's. My mum made slip that had a lot of body. I was fascinated.

  9. I cannot wait to see this dress all made up. The more I see of it, the more I'm liking it. My sewing instructor is actually working with a client to make it for an art installation - it'll be interesting to see the two versions all sewn up. :)

  10. Your progress posts are really interesting and helping me better understand the muslin process.



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