Pastille Dress

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I’ve been working my way through The Colette Sewing Handbook, and have just finished my 2nd sewing project – the Pastille Dress.  The dress came out really well, and I learned lots of new techniques in the process.

This project, being at the end of the chapter on fit, was a great chance to do my first muslin.

For me, a muslin was a great idea.  I am much smaller on top than through my hips, which meant that the muslin helped me to determine how to size my pieces.  I started by cutting everything to a size 6, but after putting together the muslin, I took the dress apart and cut the bodice down a size.  It’s a much better fit for me.

Making the muslin was also great practice for putting the dress together.  It’s really just making the dress with less expensive fabric before I take a chance on cutting out my fashion fabric.

The process started with cutting out the tissue pattern pieces.

And because I would be working with them so much, cutting the pattern from muslin and fashion fabric, along with making any changes that need to be made – I transferred the patterns over to craft paper.

I used those craft paper templates to cut out my fabric.

Then followed the basic pattern instructions to create my muslin, excluding any detail work, like facings and pleats.

Once I had the muslin the way I wanted it, I prepped my fashion fabric.  It had to be prewashed, dried, and ironed, before cutting.

I learned how to make knife pleats, and got some more practice in putting in an invisible zipper.  This time, that project went much better.

I did have a bit of a problem with putting that zipper in… mostly it was way longer than I needed, so I put it in, opened the seam, and realized I didn’t sew it down far enough.    Easy enough to fix, but it was annoying at the time.

It was also very annoying to try on the dress before topstitching the sleeves and neckline, because the facing would not stay in place for anything.  It really is amazing what a simple row of stitching will do.

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