Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spring Sewing: Rosie Top - The Next Muslin

I don't know what made me think I'd only need to make one muslin of this Rosie top but, man, it is a production. By contrast, I'd rather muslin pants any day of the week...

On the plus side, it's a fascinating process. Really. My bodice proportion is SO renegade.

I'm am grateful to have just about enough of my burgundy fabric left to give it one more go - because so much of this fit is tied up in the beautiful crepe. Part of me is horrified that I may sacrifice it all to muslin but, really, this fabric is doing yeoman's work and we're in it together. Were I to use a new fabric, I'd practically have to start from scratch. Do not be misled, my next life plan is to find mega-drapey, top-weight woven (crepe - silk or otherwise) with 20-25% mechanical stretch (or lycra - I'll take lycra!). And then I'm buying it, shipping be damned.

But let's have a look at the insanity, yes?

Rosie Top modified as per dictates of muslin 2. This is the pattern for the next muslin (or wearable top?!)
Alterations as per the info provided by muslin 2:
  • I added back all the width of the original pattern at the peplum hem (the pattern refers to it as "the skirt"). Mind you, I didn't add it all back at the waist.
  • In fact, this time I had to take out an inch, over all, from the side seams at the waist. I've decided I want a fitted top, nay, I require a fitted top, so I'm going to insert a side zip at the waist. I suspect, if you are hourglass shaped and you desire a top that isn't shapeless in the waist (to allow you to get it over your bust), you're going to need to do a side zip or make this in a true knit (like ponte).
  • I lengthened the back skirt to reflect the 2 inches I removed from the back waist. It was coming up too short.
  • I lowered the bust apex by 2 inches. So much for "it's not cut high in the bust!". Note: I did dart at the armscye (between muslin 1 and muslin 2) so that raised the apex artificially - though not by 2 inches, I'm sure.
  • The full bust was ridiculously tight. When I vertically slashed the muslin, to see what would happen, I discovered I need another 2.5 inches of extra width at the apex of my bust.
  • This time, the princess seams were ridiculously wide - splayed to the outside of my breasts. I can see how someone else had this issue. If you have a small bust, chances are that all you need to do is make the front piece (top left of the photo) narrower. However, as I seem to have to add another 2.5 inches to the full bust (I know, it's insane) this makes things that much more tricky, given that I want that seam to go over the bust, or very close to it. My only recourse is to add width onto the side front piece (top centre of the photo). First I removed some volume I'd added to the front piece above the bust (unnecessary). Then I lengthened the front piece by 0.75 inch to account for the extra length required in light of the alterations of the side front piece.
  • I realize that the new bust curve on the side front piece looks insane, I'd prefer to create it over 2 seams (front and side front), as is the usual technique, but that's not going to narrow the princess seams.* I mean, it's going to be an interesting exercise in easing, if nothing else. Thing is, the waist on this is high (not empire, but definitely at the "real" waist). Given that I've got a short waist and large tits, I don't have a lot of room to maneuver. The way this will work for me is in that it will be incredibly fitted under the bust (see that dip below full bust moving towards the waist).
  • Updated to reflect further consideration: While I didn't narrow the front piece from the centre (see asterisk below), given that I'd already widened it by an inch (wherein it went from being a good width to too wide), I removed the extra inch and added it, where? Well onto that side front piece. So now it looks even more curvy insane than it does in the photo above. But the princess seam should sit where I want it to.
By the way, I have no idea of what the next muslin will reveal. I felt confident that I'd resolved the issues on the (last) garment but it was destined to become muslin 2. So, I take it, I've got to keep an open mind. What does it matter how long it takes me to fix this? If and when I do make a woven top that fits, I'll have that much more information at my access - which will only help me when next I decide to tackle a woven bodice.

In the meanwhile, that's why we have knits.


* It just occurred to me that I could have narrowed the front piece at the centre (removing inch, for example) and then adding on to the front piece side seams on either side. That would have allowed me to put the extra space on either side of the princess seam. But that seems unnecessarily convoluted. Of course, it may have displaced the volume better and would make the sewing of that insane princess seam less complicated...


  1. I've just worn my Rosie top today. I made the 12 straight out of the packet. I think the bust apex is too high (for me too at least) and I have to make the neckline narrower and a proper sway back adjustment, but I still love this top. You have made a lot of adjustments I can't wait to see your top (and the muslins if you care to share:)!) I think this is a really lovely design that could become a staple for me. I'm making the Alisha dress at the moment and again so beautifully drafted it just makes the sewing so easy. I love Style Arc patterns but wish there would be at least two sizes on the pattern at least.

    1. I do think it's a high apex - thank you for corroborating that because man, I had to lower it :-) I love the top, theoretically, and I can't wait to have a version that is ready to show.