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.