Saturday, June 23, 2012

2-in-1 Sew-A-Long: Simplicity 1880 muslin

I had a little down time while making the wedding dress, while I was awaiting a sleeve fitting, so I knocked together a muslin of Simplicity 1880 for the 2-in-1 Sewalong over at A Fashionable Stitch. I'm really liking this pattern, although there are a few things I'm not so keen on.
The first thing I did was a quick tissue fit on my dressform, which told me I'd need a 3/4 inch FBA. That's not a huge one for me, so we're already ahead as far as that goes. I always have to shorten the front bodice above the bust, but this pattern only needed a teeny wedge taken out, which was also nice. The picture is the altered pattern, pinned to my dressform. I wasn't sure how I liked the pleats/gathers, so I knew I'd need a real muslin.
Here is the front. I'm actually really pleased with how it fits. The neckline looks a little high, but I didn't remove the seam allowances, so it will be 5/8 inch lower in the final version. I moved the front waist pleats closer to center front, since my fullness in that area is forward and the pleats were nearly in my armpit. I also concentrated the shoulder gathers a bit more to the front as well. I'm happy with the way that the skirt fits.
From the side, it still isn't bad, although my waist seam is dipping a bit toward the back. Sorry that's hard to see between the bright white fabric and my arm in the way. You can also get an idea of how blousy the back is. The skirt hem is nice and level though, despite the back and front pattern pieces being the same. I added 1 inch to the length and I think I like it as it sits unhemmed, so I'll add a bit more as a hem allowance.
From the back - ick. I've already shortened the back 1/2 inch, but you can see it is still much too long and much too full. I'm really not digging the pleats at the waist back there. I understand the design element of balancing the front pleats, but I don't find them flattering at all. I think I'm going to totally eliminate the pleats at the bottom and remove a small amount of fullness at the top. I do need a bit of ease there, as my back is pretty broad.

Thanks to everyone who has weighed in so far about my fabric options! If you haven't yet posted an opinion, I'd love it if you'd pop over and let me know what you think. I'd also love any input you have about the fit. Anything you'd do differently than I mentioned?


  1. As far as fabric for a dress to wear to the wedding, my vote would be the floral first and then the solid is a close second.

    You've done a great job on the fit with this dress, and I agree about what you plan for the back. Sometimes I feel like too many gathers in certain places make the garment feel little girlish. Can't wait to see your finished dress - which fabric are you leaning toward?

    1. I'm leaning toward the floral myself. I just hope I have enough!
      And I agree about the tendency for overgathering. It definitely adds a -ahem- youthful vibe. Not what I'm ggoing for these days! :)

  2. Love it! I agree with ditching the back pleats - too poofy - but the rest looks terrific!

  3. It looks to me that you are well on your way to a great fitting dress!

  4. It's going to be fabulous - there is a lot of length in the back bodice there, but it will give you a lot of reach, which is quite handy with 3 kids in tow!

  5. I just made this dress, twice, with the other bodice. I needed, and made, about the same FBA as you. I understand that the back isn't what you are going for, but I think it's cute as it is. Makes your small waist look even smaller.

  6. I love the style, and the front looks about perfect to me! The back doesn't actually *look* bad, but I understand wanting it to *feel* right as well. Looking forward to seeing your progress!

  7. While I totally agree there is too much poofiness, I do think it looks nice to balance the fullness in the front bodice. I took out some of the poof but kept the pleats and gathers. Of course a fitted bodice would look nice too if you go that way. I thought about it but then decided to stick to pattern style so I would have something different in my closet.