Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Wearable Muslin

In the spirit of using what I already have, here is my latest project.  And I even managed to find every single item I needed for this dress in the sewing room – that NEVER happens!

Quilting cotton is easy to work with and, despite all the naysayers, can work great as an apparel fabric, provided your demands are reasonable (if you are hoping for a 1930s Jean Harlow look, steer clear).

These days, I end up making muslin mock-ups for a large percentage of my projects.  But sometimes it gets tiresome staring at white muslin.  There, I said it . . . sometimes all the prep work gets boring.

With Colette’s Parfait, I guessed that there were not going to be many alterations necessary, which is why I decided on a wearable test version of the pattern.  Right away, I knew the length was too short for me, so I took a guess and added two inches there.  The waistline is high, but I think it is supposed to have that look, so I just add ½” to the midriff pieces.  That gives me 2.5" of extra length to work with.

My initial thought was to use another quilting cotton that has been stashed away, but I was not sure I had enough.  And then I remembered this quirky apple print.  It was purchased to make this skirt, but I still had enough to squeeze out this pattern using a multi-directional layout - not ideal in most cases, but since this print is random, it really does not make a difference.  Oh, and I also made a blouse last year - three projects from one length of fabric - whoo-hoo!

The only real change I made was to use the midriff lining pieces as a full lining, instead of leaving raw edges at the side seams.  This adds a bit of hand stitching to the process, but I have never had an issue with that!  Also, it keeps an extra layer out of the zipper seam.

Oh, and since I did not want to mess around with trying to figure out the buttonhole attachment on my machine (been there, done that, and had issues), I opted for bound buttonholes

The red grosgrain ribbon was already on my sewing table from this project, so I swapped the pocket embellishment for the ribbon trim.

Sure, I spent a bit more time on finishing than I would have with an actual muslin, but in the end, I have a new dress to wear!


  1. This is really cute! Colette patterns don't usually speak to me, but this one might be whispering to me. Love it.
    I also find quilting prints fun to work with, especially for summer dresses.

  2. This is s pretty


  3. How adorable! I'm so in love with this print!

  4. The pins and tucks are so wonderfully done. What a gem! I admire all the extra finishing details. You should do a sew along and teach us your tips and tricks for finishing:)

  5. Those gathers at the bust are just perfect! I have to get some of that seam binding...

  6. Lovely!! The detailing and bound buttonholes are perfect! I would never have bought this pattern from looking at the envelope, but now I'm considering it :)

  7. I love it! This reminds me that I must sew my own Parfait this year.

  8. I have this same fabric! I bought it to make a vintage dress from - I'm so glad to see it sewn up because it makes me more confident about my upcoming make!

    love your dress!

  9. That is such a wonderfully charming dress! Hell Bunny recently released some cute apple print vintage inspired dresses, and while I adore them, I like your version even more.

    ♥ Jessica