Thursday, April 7, 2016

An Old Muslin Comes in Handy

Last year I decided to make up Simplicity 1183 in a printed cotton. 

I got as far as marking the seam allowances on the tissue pattern . . .

thread tracing my muslin pieces . . .

and stitching them together.

Of course, time got away from me, and after the warm weather disappeared, the muslin was put into a bag and set aside.  This project got lucky and did not get forgotten for very long.  Because I thought it might work well for a corselette, I pulled that muslin out.  It needed a long-waist adjustment, as well as a bit of a sway back adjustment.

In order to make fitting easier, I used a few pieces of boning, temporarily held in place with the help of some masking tape.  This makes a real difference when working with such a close fitting garment without straps.

Not surprisingly, this corset is not very curvy as drafted.  It is what I would call a fashion corset - its looks cute, but does not function as a real body shaper.  So the first thing I did was take in the waist portion of all the pieces slightly.  Of course, if you constrict the waist, the extra fluff has to go somewhere, so I added gussets to increase the hip measurement.  

I also have extended the back pieces above the shoulder blades (when I know exactly where the dress neckline is going to sit, that may have to be adjusted.

I started with the C-cup pattern pieces, but as drafted, they are very low-cut.  I also extended that line for more coverage.  But again, when I finalize the dress design, some of that excess may come back off.

For this project, I made a significant number of changes that were somewhat challenging to keep track of on my muslin, so I made a second version to make sure I was happy with the fit and so I have a clean pattern to work from.

For this corselette, I am going to try something a bit different, and have it open at the front.  I am anticipating that I will use hook & eyes as a closure.

And that is the beginning of the foundation for my Rose de France dress


  1. Ooh, I will be reading your blog posts about the progress of your Rose de France dress with much interest! And I just have to say I love your phrase "the extra fluff has to go somewhere"! ;-)

  2. I am so, so excited to see this dress completed! Thank you for sharing the steps along the way so far. I can't wait for your next update. :)

  3. Laura Mae,

    Wow, you are so productive, and this looks to be your finest dress yet.

    Wanted to ask you about the neck line; boning, infusing, or managing the wide span some other way? This link is to a Threads magazine which showcases Charles Kleibacker's method for fighting gap-o-sis and winning, p. 71, lesson2.

    Have two questions here; corselette versus corset - what made you choose a corselette, and will you insert a formed cup to ensure the benefits of the upward push won't suffer any collateral horizontal smoosh (or will the boning take care of that)?

    A man as curious as he is sensitive

  4. Somewhere someone has written about corset patterns and which ones are pretend and which ones are functional.
    And I'm sure it needs updating.
    Lovely work, inspirational as always.