Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Okay.  I'm slowly plugging away at my muslin of the Lisette Passport Dress.  I traced/cut out a 14 for my muslin and initially thought I had a pretty good fit on the bodice except for some gaping on the back neckline and a little in the front.  Well, obviously I don't know what I'm talking about because after some playing around I've come to the realization it doesn't fit well at all!

I'm planning on doing some serious research and learning all the terms/techniques that come along with getting a great fit.  Joy, Katie, and Amanda that means I'll finally know what the heck you all are talking about in some of your posts!  But for the here and now, I need some input on fitting so I can get 4 dresses sewn by Easter.

Here's the 14 on me with no adjustments: 

Ignore the mess in the background!  I can either sew or clean and I pick sew.

Gaping at the back armhole too...depending on how I stood trying to snap pictures the gaping would move around so obviously not a good fit!

I then played with pinning the side seams at the bodice while wearing the muslin and here's what that looked like ( btw, I don't recommend trying to pin side seams while wearing the dress OUCH!):
Gaping pretty much gone.

And now you know what I look like with no make up on and my hair barely brushed.

Disclaimers:  The facings are not sewn in.  I'm thinking of a fully lined bodice for the 'real' dress.  There's not a zipper in my muslin.  I stitched all the side seams.   The darts and tucks aren't perfectly sewn.  I didn't press any of the sewn parts on the skirt.

My conclusion is that I need to trace/cut out a size smaller.  Right?  Is there anything else that sticks out that I should keep in mind for the next muslin?


  1. I'm not the best at fitting either...definitely still learning in that area! But yes, I think it looks like you could do with a smaller size.

    I don't remember seeing your picture before...you look great! Are you sure you've had 4 kids!?

  2. At least a size smaller, yes. And perhaps do a 10 in the upper chest/neckline/armholes and a 12 elsewhere. You could also try a 10 everywhere with a small FBA, but I'm not sure how I would FBA those interesting criss cross darts...
    Tricky dress to fit, but I think it'll be great when it's done!

  3. Looks like you are doing a great job on this muslin! Judging from the first set of pictures I was thinking that you needed one size smaller. Once you pinned the side seams the dress fit looks very nice so if I were you I'd be tempted to sew up the size 14 and just take in the seams as per your pinning. Do you like how the dress feels once the extra width was pinned out - is there enough ease in the waist, arms and chest? If so I'd probably go with it if I were you. Especially since you want to sew up 4 dresses asap. If you are interested in taking some more time with it I'd recommend doing a muslin of the size 12 to compare the fit. I am in the muslin stage with my Market blouse and you can see pictures at my blog: http://threecitymice.blogspot.com Except I wasn't brave enough to show my messy hair and missing makeup face so I cropped my head out of the pics! ;) I did a muslin of the 14 and I'm just finishing my size 12 muslin. It looks like my final blouse will be a size 12 with a 1 inch full bust adjustment. Best of luck with your Passport dress - can't wait to see the finished product!
    - Liz

  4. The whole thing looks better with the sides pinched in. The last view (left side) looks like it could be a little tight? Hard to say; it depends on how it feels to you. The shoulders are harder to fit than the bust, so if you are pressed for time, I agree with Katie that a small FBA added to your pinned smaller version could be the ticket. Doing a smaller size altogether may be good, but the dimensions will be different from just taking in the sides of a 14.

    When you're not pressed for time...Fitting issues that can causes gaping (if the garment is not too big, which I think this one was) would be: hollow/narrow upper chest, rounded upper neck/back and forward curving shoulder joints.

  5. I don't have any fitting advice for you. Just wanted to say that your girls look so much like you!

  6. Very interesting...I didn't bother trying to help with the fitting before because I have no clue! But I am finding this all very informative. It looks like it will be wonderful when it's finished...I think it a lovely pattern.

  7. I don't think I've seen a picture of you before either, you're so pretty! Can't believe you've had four kids either :)

    Okay, my fitting tuppence... I think you need to go down a size as well. If you still have gaps in armhole, shaving the side seam at the armhole only (like a wedge) tends to work for me. I enlarged the top picture and I think (others please correct me if I'm wrong!) that your bust darts go up a little too high? My understanding as that they should point to your bust apex, but it looks to me that they are actually right up to your bust apex? Keep going, it's going to look lovely once you get the fit right!

  8. I think it's coming along well and pinching out the side seams it looks quite flattering. It's hard to gauge the gaping at neck and arms without the facings because it really needs to fit further into the garment (are the seam allowance 5/8"?) and it may look different again once the facings are in place.

    Look at the pattern, often times most the difference between sizes is at the side seams anyway. If that's the case with this one, I wouldn't trace a new size because it would put you back to square one at best and could even throw the lengths off.

    One way to pin fit is to put it on inside out and pinch out excess at one side seam only. This makes it easier to keep from stabbing yourself and also is more accurate working with one side. Then take it off and carefully redistribute the reduction to both sides. Baste and try it again. Don't pinch out too much, a sundress and it should have a pretty easy going fit, you just want flattering and no gaps.

    The darts might be a hair too high but I don't think they're hurting the fit, just may be distracting to the eye. Depending on how visible you think they'll be in the final fabric, you might lower them slightly.

    I'm no expert, but that's how I'd proceed and I think it's very promising.

  9. I've no idea on how to help you with fitting this, Cindy!
    I've got Fit for real people but haven't had time to read it yet :)
    As to the mess, I pick sewing over cleaning always!

  10. I haven't got to this one yet Cindy but so far with the tops I am going with a 12 and narrower seams and the bottoms a 14 taking in the waist.
    And ditto on the four babies -wow!

  11. Thanks for the help ladies and the kind remarks! I appreciate it.:)

    1. I am not good at fitting ,in fact I have been making skirts and more skirts ,cause it is easier.I have tons of fabric that I needed to get rid of,so I decided to make some dresses.I have known of the Fabulous Fit system, I just finished making myself a dress it took a lot of time and patience,but turned out great. Decided to make my life easier so I googled the fabulous fit system found that it sells for less on Amazon,read the reviews and ordered one.Not yet receive it ,but is looking forward to working with it.It is suppose to take away the fitting pain.You put it on the dress form and mold it to your personal body shape and size.Check it out if you have not yet heard of it.


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