Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Simplicity 8523 Muslin - Round 1


Here is the start of my Made Up Initiative pledge to sew a top that isn't boxy and I will wear, a lot!

I have started with Simplicity 8523. This is my first time using a Big 4 pattern, so far all my attempts have been an Indie pattern company. I cut view F in a straight size 16 (I think, it may have been a 14 - the pattern envelope doesn't actually tell you the size) as this measured against my bust perfectly so I thought I may escape the FBA. I did lengthen by 5cm on the correct lines as I hate short tops.

I have previously done some toiles in polycotton sheeting, so I bought some more. I find this the most economical of fabric but I have to bear in mind that is it stiff fabric (suppose I could pre-wash it) but as it is double width you get loads for £3.98 a metre - it was from Forrest Fabric which with free delivery is a steal! Also was delivered within 2 days of paying - will defo order from them again.

Anyway - muslin number 1 - please excuse terrible mirror shots and seeing my underwear through...

The good - from the bust down was happy, not boxy (wooop), comfortable when sat down and a really good length
The bad - V-neck way too high (even when taking into account turn under)
The ugly - gaping armhole and wide shoulder

First step was to try fix the gaping armhole, I followed the Burdastyle tutorial of creating a dart then transferring the dart from the armhole to the bust dart, I actually had to do this twice as I think I was a bit conservative the first time.

Please pretend you cannot see the state of my floor - it is all patterns and tracing paper and sheeting fabric, was all cleaned up once finished. Promise.

I then deepened the V trying hard to keep some modestly and brought in the shoulder line.

I then copied this onto some royal blue fabric I had and made an absolute mess of it. The fabric (blue linen) was a sheer, loose weave - this made it hard to cut, hard to mark, and I had the bright idea of self lining and I just made a total mess out of it, I seam ripped a lot due to mistakes, ripped the fabric fabric, pulled the fabric out of shape, due to double fabric the seams were bulky, the fabric wouldn't press and just looked horrific so it went straight in the bin without a picture (sorry). 

One thing was obvious though, when transferring the new shoulder line to the back piece of the pattern I have taken it from the inside of shoulder not the outside (stupid mistake) but it made the neckline gape at the back and the top hang funny. The armhole also was way too high.

Things to do on my next muslin:
  • retrace the pattern and start again
  • do a small FBA to hopefully stop the slight pulling from bust to waist
  • Before sewing up make the V slightly deeper
  • change the shoulder line before cutting
  • do another change to the gaping armhole
  • keep fingers and toes crossed all the changes work!!
  • I may need to lower the armhole and redraw shape once the darts have been altered
  • do not get inpatient and want to cut into real fabric before being happy with the fit. 
  • brush my hair and put on some make up so I can take real photos for my blog instead of headless mirror selfies!
I really need to work on my patience levels and not expect perfection on the first (second, third or fourth) attempt. This top definitely could be a staple, IF I am patient, get it right now and can make it a million times, in different fabrics, colour blocked and dress it up, dress it down, basically use it a lot. It is worth the effort. I think I am finding it more frustrating as I just want to sew not do all this, but it is part of the process. 

I really need to hurry up and make some progress on this as the end of the pledge is 2 weeks tomorrow, I have a couple of things on this weekend (including a Michelin starred meal - nom nom nom) but it is a long weekend so should squeeze in some sewing but next weekend I am on a hen weekend. I am in London though so can squeeze in sometime Sunday if not feeling too hungover!

Also, is it a muslin or a toile? I use the terms interchangeably, maybe because I read a lot of UK and American blogs?

Anyway, thanks for reading this long post!
Kristy xxx


  1. The fit in the last post is looking good - keep persevering! Have you thought about getting some polycotton or a woven fabric without any stretch for your first attempt? I have much more success with polycotton. X

    1. yeh I am not too far off on the second one, fingers crossed one more muslin and I will have hit it! I have some polycotton I have had in my stash for years but I actually like it, but I will use it as my first real attempt at this one I think! Thank you :)

  2. you've made good progress! the fit is looking good, just try and keep going with it :) i call it a toile, but i do know loads of people who call it a muslin...i think either is fine. good luck, i hope you make a fantastic top! x

    1. Thanks Beth, I think it looks better in the picture than real life, if I get a moment to myself this weekend I will carry on with it and re-do this toile first then *hopefully* will get to make it from fabric!

  3. I enjoyed you chronicles of making a top that fits. It isn't easy. You might enjoy watching some of Louise Cutting's YouTube videos on fitting. I found them very helpful.

    1. Oo I will check them out, thank you. I think I have got the fit I am happy with, I will make a top tonight (it is half cut) then get some photos and get them up! I am running out of time for the Made Up Initiative so need to get a move on!


Thanks for commenting, I will try my best to reply to each of you as soon as I can. I love reading other peoples blogs so please include your blog if you have one so I can be nosey!

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