Sunday, March 6, 2011

Smithson Gown 2011: The First Muslin

I am so fortunate to have a group of very creative sewing friends who have no problem being honest about what looks good on me and what doesn't!
I finished the muslin in time for today's PatternMaster Users Group meeting, and got a LOT of very good feedback. But before we get to that, here is what the muslin looked like before they made their comments:

Remember, my inspiration is drawn from Vogue 2607. I drafted it with PatternMaster, of course, with a little tweaking of the collar pattern piece after I printed it out. Although my original intent was to have a single-breasted front, I opted for the zipper after all.
Overall, I am very happy with the fit and the style. The PMB group did make some suggestions, starting with the jacket hem. They all thought it was too long and had too much flare. So it was pinned up to see if it made a difference.

Well, yes. So I'll be shortening the jacket and reducing the flare.

The next suggestion was to raise the flare point of the skirt -- that is, the point at which the skirt starts flaring outward. Right now it starts just above the knee; the suggestion was to raise it about two inches. Not a huge change, but enough to subtly alter the line.

The two-part sleeves are also too baggy. It doesn't help that I'm pretty sure I sewed them inside-out and backwards. But I will be reducing them a little bit. Again, not a lot, but enough to make them more tailored.

This collar is just about right; the suggestion was to make it about half an inch shorter, so it stops just below my earlobes. But the ladies all liked the dramatic look, which is what I was aiming for!

I'll be making a second muslin in the next week or so; the fabric I ordered should arrive by mid-week, and I will then look for fabric for the lining and the shell. I'm also going to add welt pockets to the jacket, although I'll try them first on the muslin to make sure they don't create an unwanted detail so close to my hips.

We also had a discussion about the zipper: I'm going to look for an invisible separating zipper (I had no idea they existed!), but it was also suggested that one of the sparkly rhinestone zippers might look good too. But the more I think about that option, the less I like it.

All in all, I'm quite happy with the way this outfit is shaping up. One of the ladies also suggested I make a shorter skirt if I have fabric left over (which I think I will), so I can pair it with the jacket for a less formal occasion.

So, stay tuned for the next muslin round!


  1. WOW! You will be the hit of this event! Love the tips you got about shortening the jacket and glad to know there are separating invisible zippers! Rinestones would be too much with this. What do you plan to put in your pockets if you make them? Since the Vogue shows horizontial welt pockets and you feel you might need pockets, have you considered concealing the pockets in the front princess seams? That wouldn't break up the look, but it doesn't let you put much in them that would be bulky or heavy (id, folding $, maybe a small compact/lipgloss). My $0.02 - you are going to stun them all! deborah

  2. Welmoed, I really like this and am sorry I missed seeing it in person today. I'm glad you are removing some of the flare on the jacket -- that was what caught my eye. This would be a great place to try out Fred Bloebaum's No-Clip Welt Pockets (Threads #91, page 48). This pocket sits between two princess seams. I've made these before and they are a lot less stressful than the traditional version. Can't wait to see more. Curious what the fabric is.

  3. keep the collar, lose some of the jacket flare. I like the shorter length on the jacket.

    I don't know if you have played with the fit of the skirt...but it is wonky on the belly ( too big and too other stuff that I'm not smart enough to express in the right sewing lingo)

    the rhinestone zipper is too Long island mother of the bride. Brass might offer the right amount of subltle glimmer..and be an easier color match.

    and since I'm being bossy, maybe the extra piece needs to be a sheath dress rather than a skirt.

  4. A good beginning, to what promises to be a very satisfying garment. Slimming the arms down considerably is my additional suggestion. Have you considered a 3/4" sleeve, it does wonder for lengthing your overall silhouette.

  5. I'm curious to see what you fabric choice was.
    The pinning-up of the front of the jacket gives it an appealing "dropped back hem" look.

  6. The comments on your muslin are following along the lines of my thoughts expressed a week or so ago in the Creative Mach. group once I saw the cover pic of your Vogue inspiration pattern. I agree the shorter jacket, a bit less flair in the skirt..(are you still using the furnishing brocade?)and as suggested above..consider 3/4 sleeves. In seam pockets ---a smart idea, keep the jacket lines "clean". But YES, I like the face framing dramatic collar, centre zip, and idea of a day dress length skirt or sheath dress as extras to "mix 'n match" as circumstances suggest. The outfit is taking on the feeling of "elegant classy"......a very smart image for you to portray. All the very best...Mufti


I would love to hear your thoughts... Please share!