Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Olivia's Prom Gown Part 3: The Muslin

I made the muslin mock-up of Liver's gown before I left for home. I only had a week to make the gown, and I needed as much time as possible to tackle those sequins. So, the pattern was made and the muslin sewn. To make the pattern, all I used as a reference were Liver's bust, waist, and hip measurements. I then used slopers to draft the pattern. The slopers I have are just basic, two dart patterns that I then alter to make it look like what I want it to. I wish there was a way to explain this better through my laptop and typing, but I did do a post on it a long time ago about how to alter darts (which is really what pattern drafting is all about- moving darts to get a desired shape).

When the pattern was made I knew it wasn't the end all be all. Once we started fitting that muslin, probably every part of that pattern was going to change. I could make the pattern in one night because it didn't need to be perfect at all-- perfection came when the fittings were done and the muslin was right. Tip: if you are every scared to make a pattern because you know it's not going to be perfect, when then I say NO DUH- you won't have a perfect pattern until you fit the garment, dummy! I sometimes feel like a lot of beginning sewers don't get this, and a lot of kids at school don't get this either. They come to class without their muslins made with the excuse that "they knew the pattern wrong anyway"-- puh-lease. 

Oh boy. I better stop there before my snobbery is cemented in the internet. 

Liver's gown didn't require much alterations. I took it in a little (always make the pattern bigger, and leave a 2" seam allowance on the Center Back closure), adjusted the arm scye, and nipped in the skirt a bit to show her shape more. I adjusted darts and made whole new darts in the process. I fitted the bodice first and then once that was perfect I moved onto the skirt. My bridal teacher, Eugene, makes custom gowns all the time, and he is so advanced that he only needs THREE fittings total when making a gown. I thin I tried Liver's muslin on about twenty times, and then twenty more when we moved onto the fashion fabric. But I am noticing that I need to trust my self more. About ten fittings or less would have been fine, because all my alterations were correct. I guess I'm just being a worry wort and the last thing I wanted was the mess up with such a short time period. 

An untouched muslin. Wrinkles= bad

A perfectly altered bodice


I added these darts after the fact to flatter Liver's waist more.

I added that shoulder dart as well in the fitting to fit the curve of Liver's body better. I also lengthened her booty darts to fit those curves better. ;)
Once all that was done, I cut out the bodice in its actual fabric just to make sure everything was good, and it was. I altered the front neckline pleats to make them just one big pleat because three little pleats wasn't working too well. I sewed the actual bodice on the muslin skirt to continue fitting that. I didn't bother sewing the muslin godets on the skirt until I knew I was close to getting the correct fit on the skirt.

My sewing room got a little messy. But the muslin looks great!
I did even more to the skirt when I fit it with the silk lining fabric. 

be sure to come back tomorrow for part 4: the sequins

Part 2: The Fabric


  1. can't wait!

  2. Aw she's going to look beautiful! I'm so impressed El!

  3. I'm glad you are showing the steps and talking about the process--it looks like a ton of work. But I can tell already it is worth it.
    Great job on the fitting!