So it's not going to do much for my fashionista street cred to show you these:
Seriously, would it kill me to wash my hair??
My vanity compels me to tell you - in case it's not entirely apparent - that one cannot look worse than in stringy, white muslin cotton, sweat pants and unwashed hair. But at least I've got lipstick on!
Hideousness notwithstanding, I'm going to post these on the Lady Grey Sew Along Flickr site later today to see what kind of muslin-improvement feedback I get.
But I'm interested in your feedback too. I know something is weird with the back waist. Any idea of how to improve it, sewist friends?
Also, I feel the shawl collar is too much - too wide - so I'm probably going to hack away at it. Thoughts about how much to cut? One more thing, I've tightened the waist to suit my current (thin) shirt but there's quite a bit of give. I will make sure to position the button such that a sweater can be worn underneath. This is Canada, after all...
Reader question update: Andrea says: I was more than a little overwhelmed after reading Gertie's muslin post. All that work for just the muslin? I'm starting to get cold feet. How many hours have you put into it so far?
My answer (started in the comments) is convoluted (but optimistic!): Try not to think about the investment or it will freak you out when actually, doing it is not hard. The muslin actually goes together quite quickly after the cutting and thread tracing. In total I've prob spent $150 bucks and 20 hours so far (includes buying fabric and notions, reading pattern and reference books, cutting, thread tracing etc. - the whole shebang). Not negligible - but that's over the last 3 weeks. Today was veritably easy as far as muslin fitting goes. The pattern instructions are very clear and the princess seams give a lot of fit latitude. Join the Flickr group. It will keep you involved because you'll see what everyone else is doing and you'll get feedback.
I've cut some corners:
- Made the size 8 (instead of 6 with a full bust adjustment). (Smart to go up a size because Colette patterns owner, Sarai, so much as tells you that she doesn't add a lot of ease into her patterns. And it's a coat so you need some give.)
- Sarai says she cuts for a C cup, but you have to consider that a C cup on a medium to broad frame is going to go a long way on a person with a 32 inch under bust. Especially since the pattern has princess seams.
- I did NOT trace the pattern (for shame!). It was going to be too painful. My rationale: I'm never going to make this for anyone else. Under any circumstances. And I cut the 8 even though my measurements are between the 6 and the 8. Cutting took over an hour. Tracing would have taken 3, at least.
- I didn't add 1 inch seams (per Gertie's suggestion). I went with the 5/8 SA, again, because I cut up a size. Adding the extra 3/8 inch gets labour intensive for reasons that aren't interesting.
- I haven't really felt the value of the thread tracing (which lets you see the seamlines on both sides of fabric. Chalk markings are only visible on the wrong side (inside) of the fabric. If I needed to make a lot of alterations, I think it would be very valuable. For a coat or large project, I'm all for it. But for a skirt or something simple, I'm unlikely to invest the time. Baste the threading, don't properly sew. It saves time. Also, baste the muslin. While it tends to unthread, unless you're careful, if you need to rip out stitches it will be a cinch.