Friday, May 25, 2007

Wedding Gown Muslin (New Look 3618)

Hi everyone!
First, thank you (as always) for your comments. Tanya asked whether I would be selling the bag. It was put for sale in the shop, but sold out within 24 hours! This was my fastest sale and I want to thank the kind buyer, who told me she reads this blog. This is so encouraging. Thank you!
I made two bags with those toile de Jouy fabrics, both of which sold out, but I don't have enough left to make another... I was planning on making smaller purses with fat quarters now, but those larger totes seem to be more popular, so maybe I should make more of those instead.

I haven't got around to posting the pictures of the muslin for New Look 3618 gown yet. Here they are.

For those of you who aren't used to sewing garments, a muslin (toile in French) is a test garment cut in an inexpensive fabric (originally, muslin), so that you don't ruin the expensive fabric in case the pattern doesn't work well at first. You make all the alterations on the muslin. When the muslin fits, you usually cut it apart along the seams and use that as a pattern for the good fabric.

In my case, the cheapest fabric I found was still pretty, so I decided to make a wearable muslin. That means I won't be taking it apart; but I took a lot notes while making the alterations so that I can change the original paper pattern and use that to cut the "real" dress.

I cut the muslin in a shorter length: the parts requiring fitting are the bodice and waist, not lower. This had two advantages: it allowed me to save on fabric (I can make another dress with the rest of this cute fabric); and this way, the muslin can become a cocktail length dress for my little sister.

The first muslin was much too big, which surprised me, as this is a New Look pattern and I'm used to them. I did my usual alterations but the back and waist needed a lot more taking in. This is surprising - I thought patterns made by a given company had a consistent sizing.
(I forgot to take pictures of the first muslin - sorry.)

I originally made a size 10 for the bust and a size 8 for the back and back side panels (I always do that because my back is apparently narrower than is usual). The bust fit, but I had to take out 3 cm from each side in the middle back, and resewed the side panels in a size 6. (Another note to my non-sewing readers: this bears no relation to the present American RTW sizing.)
Now, it fits well. Snug, but not tight, which is good because the dupioni will "give" less than this test fabric: it is stiffer.

I didn't add any straps, because I haven't redrafted them yet. I want them wider and tapered, not simple spaghetti straps. The dress is not supposed to be hanging by the straps anyway, and I realized this allowed me to see the issues better.

After those pictures I added boning to the front seams, and the fitting was good. There are no pictures unfortunately, because I couldn't ask Seb to spend more time on this.

Now that the fitting alterations are done, I am very happy with the look of the dress. This is exactly what I wanted, and apart from the straps, I don't need to redraft anything. I was afraid the back might be a bit too low for my personal preference, but it wasn't. The front bodice in particular is very well drafted, with the centre bottom forming a point rather than being straight. This has a flattering and graceful effect.


The dress has been put on hold since last Friday (May 18), pending the arrival of white taffeta and more batiste. Otherwise, I could have worked on the lining, but have now decided to use batiste for the lining AND underlining. True, silk organza seemed to be the best option to underline dupioni, but was really too pricey for me, and according to Susan Khalje, batiste is another good option. As a result, I need to wait for the extra batiste to reach me.

Wishing you a lovely weekend - to those of you who have a long weekend, enjoy!

39 comments:

Redwitch said...

This is lovely and looks great on you! It's very interesting to read your thoughts as you make your wedding dress and now a wedding quilt too!! I'm even more excited now :)Have a great weekend!

Barbara said...

Okay, I'm actually learning something! This is fascinating!

And I can't wait to see your wedding quilt progress pictures, if you will be posting any.

Wishing you a fabulous weekend, even if we do seem to have lost our summery weather.

KarenV said...

It looks fabulous so far Isabelle - very pretty and flattering!

I can't wait to see how this (and your wedding quilt) progress :)

Have a lovely weekend!

coonie said...

It looks lovely (I love the fabric), and fits you so well. I can't wait to see you wedding dress and of course your wedding quilt :)

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us :)

Have a lovely weekend, my dear friend

((((hugs))))

dawn said...

It's looking great, Isabelle!

This dress in itself is adorable. I'm glad you made a wearable muslin.

Little Grey Cat said...

The muslin is gorgeous. I love the fabric and the shape of the dress. It really suits you.

Pretty bags too. Shame for us that they sold so quickly but good for you!

Ruth Welter said...

Isabelle, what a beautiful dress, looks so pretty on you. I cannot sew at all...I so admire people who do and do it well.

Vonna said...

Oh my....that is stunning...I can't add anything original to what the others have said, except...Isabelle your "WOW" me with both your sewing skills and modeling :)

Margaret said...

Love your muslin - it looks great on you Isabelle.
Like Barbara I am fascinated by all you are sharing about this designing/sewing process. Love it!!
Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy working on your wedding quilt.

BeckySC said...

Another wonderful creation from our seamstress :)
It looks great :)
I got your email and I am excited to see what you chose (we were so busy yesterday-hubby is off for the weekend and we hardly slowed down until last night and then I spent my time stitching ):)
hugs to you :)

Carol said...

Wow, congratulations on selling your pretty bag so quickly!! Some lucky girl will be very happy with it :-)

Shashi Nayagam said...

