Wedding Gown Muslin (New Look 3618)

Hi everyone!

I haven’t got around to posting the pictures of the muslin for New Look 3618 gown yet. Here they are.

For those of you who aren’t used to sewing garments, a muslin (toile in French) is a test garment cut in an inexpensive fabric (originally, muslin), so that you don’t ruin the expensive fabric in case the pattern doesn’t work well at first. You make all the alterations on the muslin. When the muslin fits, you usually cut it apart along the seams and use that as a pattern for the good fabric.

In my case, the cheapest fabric I found was still pretty, so I decided to make a wearable muslin. That means I won’t be taking it apart; but I took a lot notes while making the alterations so that I can change the original paper pattern and use that to cut the “real” dress.

I cut the muslin in a shorter length: the parts requiring fitting are the bodice and waist, not lower. This had two advantages: it allowed me to save on fabric (I can make another dress with the rest of this cute fabric); and this way, the muslin can become a cocktail length dress for my little sister.

The first muslin was much too big, which surprised me, as this is a New Look pattern and I’m used to them. I did my usual alterations but the back and waist needed a lot more taking in. This is surprising – I thought patterns made by a given company had a consistent sizing.
(I forgot to take pictures of the first muslin – sorry.)

I originally made a size 10 for the bust and a size 8 for the back and back side panels (I always do that because my back is apparently narrower than is usual). The bust fit, but I had to take out 3 cm from each side in the middle back, and resewed the side panels in a size 6. (Another note to my non-sewing readers: this bears no relation to the present American RTW sizing.)
Now, it fits well. Snug, but not tight, which is good because the dupioni will “give” less than this test fabric: it is stiffer.

I didn’t add any straps, because I haven’t redrafted them yet. I want them wider and tapered, not simple spaghetti straps. The dress is not supposed to be hanging by the straps anyway, and I realized this allowed me to see the issues better.

After those pictures I added boning to the front seams, and the fitting was good. There are no pictures unfortunately, because I couldn’t ask Seb to spend more time on this.

Now that the fitting alterations are done, I am very happy with the look of the dress. This is exactly what I wanted, and apart from the straps, I don’t need to redraft anything. I was afraid the back might be a bit too low for my personal preference, but it wasn’t. The front bodice in particular is very well drafted, with the centre bottom forming a point rather than being straight. This has a flattering and graceful effect.

The dress has been put on hold since last Friday (May 18), pending the arrival of white taffeta and more batiste. Otherwise, I could have worked on the lining, but have now decided to use batiste for the lining AND underlining. True, silk organza seemed to be the best option to underline dupioni, but was really too pricey for me, and according to Susan Khalje, batiste is another good option. As a result, I need to wait for the extra batiste to reach me.

39 thoughts on “Wedding Gown Muslin (New Look 3618)

  1. Redwitch says:

    This is lovely and looks great on you! It’s very interesting to read your thoughts as you make your wedding dress and now a wedding quilt too!! I’m even more excited now :)Have a great weekend!


  2. Barbara says:

    Okay, I’m actually learning something! This is fascinating!And I can’t wait to see your wedding quilt progress pictures, if you will be posting any. Wishing you a fabulous weekend, even if we do seem to have lost our summery weather.


  3. coonie says:

    It looks lovely (I love the fabric), and fits you so well. I can’t wait to see you wedding dress and of course your wedding quilt πŸ™‚Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us πŸ™‚Have a lovely weekend, my dear friend((((hugs))))


  4. Vonna says:

    Oh my….that is stunning…I can’t add anything original to what the others have said, except…Isabelle your “WOW” me with both your sewing skills and modeling πŸ™‚


  5. Margaret says:

    Love your muslin – it looks great on you Isabelle. Like Barbara I am fascinated by all you are sharing about this designing/sewing process. Love it!!Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy working on your wedding quilt.


  6. BeckySC says:

    Another wonderful creation from our seamstress πŸ™‚ It looks great πŸ™‚I got your email and I am excited to see what you chose (we were so busy yesterday-hubby is off for the weekend and we hardly slowed down until last night and then I spent my time stitching ):)hugs to you πŸ™‚


  7. Shashi Nayagam says:

    Love your dress Isabelle and I can almost imagine how your dress is going to look when it is all done. Thank you for sharing your thought processes. It almost feels as though we are looking at it while you make it.


