So I was firing on all cylinders, raring to go, when I stalled. Turns out I was a bit scared. I hadn't ever sewn with linen knit before. I have some linen knit garments that I purchased and love. Linen knit is different to other knits. It has stretch, but not great recovery. The texture and drape is beautiful. I decided that my best bet was to make a muslin so that I could minimise handling during construction of the real thing. I did not want to be trying on the dress every 5 minutes, distorting the fabric.
I had a cheap knit in my stash that somebody had given me that I decided to use for the muslin. It had a similar handle to the linen knit. Fitted dresses with waist seams and sleeves are a bit of a fitting nightmare for me. I made the muslin and adjusted it to fit. I came back to it a week later and adjusted it some more. Then I pulled the shoulder seams apart and started draping it on my body double. Eventually I was happy. Then I pulled the whole thing apart and compared it to my pattern. Well my muslin fabric must have distorted considerably, because some of the pieces, after trimming, were bigger than the original pattern pieces. Never mind. I got there in the end.
I wore the dress last week, with a slip I already owned, and a self-fabric belt.
The slip was a bit high at the CF and peeked out at the bottom, so I ordered some more of a viscose knit that I had bought from the Fabric Store to make a slip. The Vogue pattern included a pattern for a slip, but I did not use this, as it included a waist seam and bust darts, which I thought were unnecessary for a knit slip. Instead, I just lay my existing slip on my fabric and cut around it. I folded it on the CF and CB to cut, instead of laying flat, as the front and back are different widths.
I then whipped up the slip, using my overlocker and coverstitch machine.
In this next photo I am wearing the dress with the new slip and a purchased belt. The waist seam looks a little low. I had it 1.5 cm higher on the muslin and it seemed too high. Waist seam placement is something that I never seem to get right.
I made quite a few fitting adjustments. Most of them were my usual alterations, but I also had to move the darts quite a bit. I sewed them on the inside, rather than the suggested right side, partly because they were less symmetrical than the darts suggested on the pattern, but also because I am not too fussed on darts on the outside.
I had to reshape the neckline quite a bit (narrow, shallow chest). This meant I had to redraft the front bands / facings. I did not alter the collar, as it had a flat edge. When I made the dress up the collar was very wavy and home-sewn looking. At first I though it was the under-stitching or maybe the interfacing. I then realised that it was because the collar needed to be curved as a result of me curving the neckline edge. Of course, I only realised this after I had sewn, overlocked and coverstitched the collar into place. I couldn't bear it though, so the unpicker came out and you can see my solution below. It has meant that the cut out bits are not the same length, but I think that this is better than the collar that would not sit flat.
At the muslin stage, I gave up trying to adjust the sleeve pattern and ended up draping a sleeve on my body double. I think it turned out not too bad, though maybe I could flatten the back of the sleeve cap a little more.
You can see the final shape of the sleeve in the photo below.
I did not muslin the full length of the skirt, but perhaps I should have, because it would not hang right. I don't know if this was a pattern problem or a cutting problem, but I fixed it up. It is possible that the resulting skirt has less flare than the original pattern (just in case you need to know). I had to shorten the sleeved and the dress to get the lengths in my picture.