Macaron Muslin Woes & a New Strategy

I finished my Macaron muslin. It is a wearable dress, but probably more for staying at home than for going out. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I do need more practical dresses to live in at home while I’m telecommuting to my day-job. The changes I think I need to make to make this again will  probably best involve starting over from scratch, rather than using the current version and tweaking. The shoulder seams just don’t seem to fall where they should, leading me to believe that I should probably go up a size to start from, then not add as much when altering the pattern for FBA, etc. Also, I got so focused on altering for FBA and adding to the waist that I tried to cheat on altering the sleeves and added at the seam line under the arm. This was not a good idea. I can get the sleeves on, but I’m feeling the need for more fullness over the outside of my arm rather than all underneath. I need to slash/spread the sleeve pattern to get the ease in the right place. For all I sound completely negative, I’m not yet so completely frustrated that I want to give up on this pattern. There are some things about it I really like.

First of all, the skirt is awesome. It has pockets, and has a nice wearable amount of ease without being puffy. Secondly, I love the way the bodice attaches to the yoke, so easy to assemble, and I would love to make a version with piping or rick-rack in that seam. Thirdly, I think the shaped sleeves are cute, and they were pretty easy to attach. I going to assume for now that the potential benefits outweigh the negatives and the potential frustrations of trying this pattern again, but I’m not going to pressure myself to get it done for the Sew Colette deadline of September 9th. I am going to be watching for pictures from those doing the sew-along for inspiration for my next version(s).

I did get a few pictures wearing the dress. These are not my favorite shots. I was feeling fatigued, and it shows. Also, the weather might be going to change here soon; my hair suddenly went extra frizzy and wouldn’t be tamed (my hair is almost as good as having a barometer for predicting weather changes). My the family’s puppy, Mugsy, wanted to be included in the pictures.

Front and back views. You can see that when I re-drew the darts, the ones from the waist I didn’t make deep enough at the bottom edge, so the dress is a bit too full in the rib cage area. Right over the bust-line, the dress fits wonderfully. On the back, either because of not having enough width, or because the sleeve ease is in the wrong place, there are some pull lines (worsened because I’m not standing up straight). The shoulder seams don’t seem to be sitting on my shoulders, but a larger size would take care of that. On the plus side, even with the fit issues, I look like I have a defined waist in that back shot.

I’m going to plead ignorance on a reason for the side seams turning out like they did. In the pic on the left we have the side that is sewn as a seam. The issues from yesterday’s pics are barely visible. In the pic on the right, there is an invisible zipper sewn into the seam, and the midriff pieces aren’t even close to matching up. Out of all the issues I have with this dress, this one is the one that bothers me the most. It especially bothers me that it isn’t a mis-match on the other side. If it had to not line up, why couldn’t it at least have been symmetrical? Next time, I will pay much closer attention to making the front/back side seams the same length as I alter the pattern.The invisible zipper, though, is actually pretty invisible. That is an impressive triumph for me, because that is the first invisible zipper I’ve ever done. I’ve put off doing one for years, partly because I hadn’t had the inclination to try one, and partly because the cheap invisible zipper feet that are sold by the zipper company don’t fit my Viking machine. I ended up just using my regular zipper foot and sewing very carefully. It worked well enough I’d be up to trying it again sometime. I’ve noticed in some of my ready-to-wear clothing though, that invisible zippers don’t seem to be all that sturdy, so I wouldn’t expect them to replace my use of lapped zippers.

My new thought is that since I haven’t sewn with (and by extension haven’t custom fit to myself) any other Colette patterns, that maybe I should start with the patterns in the book. I have this feeling that if I could get the fitting correct on the Pastille or the Truffle bodice, both of which have much more simple lines and fewer pieces than does Macaron, then I would then know approximately what size to start from with the Macaron and how much I will need to add to various parts of the dress.

Parting shot: Mugsy gets some love, and I don’t have to adjust my skirt to get down to his level–that alone lets me know the pattern is worth working with until I get it fitted to my liking.






One response to “Macaron Muslin Woes & a New Strategy”

  1. liza jane Avatar

    I like the blue on blue fabric you used! I always slash and spread sleeves now before I make up a pattern (especially if it's a little cap sleeve). It makes the difference between making a dress wearable or not for me. Funny thing is, I don't seem to need to on blouses. Just on dresses. Having that extra room makes me feel comfortable and completely mobile. I highly recommend trying it on your next version.

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