Sunday, February 2, 2014

February Garment a Month Challenge

Have you ever have one of those sewing days where everything you touch seems to go wrong?  Well, this was one of those times.  Thankfully, I was just working on the muslin for fitting purposes and not the actual garment.

So I'm making Vogue 1135 - a Chado Ralph Rucci designer dress with lots of pintucking and gussets, and bias pieces, etc. for my February garment.  Well, to start off with, I had the wrong size pattern and it looks a nightmare to try and size it down a few sizes.  Since it's now OOP and I bought it ages ago (probably not paying attention to the size and just grabbing it on sale), I knew it wouldn't fit.  Thankfully, ebay came to my rescue with a new, smaller pattern.  That was the first mistake (wrong size pattern).  Here's the pattern drawing below.  I had the DD size (12 - 18) and needed the AAX size (4 - 10).

Then, I decided to buy some cheapo knit fabric from Wal-Mart to make my muslin.  Now, I can't really blame the fabric for the sewing mistakes that I was about to make, all I can really do is blame it on my lack of concentration and trying to rush the muslin.

Once I traced the pattern and cut out the pieces, the errors began to multiply.  First, I sewed the wrong sides (or would that be right sides in this case?) of the top front and back together.  Well, I didn't notice at the time, but this caused me to sew the gussets under the arms in incorrectly as well - not just one time, but 3 times!  Holy cow!  I think that is a record for me.  Then, the midriff piece went in incorrectly as well.  Oh joy!
Front view of the muslin

Next came the skirt.  Somehow I managed to trace the correct "Cut Here for Lining" line on the front, but managed to trace a tuck line on the back - so now my side seams don't match either.  Aye, yi, yi!  I did, miraculously manage to sew these two pieces together correctly though.  Yippee - one piece is right (sort of)!

Back view
As you can see here, the bottom side seams don't match at all!  The dress looks really, really frumpy from this angle too!  It did fit me much better than my dress form buddy.

View of the other side isn't any prettier!  Just so you know, those little square dangly pieces at the underarms are meant to be there.  They are little stabilizer squares because the angle of the gusset is so sharp, it needs a little something extra there so the seam doesn't rip.

So now my muslin is sewn half right sides together and half wrong sides together. Lovely!  Oh well, at least it's the practice garment and not the real thing!  And, I know how it fits.  Maybe I could add some lace to it and wear it as a nightgown!  Ha! Ha!

All is not lost though - I did learn quite a few things from this:

1. I do not need to install the invisible zipper in the back.  I can pull it over my head just fine.
2. I do need to take it in at the back waist a little.  This will make it a little more fitted in the waist - and cause another problem in the process - the lining up of the pintucks.
3. Because I will need to take in the dress at the waist, I think I will wait to do the pintucks south of the midriff panel until the garment is almost finished.  I may even leave off the last pintuck on the top portion above the midriff panel as well because of the waist fitting.
4. I need to be more diligent and accurate in my markings.  There are alot of circles and squares and notches that need to line up in this dress so I need to take my time when cutting it out and be sure to mark every single one of them!
5. I will trace the pintuck lines onto the dress, but understand that they will need to be adjusted - probably freehand the final lines when the dress is near completion.  
6.  Lastly, give it a break for a few days!  I think I've been thinking about it too much and need to do something mindless for awhile!

Until next time!

Happy Sewing!


  1. I guess you knew this wasn't gonna be an easy one, but what an awful lot of complications! I like the nightgown idea. I thought the same thing about my muslin for the BHL Anna dress but my test fabric was too ugly, even to wear in the dark. Good luck with the dress, I think it will be wonderful!

  2. EEEEK! that is a complicated dress.

    I rarely muslin, but this I certainly would! I can't wait to see the final version.

    1. Thanks Accordion3. I think I'll choose a simple garment for the March challenge.

  3. at least you're determined to see it through to the end lol! I made a simple pullover shift dress & couldn't figure out why the back was hugging me so, come to find out I'd cut the back out a size smaller than the front lol! so it'll be trashed or turned into a blouse lol! hang in there & happy sewing!

  4. I have whole sewing weeks like this sometimes :).

    You have learnt a lot thought about accuracy of markings and cutting - when there are lots of pattern pieces the opportunity for multiplying errors increases.

    I think this would make a pretty nighty. If you can stand the memories!

    1. Thanks Sarah. It's nice to know I'm not alone.