Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Test Run

I hope you are enjoying the Sewing Indie Month festivities!

My sewing project for this month was the 1940s Tea Dress from Sew Over It.  This was my first time working with one of their patterns, so a muslin was in order.

A mock-up is a great way to test a new pattern, but sometimes it does not tell the whole story.  First of all, a stable cotton will drape differently than a lightweight rayon.  But I was able to tell that the dress was a pretty good fit with a few minor tweaks.

In the case of PDF patterns, I love having my muslin pieces to use as pattern pieces.  I absolutely hate pinning into paper!  So once the pattern is traced onto muslin, I get to ditch the printed paper.

I never work through an entire project when I make a muslin - I eliminate facings, hemming, finishing, etc.  This saves time, but it can be nice to run through the entire process before working with a precious or difficult to work with fabric.

So before I cut into my precious velvet, I wanted to go a step further.

I never really know just how much I am going to love a garment until I have spent a day wearing it.

Does the length really work?  How much mobility do I have?  And most importantly, do I really want to use that fabric I have been hoarding for years on this particular design?

Sometimes a muslin is just not enough of a finished product to get a real idea of how much I will love a dress.

So I made myself a rayon dress!

I am going to live with this version of the pattern for a bit and decide if I want to make any other changes before I spend a lot of time basting pieces of silk velvet together.

And to be honest, I did not need much of an excuse to add more polka dots to my wardrobe!

Happy National Sewing Month, everyone!

[I received the pattern and the rayon fabric for this project because of my participation in Sewing Indie Month]


  1. Love the polka dots! This dress is a nice design too. Ive been eyeing sew over it patterns for a while but haven't tried one yet. Their new one is definately tempting. I think making a mockup dress is a good idea, especially when it's a beautiful wearable mockup.

  2. I agree with you on needing to wear a garment for a while before you know if it is really a success. I can have something fit well, look pretty good, and love it but it is not until I've moved in it for a day that I really know how the fit is. I've actually gone back and added gussets and let out seam or taken them in after that first real wearing.

  3. I love the red polka dots! And I am all for making a wearable muslin--some fabric I've had so long in my stash, it's almost a member of the family. So I need to be SURE before I cut into that.

  4. I love this one! I bet you will wear this a lot, it's perfect for early Fall!

  5. Well, well, well...yards and yards of (audible inhale), velvet.

    Have to throw this in, you may want to consider the lower hem Eva Marie Saint wore in North-by-Northwest (her burgundy floral gown), you can always raise the hemline later if it's to matronly/dowdy, or just doesn't work for your (pauses, tilts head slightly), purposes (then purses lips).

    Sign me,
    Another one of your readers who is kindly,(slightly lowers voice, and become more melifluous) mannered, (slight pause while showing a full teeth smile) and ever helpful


  6. Love this tea dress! Gorgeous! H x

  7. I love your process! I love how you think through the construction of each garment...and I admire your muslin making process. Also agree that the garment has to be worn to know how it's really going to wear and how you feel in it. This "test run" is lovely! The silk velvet one will be amazing!

  8. Laura Mae, how do you get from paper (or tissue) to muslin? I'd love to know your process. Your muslin is a work of art in itself!

  9. I love your almost-finished red polka dot dress! And my, I truly admire how you think of all those things as you sew a garment! You don’t just start a project and finish it on a whim, don’t you?