First, a recap of the previous 3 weeks' winners:
Now that we have the basic style of the dress hammered out, I decided it was time to make a first muslin. A muslin refers to the basic unbleached cotton that is used to make a mock-up or prototype of the garment for fitting purposes. Here's what happens...
I use my sloper to create a pattern. What is a sloper? To the untrained eye, it looks like a pattern, but a few things are special about a sloper. First, it is the shape of a garment that closely fits the body with no special style lines, so it has a neckline that travels directly around the base of the neck, armholes that are right at the edge of the shoulder. The only darts are for shaping purposes only, and usually are pointed toward the waistline. The waistline sits at the natural waist.
As far as other features, a sloper has no seam allowance-- that extra bit of fabric on the inside of a garment. This is because it is easier to adjust a pattern for size and style without seam allowance and add it on when the style and size are both correct. Basically, if you added seam allowance to a sloper and sewed it together you would get the worlds most basic shift dress.
I use the same slopers over and over again to create unique patterns. Slopers are to patterns what scales are to songs, what words are to sentences, what lego bricks are to... I'm sure you get it.
For Heather, I chose my medium bodice sloper and removed 3/4" from each side seam based on her measurements. Once this was complete, I reworked the neckline to match what Heather and I talked about (for the front) and the scoop neckline that you voted for, on the back. The I added seam allowances onto the newly traced pattern.
From there, I cut out this first pattern in muslin, and stitched it together at the proper seam allowance. Since a mock-up is just for basic fitting purposes, there is no lining.
Here is the muslin on the dress form:
As you can see, it's not glamorous. It also doesn't fit the dress form properly, which is completely fine, because, Heather is neither the size nor shape of the dress form-- no person is. The form simply lets me hang the dress on something shaped generally like a body while I pin, move, stitch, and draw.
The next step is to have Heather try on the muslin in a fitting. During the fitting, we will correct fit, style and be sure to go over all of these things:
Then, I disassemble the muslin, transfer the changes to the paper pattern, and make another muslin! It seems like a lot of work (it is!) but in the end, the perfect fit makes it worth it every.single.time.
Keep following the #CollaborativeCouture project for another vote and to see pictures of the fitting!
I'm Denise Meyer, apparel designer in State College, PA, saving the world one clothing problem at a time!