March 17, 2014

Enter Simplicity 1654 Fitting Muslin

First things first. I did rub-off a pattern for my Garnet Hill inspired dress. I then proceeded to cut out fabric, sew it up and even though the dress itself will work, the color scheme looks really really drab and sad on me. So I've put this project off to the side for now until I have the wherewithall to possibly toss it and start anew. This is life. Onwards and upwards.

I've really just wanted to sew some dresses is the thing. This is a weird thing for me because well, I'm such a practical person these days. But a dress can be practical. Especially with a white stretch cotton blazer - which is the project directly next after this dress. Yes! So I went to my stash and dug out this Simplicity 1654 pattern. I had actually forgotten how much I love Simplicity patterns. Of the Big 4, this line fits me the best straight from the envelope (note I said fits me the best, we still have a few fitting problems, just not as many as the other Big 4). I find that with McCalls, Butterick and Vogue the armholes are cut so low! Is that just me? So it was nice not to have to deal with that for a change.

This pattern has some great design lines. The bodice is just killer! And since I know that a skirt like that will require little to no fitting, I muslined the bodice to see where we were at. The fit was actually quite good through the bust and waist, but the straps were trying to fall off my shoulders. And its not that they were too wide/far apart, it was the angle at which they were sitting on the body. So I thought I would show you what I did to fix it. I pinched out the excess pooling that was happening when I put the straps where I wanted them to be. That pooling happened at an angle at the bust and shoulder blade. See?

How do you fix that on a the pattern piece. It's the same idea really. I measured how much I pinched out, then slashed and overlapped that amount in those areas of the bodice that I pinched out with pins on the muslin. It's not a hard fix by any means, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that its intuitive. This is something that I'm always amazed by, but when fitting, many times the part that needs fixing is not the part that we intuitively feel needs the fix. Just some random fitting thoughts.

I've settled on an aqua linen to make this up in. I'm actually nearly finished with the dress itself, so here's a sneak peek.

Now off to line and hem the thing. And then to focus on a white stretch cotton jacket. Yay!


  1. Yay! I just chose this for a summer dress. so please document ALL of your progress! Hahahaha!

    Can't wait to see it!

  2. Sunni, just to tell you it´s not just you having a problem with Big 4 armholes! You should switch to European patterns they are so much better. Just have a look at this shirt pattern muslin I just made It´s without any armhole alteration.

  3. Great job, Sunni! I wonder if a small bust adjustment would also do the trick?

  4. Ooh that's a beautiful blue! Looking forward to seeing the whole thing. I think dresses can be practical, too. And I've never really felt that way until this year. They felt bulky, or awkward, or somehow not appropriate for X, Y, Z situation. Then I realized it was the *fit* not the fact that it was a *dress* itself per se, that was the crux of the issue for me. Ill-fitting, poor fabric choice for how I like to wear things, etc. Now that I'm getting past all that, I seriously feel like sewing about a million dresses. Throw it on and you're done. How could that not be practical, I'm not seeing!

    Ironically I just picked up a blazer on mega sale at Gap and my first thought was "ooh! perfect to throw on over a dress!" Looking forward to your stretch cotton blazer, too.

  5. That is a beautiful blue! Is it finished yet! Can I see it?

  6. i don't remember seeing this pattern before, but i love the seaming! thanks for the fitting tips. since i always have to do a SBA, i tend to shy away from too many seams. can't wait to see this one finished!

  7. I too have the same problem with the armholes being cut too low on McCalls! Haven't noticed this on Butterick or Vogue yet, but I'll be on the lookout. I've only ever tried a skirt from Simplicity, but I'd like to try other patterns from my stash. Anyway, you do such a great job with fitting! Looking forward to seeing the finished dress (with jacket!).

  8. Sunni, I always have the shoulder seams falling off my abnormally narrow shoulders! I love the way you remedied this on this dress. I have the dress pattern and am going to do what you did to make the shoulders fit me. I usually have to make a size smaller in the neck and shoulders, then go out to my normal size at the bust, waist, and hips. In this particular dress, your fix is super! Thanks for the clips! They are priceless for not so good sewers like me!!! Doris

  9. I often successfully remedy the shoulder problem by having my shoulders slope/size traced on a large poster board and then comparing the pattern to the slope and size of my actual shoulders before cutting. I have very small shoulders and back in comparison to the rest of me, especially the bust. However, I believe some version of this would also be helpful for me, as I still end up with some extra fabric at the top of the chest area sometimes....


  10. […] the Simplicity 1654 finale! Ha ha! Since I already had this white leather jacket that I made and never blogged from […]

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