Muslining the Vogue 7924 Dress

I’ve been knee-deep working on my recent knitting project, but after picking up my sewing room I felt like starting a new project.

With the onset of fall weather all I want to work on are long-sleeved, wool dresses.  I pulled out Vogue 7924 (c. 1953) from my stash and decided that I’d work up a muslin to get things started.

I had picked this pattern put as part of my fall 2011 wardrobe challenge, and as a result I have ALL of the fabric & notions purchased.  I’d even steam-shrunk my light-navy wool crepe at the dry cleaners so besides fitting the bodice I’m 100% ready to go with my supplies.

I can’t remember why I didn’t start this dress sooner, but either way I’m happy to be able to use items from my own stash.

But as I was working on my muslin it was close to 80 degrees outside.  So instead of only making the long-sleeved, fall version I’m going to make a short-sleeved, summer version as well.

(A light navy wool crepe on the left and cotton floral version on the right.)

I haven’t had this floral fabric in my stash for very long, but I think it’s quite pretty and will make for a wonderful spring version.  The fabric isn’t really fabric, but an old duvet cover complete with a super-duper long metal zipper.  The fabric is old and quite sheer so I’ll be underlining it in a white cotton batiste (both the bodice and the skirt).

I’m only now noticing a similarity between my fabric choices and the pattern envelope.  Eeep!  I wonder if the image has seeped into my subconscious and has ‘made’ me choose similar fabrics.  Ahhh well, I love navy and the vintage floral print is just lovely.

I started cutting and constructing my bodice muslin Saturday night but primarily worked through the fit issues on Sunday night.  I made countless changes to the armscye/shoulder which meant more changes to the sleeves.

I generally have to shift the shoulder seam forward due to my forward-arching shoulders (thank you computer!) and also have to shorten the shoulder width due to my narrow shoulders.  But for this pattern I found I also had to adjust for my shoulder slope; I had to take more height out of the shoulder closer to the edge.

I’ve found that on 40’s and early 50’s dresses, they commonly used shoulder-pads which meant the pattern had more room closer to the edge of the shoulder (ie longer armhole depth).  Not wanting to use shoulder pads along with having a petite-top half means I had to make all three of these changes to the bodice before being able to fit in the sleeve.

But did I know I had to make all three changes right away before cutting out the muslin fabric?  Nope!!!  I did each of these changes bit by bit, and had even set in one of the sleeves not realizing I had more changes to the bodice to complete.  heh

  • Side Note:  I actually think it’s helpful to set in the sleeve once you’re 75% certain the bodice fits correctly since the sleeve can alter the fit of bodice which results in more changes.

I must have been in the right state of mind because I never once got frustrated at the muslin and kept at it until I was satisfied with the fit and until it felt comfortable.  I’m happy to report that by the end of the evening on Sunday I had fit the bodice nearly 100% to my liking as well as setting in one sleeve.


My next challenge is to transfer all of my changes to the pattern piece.  Once I do so I’m going to make another bodice up to make sure everything still fits a-okay and then I’ll be cutting out the real-deal fabric.  I’ll be working on the floral one first, 100% and afterwards I’ll make up the navy wool version.  I’d cut both out at once and work simultaneously, but I always find that I’d make a change here or there on a second one only after wearing the first for a full day.

Happy Sewing!

In: Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

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