Muslin Vogue 8631

I'm still looking for my perfect evening (but not "After 5/Evening, just going-out-to-dinner evening) dress.  Something that just feels right, with no bra complications.  I don't feel right in a sexy, clingy, jersey dress, I don't look good in a sheath and all my other attempts seem a bit too prim.  After much trawling of my favourite fashion sites, I think this DVF dress has potential (photo from www.dvf.com).

After much deliberation, I purchased Vogue 8631.  It looks like a good place to start, but the version sewn by Vogue is not very flattering at all.  I'm surprised that they even put the picture on their website.

Next step was fitting changes to the pattern.  You know that feeling when you want something so bad, but don't know how to get it.  Well, that's how I feel every time I look at a dress pattern.  I need so many fitting changes to make a dress that the fear of starting is almost insurmountable.  I looked at a lot of diagrams in my fitting book "Fitting & Pattern Alteration" by Leichty, Rasband and Pottberg-Steineckert.  Then I traced the pattern bodice, because it will be almost unrecognisable by the time I am done with it, and took to it with pen and scissors.

Here is the result. 

If anybody has alterations to suggest, now would be a good time to speak up!

Fitting changes before the muslin included
- taking 3 cm length out of the bodice
- square shoulder alteration, using the seam method
- forward shoulder alteration, using the seam method, which shifts the seam back to the centre of the arm after the shoulder point
- increased width at the waist on both the bodice and skirt
- shaping the waist seam on the skirt to allow extra length over the hips and bum
- removing 10cm length from the bront of the skirt and 7 cm from the back (not sure why there was so much difference from front to back...I'll need to check this before I cut)

I'm surprised at the length changes, given that I am 167 cm tall, which is only 1 cm shorter than the height given on pattern measurement charts.

After making the muslin, I will probably do the following fitting changes
- narrow chest alteration
- I need to adress the pulling wrinkles at the front of the shoulder bone, but I am not sure how to do this...perhaps increase the square shoulder on the front bodice but not the back bodice?
- increase the width of the kimono sleeve.  I lost some width with the other fitting alterations, but I need to put this back.
- increase the length of the sleeve and add a sleeve band, to give more of a slouchy look and less of the eighties' drop-shoulder look.

Then comes the fun bit...choosing fabric.  At the moment I am thinking of this silk/rayon burnout from Tessuti, although it will need a slip underneath.


  1. Your toile is looking good and I love the fabric, you could always do a few slips in different colours to create different looks.

  2. I think it's looking good too - there are no wrinkles that say "address me immediately" to me. Great dress choice. It's going to look beautiful.

  3. I bet the shoulder wrinkles will look fine in a silk - I have the same issue though on crossover bodices, wish I knew how to fix it too!

  4. Great choice of dress - it is looking good!

  5. I could be very wrong, but I think the dress is too wide across the upper bust and the shoulders are too wide.

    The Tessuti fabric is gorgeous!


  6. My suggestion would be to do another 'muslin' in a drapier fabric more similar to what you're planning on using in the final dress. It's very hard to know whether some of the issues, like the pulling at the shoulders, are due to fit or to the difference between a stiff fabric like cotton and a fabric with lots of drape which is what the pattern looks like it's designed for. Other than that I'm not sure because my experience with softer fabrics is about nil! Though I made a knit dress a few weeks ago that has sleeve bands (McCall's 5423) and I can vouch for how great they are!

  7. It looks like a great dress. I can't offer you any advise whatsoever except to say that I think it will look stunning in the drapier fabric. I also think it looks far better with the sash than without. The sash seems to add a bit more shape.

  8. I think the finished product will look fantastic! Its worth going through all the trials of alterations when you get such a great finished product!

  9. Don't do it! You are a slim girl and that dress swamps you completely. I just had a look at the vogue patterns, that rebecca taylor pattern 1152 would look pretty in that fabric, the fabric drape suits the pattern anyway and the pattern I believe would be much much much more flattering. I say this only because I've spent many an hour on dresses I've put on and then thought hmmm.

    On a more positive note I love looking at all of your sewing think you are great.

  10. cynthia rowley (simplicity 2406)maybe without the cut out sleeves would look great on you too...

  11. new topic
    I just received my order of Japanese cottons from Tessuti. I ordered some Hokko prints because I thought they looked gorgeous, and when they arrived I found they feel every bit as good as they look! They have the most delicious texture and soft drape. I can't remember when I've bought fabric that pleased me more. Mae

  12. I think it makes you look a bit wide - which you aren't by any means! The back view is very wide across the waist and it is very generous in the bum department too.

    Can you just make it as a top? It looks loose and comfy from the waist up and you could pair it with something slimmer on the legs.

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