the Joan dress fitting and sewing
I wrote this post wile putting together the muslins for the Joan dress I made. This was partly to have a guide for myself when I had to put the real dress together later on and just to completely share the process with you.
I made two muslins and the real dress. I adjusted the pattern that much during that first stage that I felt it necessary to make a whole new one. I should have put more time in adjusting the sleeves because they do not look right at the moment. Luckily my arms are still usable.
Cutting out the fabricI found cutting out the pattern pieces so they would all be right side up in the finished product one of the most challenging problems in pattern drafting. Since this dress is Asymmetrical getting that right was essential. I do not have any tips that are foolproof but I try to put the direction to cut the patter pieces in on the pattern itself. I didn't count on changing the direction of how the fabric. Is laying however. So I should add witch side of the pattern should be cut with witch side of the fabric up next time.
these are the pattern pieces:
back bodice on the fold
back skirt on the fold
front skirt on the fold (accidentally but I thought the excess worked well as a facing.)
yoke on the fold
left half of the front skirt.
left bodice front
right bodice front
collar and facing for front
I added the required seam allowances (4 cm for the hem at the bottom, 1.5 cm everywhere else except the edges of the facing) if you haven't done so in your final pattern. If you are only making a muslin I recommend to leave the pattern pieces without seam allowance or mark it of very clearly. Seam allowance can get in the way while cutting and slashing the pieces to adjust them and makes it more difficult to make changes while fitting the muslin in my opinion.
SewingI'll start with sewing all of the darts and pleats. I'm trying to finish the pattern pieces separately (front, back, skirt, bodice, waistband) and then add them together at the end.
1. Sew the darts in the back bodice and the front bodice. Nothing special here.
2. Sew the pleats in the skirt parts.
Had my doubts about the fact that I designed the front pleats to be sewed down. I liked my back pleats however so I kept the front design as well. Make sure to iron the pleats to the sides on both pattern pieces.
3. Sew the yoke to the back and front bodice parts. Try this on. check the placement of the horizontal seams. Make sure the seam line is continuous. That means that the edge should not be jaggedly jumping around.
4. Sew the front facing and collar to the bodice. Make sure to cut and pin your facing part the right way! I messed up the first time. You want a mirror part of your bodice, so if the rectangle of your bodice faces right, face the rectangle of the facing left while cutting. There is a part where you have to snip the collar to be able to sew it properly. This is the left top if te rectangle. Make sure to pin and check the placement of the pins. Sew the edges of the collar back together. Just put seam on seam. I used bias binding to make a clean finish here in my final dress. Iron in the collar pleats. Use steam.
5. Sew the facing to the left bodice piece making sure the pinned fit is right first. sew the facing in two places at the end of the fabric and in the crease of the fabric. But make sure that you keep the loose flap effect. Do not sew to close to the seam. Depending on where the flap goes it will try to fold back on itself. Try to secure this with hand stitching while fitting. Sew up on the inside up until the part where the fabric should fold over.
6. sew the side seams, leaving room for the zipper in the left seam.
7. Sew the front skirt pieces together. leaving a split in the front. Check how much these pieces should overlap depending on the bodice. the flap must seam continuous. Sew along the top of this pattern piece to ensure that the pleat stays right. Iron the pleat in. I might also try some interfacing to get the required stiffness.
8. sew the side seams leaving room for the zipper in the left.
9. connect bodice and skirt with the waistband.
10. Set in the sleeves.
the second muslin
for the second muslin I redrew All pattern pieces so that the seam allowance is included. this makes the cutting and constructing a lot easier. If you do this make sure that the seams align and not just the seam allowances. There is a difference sometimes and it might make you put the notches wrong or put the whole thing together badly.
I was able to sew this in approximatelyone day. Constructionwent pretty smoothly. I did make some mistakes in the real dress because of deadline stress. I used French seams as much as possible and bias binding where it was not. For the hem I used a blind hem.
I'm happy I took the trouble of testing this dress for a second time but should have tweaked the sleeves more. I feel however confident that I will be able to fix this.