Well the first thing I noticed when I pulled this pattern out of the envelope was the quality of the pattern. This is a multi-size pattern which covers 10 sizes. This is supposedly a beginner pattern and trying to find the marks for your size was very difficult at times – especially with the darts. I wondered if it would have been better if Colette had offered 2 multi size patterns. The other thing is that there are no seam allowances.
As I am a typical pear shape having very narrow back and shoulders and hips that are 6” bigger than my bust I cut out a size 10 top and a size 12 bottom and then adjusted the pattern to make sure the two would match up at the waist. I also lengthened the skirt by 2.5cm. I usually have to adjust the shoulder seams as I have very narrow shoulders but was not sure where to make the change on this pattern. In retrospect I should have measured from shoulder to shoulder and compared to the pattern.
I then cut out my muslin with extra allowances for adjustments and then used my waxed paper for marking out the seam allowances, darts and notches. I came across this waxed paper when doing the Susan Khalje Couture Dress course with Craftsy – which is an excellent course and well worth the money. I could not find a source in the UK so purchased from Richard III in the States. The trouble was that the minimum order value meant I had to buy quite a lot as there was nothing else on their site I wanted and then I got stung by Customs so this must be the most expensive waxed paper in the world. On the plus side I now have a lifetime supply of waxed paper. It is excellent for muslins but I don’t think I would use it on fashion fabric.
I then thread traced round the parts and then put the muslin together. My intention is to use the muslin as my pattern when I get to the fabric itself.
This is my first fit of my muslin – ignore the hemline I think Steve took the photo from a peculiar angle because it is quite straight.
The first thing I noticed was the waist darts were not in the right place.
The marks on the muslin are my bust points – I think my bra must be a bit lopsided! The waist darts need to point towards the bust point which they certainly do not here! Plus it felt a bit tight across the bust – I think just adding to the side seam a bit will help here.
The neckline is hopeless as it is falling off my shoulders and my bra straps are showing – do you know that looking at these photos I think I have a lopsided stance – my left shoulder is definitely higher than my right.
I need to take the shoulder up and in and to lengthen the shoulder seam a bit. Measuring from my shoulder knob to the end of my bra strap is 6cms while the shoulder seam on the pattern is 3 cms. I think I might lose some of the design element of the bateau neck but I can live with that.
The back is terrible!
I am definitely lop sided!!!!
I think on this I will try pulling in from the centre back seam to start with.
As you can see there are some major issues with fitting this pattern for me. It goes to prove that a muslin is certainly worth doing. Oh well back to the drawing board.
One of the other things I decided after doing this muslin is that my fabric is wrong for this design. The skirt is quite full and I think my fabric choice would suit a straighter skirt than this design. I have picked out a black floral for this instead and if I am happy with the finished product then I will do another one with a straight skirt in my original fabric. After all this trouble I am definitely going to get at least 2 dresses out of this pattern. I did think about abandoning it all together but I like a challenge!
By the way does anyone know how to do a muslin without having to put a zip in? I wondered in retrospect if it was better to sew up the back and leave the side open?