Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cosmopolitan dress: the One Hour Muslin

Progress has been made and already I'm feeling better about this blue jersey! True, it does smell suspiciously like a rubber band, but the color is amazing: cobalt blue that just makes my skin glow. Too bad it's a muslin, right? Unfortunately, it won't be wearable, but hey, sometimes we must sacrifice for our art.

Last weekend, I successfully traced off sizes 8 and 10, not being sure which would work but wanting to leave myself some room for error. I had an odd yard left from the McCall's pattern so I had to be fairly careful with layout and such. My measurements match the 8 bodice for Hotpatterns, so I cut out the 8 bodice and waist bands on a single later, making a full bodice front and back, eliminating the folds and the center back seam. I feel this jersey - purchased at Hancock's by the way for $3.95/yd - has enough stretch that it's okay to just pull the dress over my head. I recycled the skirt pieces by simply laying out the new pattern pieces over the material. However, the Cosmo has a definite A-line skirt where the McCall's pattern was rectangular (literally), so I sort of lost some of the lines just below mid-thigh. But I figured, this was a muslin, and my main point was to see if this pattern was going to work for me. At this stage, I didn't bother with the ties since these weren't going to effect fit very much.

Construction consisted of really quickly basting up the darts, then shoulders and waistbands to front and back. The skirt front and back were basted and then the side seams. What do you think?
Overall, I think it looks pretty darned good for all of 20 minutes of sewing :) Such rapid construction is not without its hazards however. Note the bodice close up below:
That's right, I managed to twist the front and back before sewing the side seams together. Awesome, I know. Sometimes I amaze even myself with my attention to detail. I wonder if I could use the 10 bodice, however and ease it into the 8 waistband to get more of a blousy effect. On Cidell and Christina and the original, the bodice was a little less fitted. Also, I wonder if I could have lengthened the bodice so that my waist is at the right point. As it is now, the seam of the skirt feels like its about 1/2" above my waistline, which means the actual waist-point of the dress is about 1.5" too high. Does this mean I am long waisted??? I'll try to modify the pattern and see where I end up. Am I not right about this color? Is it not amazing? It photographed really well and true. Even if I do stink of rubber...

For the next version:
  • Bodice: this will be a 10, measuring first to be certain my waist line is in the right place, which will likely mean adding 1.25" in length to begin with and then take up from there
  • Waistband: I'm going to keep the 8 since it fit nicely without being snug
  • Skirt: straight 8, but lengthened to the narrowest point of my knee when hemmed
  • Sleeves: short ones since the weather seems to be holding steady around 75 degrees
For the muslin:
I just might end up making a shirt out of it in the end. The bodice fits well enough; I suppose I can consider it an empire waist. Recycling the skirt would give me enough to bind the neckline and I still have the sleeves from the McCall dress to use as well. We'll see how it goes...

I'm going to stop by Hancock's soon to see if they have any more of this fabric since I love the color. It reminds me of the Mediterranean Sea in July. It needs to be part of my summer wardrobe.


christina said...

I thought the twisted shoulders were an intentional design element of a sleeveless version you are making!

I agree you want to lengthen the bodice a bit so the waist is lower.

Yes, go out and get more of that fabric! It's a great color.

Chicago Sarah said...

That's a great fabric. And at first I too thought the shoulders were a design element... :) You did it with style!

rosanne said...

Yes, you're right ladies! It was intentional. I meant to do that...Exactly!

cidell said...

The color is beautiful. I think I made a 10 in mine and liked the fit up top, but thought it was a little loose in the bottom. It's looking really good though. And I do think you could drop the waist down too.