  8. Tany says:

    That muslin is so promising! I can’t wait to see the dress in dupioni! You are doing great!PS – I still have to write back to you but I was VERY BUSY until a few hours ago!HUGS


  9. Ruth Rachel Vendsel says:

    Isabelle, thank you for always visiting my blog! Your wedding dress is going to be absolutely gorgeous!!! I can’t wait to see it. I love the silk dupioni … my bridesmaids dresses were done in a pink/red silk dupioni and they turned out so quilt, too? of course you do! I’m looking forward to seeing your wedding quilt.


  10. Summerset says:

    Nicely done. It does seem that formal wear patterns that need to fit snugly run a bit big. Don’t even get me started on American RTW sizing! What a mess. Are you going to put cups in it or wear a strapless bra? If you’re going to put cups in it, you’ll want to fit it with those in place as they add a little extra to the bustline circumference.


  11. Dawn says:

    It looks great! I can’t wait to see the real thing:)You’re such an enabler! I caught myself in the fabric dept going thru patterns to see what I could sew. My skills don’t even come close to yours!Have a wonderful weekend!


  12. Jenna says:

    Oh, Isabelle! It’s lovely! That pattern is going to look just fabulous on you. I mean, I already knew that, but this confirms it. πŸ˜‰ I can’t wait until your baptiste arrives!


  13. 2miaou says:

    c’est tout simplement magnifique!quelle Belle MariΓ©e tu feras et cette robe te sied tellement bien (j’espΓ¨re que j’ai bien compris!) et dans la soie dupion que tu as choisi, elle suivra le moindre de tes mouvements!!!mais dis moi, comment fais tu avec Seb, on dit que le futur MariΓ© ne doit pas voir la robe avant le jour J???bon lundi Γ  toi ma Belle, ici sous la pluie et caresses Γ  Ptite Mignonnebiiizzz


  14. Hala says:

    great idea you have there:) you are lucky to be able to make your own clothes , i always ahve a problem with ready made specialy on the wait , cause mine as they say in french is a “taille de guepe” hihihi…I love the dress without any straps , consider keeping it this way, it is so refershing….or maybe just add a beaded spaghetti straps…kisse……


  15. Jamie says:

    This is looking fantastic. I hope you had a lovely weekend. You are going to do a wedding quilt too?!? What’s going to be on the quilt? While I do sew this sounds like an amazing idea and I do have tons of friends that making a living using a sewing machine.


  16. claudia says:

    What a pretty dress! It looks fantastic on you. Now I really can’t wait to see your wedding dress…it will be breath taking!AND a wedding quilt??? My goodness girl, you are ambitious!


  17. stitcherw says:

    Your dress is going to be beautiful. The test fabric is so pretty, I can see why you would want to keep it as a dress and not cut it apart afterwards. I don’t sew, but I enjoy reading your sewing entries, they are interesting and I’m actually learning stuff. πŸ™‚Sue


  18. Tracy says:

    WOW! You’ve been busy! The muslin looks terrific. I love the idea of a wearable muslin. It souds like you’re really getting to know which way to go with your wedding dress. This is so exciting! I’ve not sewen/used boning before, is it difficult to work with? I learn so much from your blog–thank you! And congrats on the quick sale of the bags–they were so lovely! But what’s this about a wedding quilt?! Can’t wait for more on this…Happy Days! :o)


  19. Tanya says:

    I’m eager to learn more about the wedding quilt ~ how wonderful it will be, I’m certain. That dress is going to be divine. You are quite the master-seamstress. I admire your talent.


  20. Michelle says:

    Your dress is going to be absolutely stunning! I can’t wait to see what you’re doing with your wedding quilt. I need to sew on mine, but I am trying to finish a few other things first. I had people sign quilt squares instead of a guest book at our wedding, so that is part of what the wedding quilt will consist of.


  21. Tessa says:

    That dress looks perfect for you. I can’t wait to see the wedding version – you will look stunning. Make sure we get lots of photos too πŸ™‚ And a quilt too – wow – you are so talented Isabelle, look forward to photos of that too.


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