Monday, 30 March 2015

Ceylon muslin #1

So the Ceylon dress is officially on the way now, and I've made the first muslin.
I traced the pattern in a size 6, based on my bust measurement. This way the dress would be proportionate to my upper body, and fit through the shoulders, neck opening etc.

Final fabric sample.

Earlier, I often chose pattern size based on my waist measurement, and ended up with more fitting issues in the bodice as it would be too big. Patterns with a 30" waist is usually for a 39" bust, or there abouts. If I were to follow my measurements for the waist with this pattern, I would have gone with a size 10, which is for a 30 1/2 " waist (my actual waist measure). The finished garment would then end up with a 40 1/2" bust, and a very dissapointed seamstress.

I have a small bust and narrow hips, so in this equation it is my waist that is unproportionate, and knowing this makes fitting more easy for me now. Knowing your body's uniqe caracteristics and proportions can help you tremendously.

So this is Ceylon size 6 right out of the envelope. As you can see, it is a close fitting garment, but I honestly didn't expect it to fit my waist without alterations. I will be wearing appropriate undergarments with this dress, and I don't think I will add much to the waist. I want it to be "hugging" but not restrictive.

Speaking of waist, there is quite a dramatic shaping in the midriff section, and I think that curve is slightly off in my muslin. It hits just below my natural waist, and rides up, creating a crease (see picture above).
I am a bit unsure whether I should shorten the midriff, move the curve in the midriff, or shorten the back piece and thus raising the waistline.

Curvy waist!

The sleeves are obviously to tight, and I might scoop out the armscye just a little bit in the back. I was also wondering if I should broaden the shoulders half an inch, so that the sleeve seam would hit further out, but I don't know if I need to. The puffed sleeve heads blur the lines, and my shoulders are plenty broad enough, and I might not need to emphasize that trait any more.

As for the construction of the dress, it went together fabulously. The instructions are very simple to follow, no tricky bits. I believe the most challenging part of this dress is all of those buttons with their matching buttonholes. I had no need to put 16 buttons in my muslin, so I used a jacket zipper. I made sure to position the zipper where the buttons and button holes would line up, so there wouldn't be any fitting surprices later on.

So, there it is! I really like the dress, dropped waist and all. I also quite dig the zipper option, allthough the final Sew for Cotton-version will have buttons. I might make a wearable muslin next, with a zipper closure.

As always, your valued opinions are most welcome below ;)


  1. It looks great for a muslin! For the back, I would shorten at the waist, or maybe a swayback adjustment. The bust fits really well, and the waist looks pretty good too.

  2. I think its possible that the waist is riding up because the bottom section of the piece is too small. That will push the fabric up to the "place of least resistance". So I would add width to the hip area and see if that helps.
    Also - if you're going to scoop out the armhole, that will decrease the back width and make the back tighter/smaller. So it might be worth doing that back width alteration if you're going to change the armscye.
    I am no fitting expert but I recently learned a LOT fitting a client who had broad shoulders and big biceps (she does crossfit!) and had all sorts of headaches trying to get her shirt right! :-D

  3. For a muslin this does look great :D I agree that picking the shoulder/bust measurement saves a lot of grief down the road. It is easier to alter a waist/hip line than the above.
    I have no advice on the fitting, sorry :) But I'm sure you will get it right, you always make fabulous outfits!

  4. It's great that it fits so well at first fitting. I think I would also try what Esz has suggested above regarding the waist - maybe the section of the waist panel just under the waist could be increased a little to stop it riding up? I'm afraid my fitting regime is looking in about four books then trial and error! Looking forward to seeing the second fitting.