Class · Review · Sewing

Tuesdays with Gertie: Fitting the Muslin

This year I’m sewing along with Gertie from Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. A bunch of other talented seamsters and I have joined up through the Craftsy online community to make perfectly fitted bombshell dresses. Here’s a reflection on my efforts to sew well.

This week I’ve sewn together the muslin of the bombshell dress bodice.  I have to say I was surprised that it fit like a glove right out of the gates.  My dress form doesn’t do it justice with all of the gaps needed to make the form approximate me.  (Every now and then I think of covering this form, but then it’s so old and rickety that I like being able to get into its nuts and bolts to keep it just so.  What I’d really like to do is to get a fixed form that matches me and then still keep this one around for adjusting when I sew for others.  Anyway, that’s a tangent for another day.)

As far as fitting the bombshell dress bodice, my only issue is that there is a gap between my skin and the center of the sweetheart neckline.  You can only see it if you’re looking down from my perspective while wearing the top, but it’s quite substantial at an inch and three-eighths.  I took out the basting stitches connecting the bra cups with the bodice and adjusted them so the little piece of the bodice that reaches up to the center of the sweetheart neckline actually touches my skin.  But, now it just droops forward and looks like a baggy mess.  The real top will have boning in the bodice and structure in the cups, but I’m not sure it’ll be enough to coax the sweetheart neckline to lay flat against my skin.

For those of you who’ve already completed this class – is the neckline supposed to be completely flush against the skin all the way across?  If so, when it’s fit properly, does the extra structure in the real garment keep it in place?  Thanks!

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11 thoughts on “Tuesdays with Gertie: Fitting the Muslin

  1. Hmm. I would try throwing some boning and underwires in the muslin to be sure—it SHOULD lie flat, I’m pretty sure. Ask Gertie on the class forum? It might be that the cups are a touch small, but it might just be the lack of structure…

    1. I asked on the forum, but I haven’t gotten any response. Maybe I could just send Gertie an email? From what I can tell from messing with the fit this weekend, either I have to use the cups as is and just accept that there’s a gap because of how they pull taught across the front, or I have to make the cups bigger and give them enough structure to mold to my body. I hadn’t thought of adding an underwire. That actually might work…

      1. Thanks for the link. Even after all of her hard work, multiple bones, and underwires, her final top still doesn’t sit flat against her breastbone at the center of the sweetheart neckline. If the end result is the same, I’d just as soon go with the original pattern which fits perfectly other than the not-sitting-flat issue. Oh my…

  2. I think that there is a step where you sew and forgive me I’m not looking at the course and I’ve blocked much of it out as I had a terrible time getting that top edge to fit AROUND me, but she has you sew ribbon I think right to the edge to sort of draw it in, and that should make it lay closer to your skin. Good luck, I love your garments and I imagine this will be knockout too.

  3. Hi, Amy! Thanks for your comment on my blog about this bodice. It was a significant challenge for me because I’m a little on the busty side. Technically speaking, the CF will not lie flat if the cups are not large enough. In my case it’s just an issue of requiring extra support. In my 2012 version I will be adding more bones and putting in underwires. I just need that extra support. But Michelle is correct, too. Putting in the neckline stay takes ease out and holds the garment snugly against your body. I also found adding some straps helped me. But you look to not have the fitting issues that I did – especially as your muslin fit well the first go – and if you underline, pad, tape and bone the bodice as per Gertie’s instructions, I’m sure you’ll find that in the end it fits well. Looking forward to seeing the finished results!

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