Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January Dress - The Muslin part 1

 Okay, so here is the fabulous part two of the January endeavor: the making of a muslin. For this little experiment I used some cheap cotton muslin from Hobby Lobby that I got for about $1.50 a yard.

I cut out all the pieces and lined them up. I like to line up my front pieces over my back piece to check for length and such. So far so good. You'll note the fabulous pointed join from the yolk piece to the bust piece that's going to have to be sewn here. Pointy joins are one of my least favorite parts of sewing, but I'll suffer for my wardrobe.

I didn't take too many photos of the sewing up of this baby, mostly because I wanted to get it done as quickly as possible so I could check the fit. You'll notice some pretty common features of a 1930s bodice here.

#1 is the loosely fitting bust. That's achieved by gathering the shoulder seams or in this case adding some pin-tucks. I actually could probably let this out a little more, but since I've got that big bow going in I probably won't.

#2 is the gathering under the bust line to make cups. I don't know why this was so popular. Okay I do, that was more about the loose bust aestetic. It's not like the dart didn't exist. You see them all over the place in Romantic and Victorian Era dress, but for some reason they fall out of favor during the 1920s and early 1930s. Personally I find making darts to be quicker and nicer looking, but you don't get that nice gathered edge which was so popular in 1930s evening gowns.

#3 I actually lowered the neck line here by about 3.5 inches. Originally it was straight across, but since my inspiration dress had the drop neck I went ahead and lowered it.

So here is the muslin on. You can see there are still some fitting issues. The sleeves have not been hemmed so you can expect them to be about an inch smaller in width. I'm suffering here from 1930s saggy boob syndrome. This happens to me with every single 1930s pattern I make. At the time we were still deemphasizing our busts rather than pushing them up and out. I don't particularly like the look of the boobs here, but since they'll be covered in a giant bow I'm not too concerned about that. I'll probably move the gathers an inch towards the center, but other than that I'll leave them alone. 

I'm happy with the silloette. It's shaped quite well to me, but that also makes it more difficult to get on and off and it's probably going to be impossible once a shirk is attached. So I've decided to go ahead and add a zipper even though it's not really period appropriate. By the way, does anyone know when zippers became popular? I know they were invented in the 1850s, but I don't believe they became popular until the late 1930s. Please correct me if I'm wrong on that. 

And here is the back which I love! I was originally going to drop the back into a more curved shape like my reference dress, but this back was just too pretty to change. I just love it! I'm going to be installing my zipper in the side seam to preserve this awesome back.

So here's what I'll be changing between this and the final garment. 

1. Adjusting the bust gathers to give me less "saggy boob"
2. Adding 1.5 inches onto the bottom of the bust piece and dropping the yolk accordingly. I'll probably also drop the neckline a bit more and redraw the seam between the shoulders and bust pieces. 
3. Add closure of some sort, most likely a zipper. 

So how are all your January projects going? 


Eleanor said...

It's turning out wonderful so far! And I looove the back! Stunning!

Sarsaparilla said...

I'm having fun watching you pull this dress together - it's going to look fabulous!

About zippers (or, as they used to call them, zip slide fasteners)... I do know that zippers were definitely popular by 1938. I have a Sears catalog from that year and a couple of dresses featured zips. I just posted a photo in my blog if you want to take a peek.