Of all the dresses I’ve sewn, I’ve never made a muslin first. I would just cut out the pattern size closest to my bust, waist and hip measurements. Then, I sewed the dress in its entirety and hoped for the best. Sometimes it worked great. Sometimes it didn’t.
Lately, I started reading some really great sewing blogs. Which reminds me, I need to update my blog roll. Time and again the authors of these sewing blogs would mention that they sewed a muslin first before cutting out the expensive fabric they purchased. Though the fabric I purchased for our dresses isn’t terribly expensive, it’s not cheap and I would prefer to not have to buy more.
Based on Elly’s chest measurement, I traced out a size 5T/6. It’s true Elly is tall for her age, but she is not the height of a 5 year old. Assuming the bodice would need shortening and not wanting to make such adjustments on the fancy fabric, I made a muslin of it. The skirt I was unconcerned about. I can always make the hem deeper. Plus, the width of the skirt doesn’t really matter since it is gathered.
I was right. The straps needed to be 1 inch shorter. What I didn’t anticipate was how tight the bodice was in the waist. I had forgotten about Elly’s big belly.
It took slashing the front bodice piece and adding 2.5 inches to keep the bodice from being skin-tight over her belly.
It’s a good thing Elly is only 2 years old. I don’t think she will appreciate me divulging such personal information when she is 13. Ha!
The other thing I learned from the muslin was how to put the pattern pieces together. I mucked it up in the first picture. I attached the shoulder straps next to the side seams when they are supposed to be shifted over a few inches. Nice to figure that out on cheap muslin.
So, I’m a convert. I’ll be making a muslin of my bodice as well.
Next, I have to wash the gorgeous fabric (pictures coming soon), take a very deep breath and cut out all the pattern pieces for Elly’s dress.