Thursday, 17 February 2011

UP Dress Muslin

I sewed up my muslin for the UP dress. It looks a bit strange as it is made from two different fabrics. Sorry for the poor photo quality - it is overcast and gloomy here today. The above picture shows the side that will have buttons.

I followed the first steps of attaching the front and back panels, then I did the centre back pleat.

Then I skipped lots of steps and went straight to shoulder and side seams so I can get an idea of the overall shape and fit.

In the pattern layout instructions it says cut 2 back pleats but on the actual pattern piece it says cut 1. So I cut one and used one in my muslin. I cannot see where a second pleat piece would go.
I have found out some things:

I am unsure how to sew the pleat securely without it looking a mess.

  • I made the muslin too big...the measurements with the pattern are for the finished dress not the size it will fit. I made it XL size as I would prefer to make it too big and then scale down. I also think I am bigger than I really am. I am now thinking a lot about size and ease. I gave my muslin something like 9" of ease! I am getting a headache with this sizing. I found this chart from Butterick which looks useful. Anymore tips on how much ease to put into a dress? The measurements table that came with the Uniform Dress pattern are for the finished dress, not for the size it should fit.

  • I had to retrace all the pieces... This was not too bad and is all done now

  • I crawled under my bed and found I have used all my stash of lining fabric up, so will have to go and buy some lining fabric.

I am going to cut out the fabric soon but with school and pre-school on holiday next week I may have to slow down on this.


  1. Great to see you muslin! I've got everything pinned but not sewn yet. I agree, there's just one pleat, and I'm a bit confused on securing the pleat. I assumed we just topstitched on either side of the pleat (vertically) rather than horizontally, but I don't have the instructions in front of me.

    In terms of sizing, I cut out a Small as I'm a Bust 34, and everything else is A-line-ish so there's enough ease in waist and hip (also I found that one area of a dress needs to fit me properly or else it looks like I'm wearing a bag). I figured the 2 inches of ease in the bust will fit while giving me enough movement, but I've frequently looked to the Butterick ease chart for advice.

    Good luck!

  2. Sorry i can't help about the ease. i haven't a clue...hope it goes well xx

  3. Ack, you're right about the horizontal topstitching (I was confusing this with another pattern). I'm tempted to leave it off, as it feels a little cluttered if worn from the front. Maybe tack the pleat down with handstitches inside.

    I'm having a lot of fitting issues too. Seems like the right front is folded in 1 1/8 inch twice, so 2 1/4 inches total (or that's the only way I can make the front neckline symmetrical) but it's confusing in the directions which way to fold, etc. But that drastically helped with fit.

    And my back neck facing piece is waaaay too small, and so far, my sleeves are too. I'm thinking of taking in excess ease in the pleat side by an inch or two. Ack! I think I'll need to slow down too. I'd rather get the pattern right :)

  4. I'm with Alex - I know nothing! This looks really complicated!!!!