Love your dress Isabelle and I can almost imagine how your dress is going to look when it is all done. Thank you for sharing your thought processes. It almost feels as though we are looking at it while you make it.

Wendy said...

You've off to a wonderful start on the wedding dress, Isabelle! I love the fit of the muslin dress. Your wedding dress is going to be fantastic!

Erica B. said...

That muslin looks great... I can't wait to see the final.

Tany said...

That muslin is so promising! I can't wait to see the dress in dupioni! You are doing great!

PS - I still have to write back to you but I was VERY BUSY until a few hours ago!

HUGS

Ruth Rachel Vendsel said...

Isabelle, thank you for always visiting my blog! Your wedding dress is going to be absolutely gorgeous!!! I can't wait to see it. I love the silk dupioni ... my bridesmaids dresses were done in a pink/red silk dupioni and they turned out so pretty.

you quilt, too? of course you do! I'm looking forward to seeing your wedding quilt.

Summerset said...

Nicely done. It does seem that formal wear patterns that need to fit snugly run a bit big. Don't even get me started on American RTW sizing! What a mess.

Are you going to put cups in it or wear a strapless bra? If you're going to put cups in it, you'll want to fit it with those in place as they add a little extra to the bustline circumference.

Vicki said...

What a great style for you, suits your figure beautifully!

Stephanie said...

Very pretty!
What kind of wedding quilt are you making?

Aussie Stitcher said...

Your dress is looking wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing, I love being a part of this process.

Joanne

Lisa said...

Lovely. Congrats on selling out so quickly! That is wonderful and much deserved.

Dawn said...

It looks great! I can't wait to see the real thing:)

You're such an enabler! I caught myself in the fabric dept going thru patterns to see what I could sew. My skills don't even come close to yours!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Jenna said...

Oh, Isabelle! It's lovely! That pattern is going to look just fabulous on you. I mean, I already knew that, but this confirms it. ;) I can't wait until your baptiste arrives!

Carla said...

it looks great! I'm sure you'll look gorgeous in your wedding dress :)

Von said...

What a lovely choice you've made Isabelle! This dress is very flattering on you. :)

2miaou said...

c'est tout simplement magnifique!
quelle Belle Mariée tu feras et cette robe te sied tellement bien (j'espère que j'ai bien compris!) et dans la soie dupion que tu as choisi, elle suivra le moindre de tes mouvements!!!

mais dis moi, comment fais tu avec Seb, on dit que le futur Marié ne doit pas voir la robe avant le jour J???

bon lundi à toi ma Belle, ici sous la pluie et caresses à Ptite Mignonne

biiizzz

Hala said...

great idea you have there:) you are lucky to be able to make your own clothes , i always ahve a problem with ready made specialy on the wait , cause mine as they say in french is a "taille de guepe" hihihi...
I love the dress without any straps , consider keeping it this way, it is so refershing....or maybe just add a beaded spaghetti straps...
kisse......

Jamie said...

This is looking fantastic. I hope you had a lovely weekend. You are going to do a wedding quilt too?!? What's going to be on the quilt? While I do sew this sounds like an amazing idea and I do have tons of friends that making a living using a sewing machine.

claudia said...

What a pretty dress! It looks fantastic on you. Now I really can't wait to see your wedding dress...it will be breath taking!

AND a wedding quilt??? My goodness girl, you are ambitious!

stitcherw said...

Your dress is going to be beautiful. The test fabric is so pretty, I can see why you would want to keep it as a dress and not cut it apart afterwards. I don't sew, but I enjoy reading your sewing entries, they are interesting and I'm actually learning stuff. :)
Sue

Sharon said...

Your muslin turned out lovely and the style suits you great. Can't wait to see the wedding quilt.

Anonymous said...

You look gorgeous! Ann.

Tracy said...

WOW! You've been busy! The muslin looks terrific. I love the idea of a wearable muslin. It souds like you're really getting to know which way to go with your wedding dress. This is so exciting! I've not sewen/used boning before, is it difficult to work with? I learn so much from your blog--thank you! And congrats on the quick sale of the bags--they were so lovely! But what's this about a wedding quilt?! Can't wait for more on this...Happy Days! :o)

cidell said...

This is going to be so much fun to watch!

Tanya said...

I'm eager to learn more about the wedding quilt ~ how wonderful it will be, I'm certain. That dress is going to be divine. You are quite the master-seamstress. I admire your talent.

Michelle said...

Your dress is going to be absolutely stunning! I can't wait to see what you're doing with your wedding quilt. I need to sew on mine, but I am trying to finish a few other things first. I had people sign quilt squares instead of a guest book at our wedding, so that is part of what the wedding quilt will consist of.

lena-lou said...

Isabelle the muslin looks stunning so goodness knows how gorgeous the 'real' thing is going to be :-))

Beadiful Things said...

Beautiful! I can't wait to see the real thing! I'm dying for my crystals & pearls to get here so I can get started on your vine. Any day now. Wheee!

Tessa said...

That dress looks perfect for you. I can't wait to see the wedding version - you will look stunning. Make sure we get lots of photos too :) And a quilt too - wow - you are so talented Isabelle, look forward to photos of that too.