Crafty’s “The Perfect Fit,” Muslins 2 and 3

Of course I’m still working on muslins! You didn’t think I was ready to make an actual garment, did you?  Oh well, it will all be worth it when I have a sloper  to help me see what changes I need to make to other patterns.  Warm weather is just about here in Texas, and I would like to have some nice-fitting dresses and skirts to wear, not things that are embarrassing.

I broke down and ordered two new physical sewing books- Vogue Sewing: Revised and Updated and Clotilde’s Sew Smart.  I have high hopes for Sew Smart.  But, now I’ll have to get rid of two other books to avoid clutter.  I wish more books were available as ebooks…

My muslins are coming along!  Here is my second muslin, which incorporates the changes I made  to the first muslin- a full bust adjustment and taking out a wedge from the back:Craftsy muslin 2 back Craftsy muslin 2 side

Craftsy Muslin 2
Craftsy Muslin 2


You can see that there are still a lot of issues here- the drawn-on balance lines are supposed to be hanging straight.  There is bagginess above my bust, a strong fold or wrinkle heading from my bust to my back, wrinkles on my back, and the balance line under my bust heads down at the sides.  On the plus side, it seems to be hitting at the waist.

I fiddled with this endlessly.  To do this, I undid one side seam and both front darts on that side, and played around with getting a good fit while the bodice was on my body.  I tried to lower the front side dart and move the vertical side dart out a bit, so that the darts point to the fullest part of the bust.

I made another major change in order to try to get a slimmer fit below my bust and get rid of some back wrinkles- instead of simply pinching out the excess evenly, I tried wrapping the sides according to this method.  I think armhole balance is the source of some of my back fitting problems.  I focused on getting the balance lines that weren’t altered by the different darts straight and keeping the very front waist at the waist.  This method really shows the difference in length between the front and the back (the waist is marked by the lowest blue line; the very large seam allowance exaggerates the difference:Craftsy muslin 2 armhole balance

This method enlarged the armscye quite a bit- (maybe too much? I’ll deal with it later), so the distance between my armpit is reduced quite a bit- about 2 inches.  I drew in a new waistline and side seam.  I also ended up taking a vertical wedge out of the back to reduce the width a bit.  Tracing muslin 2 changes back

I traced the changes from the muslin using my wax tracing paper from Richard the Thread. This stuff is so much better than the terrible wax-free tracing paper they sell in stores.  It’s large enough to actually work with, and doesn’t leave a oh-so-annoying colored chalk stain on your fabric.


Here’s the third muslin. Muslin 3 frontIt  isn’t perfect, but it muslin 3 backis more form-fitting on front torso below the bust.  Muslin 3 side Muslin 3 arms raised side The strong diagonal wrinkle or fold heading from my underbust to my side is mostly gone, and the bust horizontal balance line is essentially level.

It might be a little overfitted- I  think this is causing the wrinkles on the lower bodice.   I plan on letting out the front vertical darts a bit to correct this.  But, I could be wrong.

I have to admit, I was a little surprised by the placement of the front vertical darts- I wanted them to be further apart, but instead they start closer to my center, and curve out as they head up.  I can’t tell if they look like a nice style detail, or just make my torso look wider. I’ll try to fix them on my next muslin. I changed the side seams quite a bit, so I need to check if they are going straight up and down- right now, they seem to be good…but maybe they are creeping forward a bit?

I have several goals for my next muslin:

1) Now  I can see that the shoulder seams are too far back.  I’m going to move them forward so that they are nicely centered.

2) I think the shoulder straps need to be a bit narrower.

3) The front neckline has some ripples that I need to get rid of.

4) I need to see about getting rid of the wrinkles on the front of the bodice. Letting out the front vertical darts a bit might take care of this. Or, the wrinkles could just be caused by being worn on the body. At this point, I can’t tell.

5) Move the front vertical darts outward, and make sure they are actually vertical

6) Possibly move the front horizontal darts down a bit.  I hate to mess with them because I’ve already spent so much time on them…but, I think they might be a bit high on me?

7) Take care of the bagginess above my bust. I’m not sure if I need to adjust the shoulder slope and length to do this, or need to actually pin out a wedge of fabric in this area  Or, I could be misinterpreting the problem entirely.  What do you guys think?:muslin 3 front wedge above bust







8) Get rid of more back wrinkles!  I think this might be a length issue (still!), but pinning out a horizontal wedge seems to raise the waist too much.  I know the waist is dipping down by the zipper- that is my fault for drawing it on incorrectly.  Do I just need to shorten the back some more? Or, it there a better solution?

The bodice seems to feel nice on my body, so I don’t think I need more width. BUT, I could be wrong- maybe these are horizontal strain lines from not enough width?   What do you guys think? I don’t want to look like a stuffed sausage!



7 thoughts on “Crafty’s “The Perfect Fit,” Muslins 2 and 3”

  1. Although you will probably figure your fitting issues eventually, try enlisting the help of a professional dressmaker . They are trained to recognize ‘issues’ quickly and are able to correct them much quicker,so you can get back to doing what you love, Sewing!!!

  2. You poor thing. It is not uncommon to make endless muslins. Fitting is difficult.
    In place of or in addition to the shoulder pad, have you slashed any of your muslins as a first step? Slash through the side seam on your low side up to but not through the shoulder tip on the high side. Overlap the side SEAM line on the low side the difference in your shoulder height.
    Darts points should end ½ to one inch from the fullest part of the bust. The darts are not hitting your bust correctly which can cause strain. Also try letting the bodice out a bit at the side seams. There should be about 2 inches ease in the bodice at the sides. Work on getting those darts in the correct position.
    The front above the bust appears too wide which could call for some slashing – closing up the excess and transferring the excess to a bust dart.
    In muslin 3 the armholes appear to be tight/binding. Have you clipped around the armholes to the seam line?
    Gapping at the front neck. Pin out the gapping with darts directed toward the bust point. When you take off the muslin, it won’t lie flat. Here’s how to handle that if you don’t know how to get the muslin flat. Slash through the neck darts to but not through (live a teeny hinge) the bust point. Slash through the center of the side bust dart to but not through the bust point. Overlap the neck darts. This will transfer the excess into the bust dart (it will open up).
    HINT: Instead of endless sewing, use masking tape and/or short quilt pins. Use Scotch Removable Tape (blue package) which allows you to reposition and hold slashes and cuts in paper.

  3. I forgot… It’s not your body type per se that’s giving you “fits” (hee hee). I have the opposite body type – tall, thin, flat chested – uneven shoulders – and I had many of the same problems you are experiencing. Once you’ve cracked the code and fitted your contours, you won’t care about “size” anymore. A well-fitting garment makes perceived flaws go away. And, if you have the stamina to see this through chances are you will be drafting your own patterns by the time it’s done.

  4. Guess what? I too am taking Lyndas class! I think I’m on my fifth bodice muslin!?! I keep trying different things and one solution leads to another two problems! Nervous breakdown here I come, LOL! Anyway, looking at your bodice front, do you think your front darts are too close together? Maybe that’s why there is that wrinkle in between the two. Also looks a bit tight there. Just a thought.

    Keep it up, your doing good. This process takes great patience!

    1. Hi Vicki- sorry for not replying sooner, I have had a busy summer. I think it is too tight and the dart placement isn’t right yet. I finished McCall’s 6331, but haven’t had time to blog it yet. It only has vertical bust darts, but I made them much wider and shortened them to lower the bust point- the bust fits much better now!

      Good luck on your fitting!

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