Final Project: The LAST (and 4th) muslin…

Seriously. This is the fourth and last one for this dress. Honestly, many of my fit issues dealt with my sloper not being correct. I ended up shortening the front waist by a total of two inches, the back by one and the shoulders by 1/2 inch to get the waistline to hit correctly.

For the ruffle, I narrowed it by about three inches and am still going to take out another two I think. Also, I think it’s the weight of the fabric ruffle that’s making the weird fold in the front.

If you look at Muslin #3 (above), there is a slight fold. Muslin #4 ruffle fabric is heavier, so it’s collapsing more.

The fabric I’m using for the final is from the Carol Collection. Heavy navy linen and this red and white striped ruffle. I’ll also be moving the ruffle to the left — like the original. I’m going to interface the insertion point for the ruffle, so hopefully that will prevent the droop. I’m also going to alter the skirt a wee bit to peg it some. That will also help add some structure.

I don’t say it enough, but y’all are the best. I’m sure you’re sick of looking at this as I am. But, your suggestions and ideas have been invaluable. I have to turn it in next week!


  1. WOW! Nice work. I learned drafting in the last century, and you’ve inspired me to properly alter and modify patterns again! I have the 1/4 size sloper pieces, but no clue where my full size ones went. That was a lifetime ago. It’s a wonder I still have the textbook…

  2. I think once you narrow the ruffle a bit more it will be perfect. I think there is just too much fabric/weight right now for it hang correctly. Good luck!

  3. Have you considered tapering the ruffle at the bottom to a more narrow width like it is at the top? Just a thought…

  4. I like the idea about narrowing the bottom of the ruffle. But, overall it looks great. I bet you put in a whole lot more work on this than some of the other people in your class.

  5. Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Navy linen with red & white striped ruffle? SQUEEEEEEE!!!!! So very fabulously nautical of you!! Are you going to put buttons on it anywhere?

    And you’ve given me the idea to try wearing a red belt with a navy and white outfit I recently made for the PR Vintage pattern contest (I used a yellow belt for the photos for my entry). I can’t believe I didn’t think of the red belt before – thank you for inspiring the jog to my memory!

  6. I also had wondered about narrowing the bottom of the ruffle… but I had thought about adding the width back to the top as well. So you would still have a tapering ruffle but it would taper down instead of up.

    The fit is looking wonderful!

  7. Looks awesome! I think narrowing the ruffle should do the trick. Thanks for posting all your pics.

  8. yup, narrow that ruffle down. That and the fact that the actual fabric for the dress is more tightly woven and has better support and you’re going to tack it as we think the original dress is tacked, and I think you’ve got the look you’re going for.

  9. Knowing how I feel about muslins, this is the part of the process that would drive me crazy. I’m so impatient. (Sigh) But, muslins are a good thing and yours is looking better and better.

  10. I think this muslin looks pretty darn perfect. I do agree that a narrower ruffle is the way to go. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  11. It seems like the ruffle makes the dress hang off grain. Maybe if you moved the bottom third of the ruffle towards the side seam or something. I’m not sure. Good luck.

  12. Cidell, Muslin #3 bodice looks better than muslin #4. What changes did you make to #4? The back of #4 fits great, but the bust darts could be shortened an inch or so. Are you also seeing the slight drag lines from left shoulder to bust in #4?
    The side view in #3 is fabulous.
    Can’t/won’t comment on the ruffle as I think that is for your own creative freedom….be brave and wild!

    Greetings from Ja.!

  13. I love seeing all your muslins. Don’t feel weird about that. Sewing is all about the process. And muslins are part of that process. This is great! And your sloper is looking fab. I love the idea of narrowing the ruffle.

    Can’t wait to see it all done up in the fashion fabric.

  14. I’ve been watching this with interest. You’ve done a great job so far, and the knowledge you’ve gained certainly shows. Yes, try a version with a narrower ruffle.

  15. I will send Pattern Magic on your way soon. I have to head over to Books Sanseido for my own shopping anyway.

    Birgitte of Bubblegum 4 Breakfast sent me a year’s subscription of BWOF. She said to just keep paying it forward.

    If any of your readers live in or are visiting LA, Books Sanseido is in the Torrance Mitsuwa Marketplace shopping center near the corner of Carson and Western. has a link to a map.
    They stock PM1 and 2 usually, and Mrs Stylebook, too.

    Torrance and Gardena are home to the largest population of Japanese-Americans in the 48. Mitsuwa Marketplace is literally midway between the US corp. HQ of Honda and Toyota. There are so many cool Japanese stores and restaurants. It is well worth a visit.

    More pix of Books Sanseido and past purchases here:

    About the dress, the weight of the ruffle is throwing the fit off. You need to counterbalance the weight on the other side. Do you have any drapery weights?

  16. Oh, you know, you’re sick of it because you’re doing the work, the rest of us are just fine with it :-).
    I don’t think you should worry about the ruffle at all any more. The stripes (and I do love that look incidentally) are obviously of a much stiffer and heavier fabric. Maybe a twill tape in the final waist seam? I don’t think you should do much more interfacing than that. And really, as long as you’re using fabric no heavier than the skirt those folds will disappear completely.
    Just one last nit: that boatneck looks really good on you as is. Make sure you add a seam allowance on the inside of it, or you’ll be exploring how in/visible clear bra straps really are.

  17. Super impressive! I’m lost as to how you do it, at the same time admire the hard work and talent! This dress is going to be killer!

  18. Bunka has published Vols II and III of Pattern Magic and I covet them. Amazing, wildly imaginative work.

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