Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lady Grey Progress!

Finally! Some progress on my Lady Grey muslin. Work seems to be getting in the way of my sewing time lately....;)

When I first read Gertie's post about making the muslin using Susan Khalje's method, I brushed it aside. I thought there was no way I was going to do all that prep. Waaaay too much work. But then I realized that the point of doing a sew along is to learn new things. So I did it all just the way Gertie explained. And you know what? I did learn a lot- already. I've learned to trace patterns and markings accurately, learned how to sew princess seams correctly and I've learned about all sorts of sewing tools I never knew about. Tailor's ham, anyone? I'm so excited about that!

I'm embarrassed to say that I've never actually made a muslin before, for anything I've sewn-- ever. I've made some garments that I intended to be a practice garment, but then I've always decided afterward not to make another one. This is all a new experience for me. Here is what I've done so far,

1. I decided against tracing my pattern and just when ahead and cut it. I know opinions are mixed about that but I couldn't justify adding in another step. I cut a 6 at the bust and waist and an graded to an 8 at the hip.
2. I drew seam lines on my paper pattern. I started using a sewing gauge to mark the seam line but then I found that cutting a small piece of cardstock to 5/8" and using that as my gauge was much easier.
3. I traced my seam lines and markings on to my muslin fabric (with my new handy tracing wheel) and then used another cardstock "gauge" to make a 1" seam allowance and cut out all the pieces.
4. I thread traced all of my seam lines using a small stitch which seemed to take forever. Good practice for actually stitching where you mean to, though.
5. And finally I basted everything together. Gertie's princess seam tutorial was very helpful.
Here are some pictures to prove that I actually did it all. (I'm so proud!)

And in the end, after all that, I put it on aaaannnd..... it fits. Fits pretty well actually. I only have one issue which I'm hoping someone out there in blogland can help me with. The armholes feel too small. They are okay with a tight top on underneath but I'd like to be able to wear something bulkier under it if I want. What is the easiest way to put a little more room under the arms? I feel like the bottom arm seam is a smidge too high. I can make the curve a little deeper for more room, but then I'm not sure how to make that change on the actual sleeve as well. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! And if anyone sees any other changes I should make, I'd love to hear.

I'm really happy with the end look of Lady Grey. I love the peplum. It's so feminine. This is something completely different from anything else I have in my wardrobe and I'm excited about making up the final version. I'm making it in a bright red wool flannel twill and a mint green *gasp* silk twill lining. I'm nervous about the silk- it's already fraying just sitting on my table. Thanks for the sew along, Gertie! I'm enjoying it and learning so much.


  1. Ooh you're muslin looks lovely - almost good enough to wear hehe! LOVE the colour combo you've gone for - that's my favourite colour combo at the moment. I'm planning a suit jacket at the moment and weighing up whether to just do a Swedish tracing paper "muslin" (I'm tracing the pattern as it's old and fragile) or make a fabric one too... hmm...

  2. Your muslin is looking great! Hope you get the armholes sorted (sorry i can't help) Love your red fabric!

  3. Well done! Very dedicated. That combination of colours looks fantastic and I love the earrings.

  4. I love your fabric choices!
    There are moments where I wish that I was using that pattern too... Oh well. It looks great on you. For your arm holes, I think that someone commented about it in the flickr group. I forgot how though.
    I am a little intrigued by the tailor's ham ;)

  5. I am so impressed! I also have never done a muslin, but should probably get crackin' if I'll be part of this sew-along. The fit looks fabulous, maybe you can send some my way? I'm already paranoid about all the work and swayback and gaping lapels, ah! But you inspire me to go through the necessary steps, so thanks!

  6. Thanks for the compliments everyone!

    Didyoumakethat, the earrings are actually my buttons! I'm more excited about the buttons than the fabric :)

    Valerie, thank for the excellent advice as always. I'm going to do exactly that to try and fix the armholes.

    Ali, I am convinced now that making a muslin is actually helpful! I've always been an instant gratification kind of girl, but maybe I'll change my ways....

  7. It looks gorgeous---if I got that kind of fit straight off, I'd probably skip the muslins, too. Although I am harbouring illusions of turning mine into a wearable version at some point (I didn't do the fancy version---I suck.). Good luck with the armscye---I like Valerie's advice on the armscye.

  8. That's looking great and it's only the muslin...the final version is sure to be a winner!

  9. Oh, please point me in the right direction to fix the armholes. I just started the sew along and the armholes are way too tight.

  10. Caryn, this is way late. You've probably already figured it out but just in case... I did what Valerie suggested above. I stitched about a 1/4" lower along the bottom of the armhole, tried it on and kept doing that until it felt right. I think all together I stitched about 3/4" down from the original seam. I trimmed the seam allowance and then used my muslin pieces as pattern pieces for the sleeve and bodice on my fashion fabric. I hope that helps! Sorry my response was so delayed!