Gnome Couture Dress lesson 1 and 2: pattern to muslin pieces

Determined to make this dress according to the Craftsy Course The Couture Dress by Susan Khalje but also benefit from the sloper I’ve made I spend a day tinkering with the pattern pieces of Vogue 8648 and my sloper:
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I put them on top of each other, looked for clues, tried to marry their lines, inserting the ease I had chosen.

Here I try to determine how much the pieces should overlap when the midriff pieces rest on my waistline but the bossom pieces honour my apex. Those midriff pieces have to be shortened, the bust piece must come down. But what to do with the shoulder?
Also I brought in the Center Front line (CF), I made the mid piece less wide.

A scary process as I really have not much of a clue yet. However I know the sloper is correct, I know commercial patterns add way too much ease and I have Susan Khalje’s course The Couture Dress as an example and guide.

I did a lot of things to the pattern…
for one I did shorten the midriff section. The original is 9 cm high, I opted for 8 cm.
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Here you see the new line in pencil, at the top. At the bottom the waistline coincides with the seam allowance of this pattern. As I am only interested in seam lines and not in cutting lines this serves me well.

Then there’s that horizontal slice of fabric that has to come out because I’m a bit bend. You can see it noted on the sloper. It will get a place above or below this midriff section as the midriff section is an eyecatcher and should not vary in height. I’m thinking below, in the skirt pieces.

Another thing I did was because my apex is more near to my waistline than it is in the Vogue pattern. I cut the paper piece and folded it so that it matched the sloper better. Then I altered the bust piece even more:
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I let the curved line follow the princess line of my sloper. It automatically ended up being a Full Bust Adjustment.

I had so many doubts about all of this, redrawing these lines, adding ease and choosing sites to do so! In the end I watched the video lesson 2 from the Craftsy Course The Couture Dress and I was reminded that the lines do not matter that much. It will all come together when fitting the muslin.

It gave me the boldness to push through. I just drew what I thought was good. Always keeping in mind the waistline, CF, CB and grain. And letting the sloper be leading (that is: my sloper + added ease). The Vogue pattern was following.

Because I brought the pattern apex closer to the waistline (not only in the bodice side sections but also in the bodice front midsection) it brought the neckline too low so that has to rise.
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I reserved a bit of extra fabric in the muslin to determine how high I want to have it later, while fitting. How to do this and many more little and big tricks I learned from Susan Khalje, it really is a good course.

In the end I was confident enough to pin all the pieces to my muslin (again with lots of nifty tricks) and cut the muslin. (I am such a mental cheap skate. I had to actively give myself permission to “destroy” this piece of cheap muslin and just try it and see where it will lead. I’d rather not venture than run the risk of a waisted effort. Really, I’m squirrel poo.)
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a nice pile of pieces, ready to trace. I use waxed paper. Again, watch the course.
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Raising the back. Making notes on all the pieces before laying them aside.
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This is the skirt mid back:
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On the left you can see how I altered the lines. I put the ease (decrease) for the back mostly in the princess lines and not in the side seams. Because I have such a curved back (and not much of a waist)

On the lower right you see that I added a vent. Using this tutorial and my experience with the Wriggle Dress that had a vent too. It is very easy and looks good.

All pieces cut, traced and noted it was time to put away the paper.
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Tracing paper and pattern paper are now snug in their envelopes again. Usually I run away mid project and forget to tidy up. This time I am regarding tidying up as part of the process. And it feels good!

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Wriggle Dress: cutting the fabric

I spend a day thinking about Butterick 6582. The various aspects, how to approach it, what to solve. I researched the internet, laid out the tissue paper and studied the instructions. At the end of the day I traced a slightly personalized version of it and cut the fabric and the facings. Linen and brand new cotton sheet.

After the sizing fiasco of the Summer Dress (B5603 which advised me to cut a 16 which then was 4″ too wide) I decided to cut a size 12. This approximates the measurements I take from the now fitting Summer Dress. (pictures pending)

Yes, I cut a size 12 but with wider seam allowance at the top of the body. Because of the folded fabric in the upper part of this dress this pattern does not allow for a FBA (Full Bust Adjustment), the fabric has to be already there.

Here’s how my first pattern outcut differs from the oficial Butterick 6582:
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As size 12 should cover a size of about 97cm I think I’m good but you never know. I’ll also trim down to the hips a bit.

As per this review I expect to have to raise the hem, the waist and the arm holes. I too am 5′ 4″ (1.61m)
At this stage I already raise the hem but have not decided on the final length yet:
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The smaller shoulder part, the left side, I’m going to make without gathering or pleats. Lots of people have complained online that the pattern ends up very high on the front and that it is difficult to make the two sides sit nice or even centered.
So I’ll make one side sit nice: the right one with the folds. The left part will be honest in its difference: flat and off centre.

For this I used the left front facing as a template for the left front fashion fabric.
Here’s the now cut out left front piece atop the original pattern:
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No room for pleats or folds.

For cutting the back pieces I folded the fabric double and pinned it. Pins away form the cutting line. I laid my personalized paper pattern (PPP) on top and traced it with a byro or stylo. Yes, a simple pen. The one used for shopping lists. As I don’t want pen residu on my fabric this will remind me to “cut away the line”. The importance of that I learned here from Kathleen Fasanella, the Fashion Incubator.
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pen paper scissors cat

Playing with the paper pattern! First: trace the right size onto a piece of paper.
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I have no tracing paper but I found an old roll of rice paper. It’s 90 cm wide (nearly 3 feet?) and wide enough to capture the wide part of the skirt piece.
Rice paper is in my house because I do/did Sumi-é, the Japanese brush painting technique:

ofcourse:
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cat help…

To clearly mark the corners I drew the two meeting lines longer, so they overlap and make a little cross. It’s a habit trick I learned at architect school. It makes a clear mark of the point you intend to be the end of something. Your handdrawn lines may be all wobbly and askew, if you mark the point where they meet it will give a visual clue of your intentions.

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I did the same while cutting: just cut a little further than the intended end. Don’t try to turn the corner with scissors.

Seeing how the pattern pieces fit…
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Featuring various objects that lay around this room: tape, scissors, a stamp, a wood carving knife, a shoe and a cat. On the left a little silver thingie: it’s a nifty distance holder for my sewing machine. I will insert it at the same distance as the seam allowance of this pattern (1,5 cm). I already drew those lines on all the paper by the way.

ps. see my handknitted sock? Dyed the yarn myself. That blueteal thing is a skirt I felted. Over woolen muslin/chemaine de la laine. Nice and warm!

she’s nagging!
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disapproving cats surround this project.

checking the distance between the selvedge edge and the grain line on the pattern piece at one end:
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and checking the distance at the other end:
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The two distances are the same. The piece lies parallel to the selvedge edge = perfectly in grain.

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They fit all nice on the old sheet folded double. There’s even room for the bodice lining. It’s all in grain too. I pinned them to the two sheets of fabric. I could start cutting! It’s all ready!!!

but I guess I should press the sheet first…. I really should. Just to be all official and good the very first time. Just because I intend this to be a toile, a fitting prototype of which I hope to get the pattern pieces of future dresses. So pressing, it really should be done.

Well, let me think about it. I have to go away for a few days now so I will think about it.
Besides, I already realized I did not alter the hip for a size 14, it’s all size 16 that lays here. So altering of the paper pieces should happen anyway before putting it onto the sheet again. And I read somewhere that pinning your paper to your fabric makes the fabric crinkle out of alinement. So I’ll think about that too.

See you in a few days!