Simplicity 2154 Muslin

Despite the fact that I dislike making muslins, this one is being called a muslin.

First off, let me set the record straight on the neckline. Boy did I read that wrong.  The blouse is designed with a basic jewel-neckline shape. The front has a slit left open with a loop sewn around it. The tie then is slipped through the loop and tied. I might actually wear the bow if constructed as per the instructions. You still have the option of adding a collar or using collar without bow and loop.  Myself, I left the front open.  Instead of closing the slit at the top, I folded the sides back and formed the V I had seen on the pattern envelope. I finished neckline and armscyes by serging bias to the outside, turning it inward and topstitching.  It makes a nice neat finish.  The slit is entirely too deep for my taste.  I’m not inclined to display cleavage outside the bedroom.  Burda however has had me experimenting with many after-the-fact fixes for deep necklines.  For this blouse, I tacked it at the bottom and then used a triple-stitch zig-zag upward to my desired depth.   Now onto discussing the fit.

My final alterations resembled cutting a armhole princess line  from hem through  the armscye and then spreading the two pieces apart unevenly .i.e. the armscye was spread 3/8″ while the tummy was spread 3/4″  After making all the alterations, I pinned the tissue together and tried it on Mimie.  I really thought there was enough ease everywhere.  Because I knew my fabric was a 100% cotton voile, I decided to add an extra 1/4″ SA on the sides only.

I am happy with the shoulders and the area across the chest and back above the armscye.  I was concerned that the shoulders and that area might be too wide.  Where the armscyes meet under the arm, I had to increase my SA 3/8″. I might have gotten away with not making the 3/8″ separation.   For many years I’ve either eliminate the front darts or sewn tiny seams.  I’ve always had a tummy.  It’s not even at its biggest right now.  Point is, I’ve always had to make sure my garments could float freely from waist to hip to tummy and usually leaving out the front darts was the solution. From the front of the muslin it would appear that I need a larger dart both horizontally and vertically. I can easily agree to enlarging the horizontal dart, but I’m reluctant to work with the vertical.  It is now just a small 1/8″ tuck on the inside of the garment.


I think the front looks almost OK. Given my figure that is, from the front this blouse is wearable. The side view reinforced my thought that the horizontal dart needs to be bigger.  But the back is showing wrinkles at the back waistline and the back hem line is rising.  Probably not enough ease across the back hip.

The back makes it plain that something is not working with the alterations. I am inclined to believe that I need more ease across the hip rather than I need a sway back alteration. I made a 1″ BWL before cutting out the fabric. My trial on Mimie showed that the waist was far too low. Which would mean that the shaping for waist, tummy and hip would be too low. So I took care of that problem (or so I thought) at the tissue stage.  It’s clear to me that although I can pull the fabric down over my hips and the pants I am wearing, that it needs more ease.  I also see diagonal wrinkles from armscye to shoulder-blade and a little puff  just below the shoulder and above the upper back which would indicate that more ease is needed  maybe right across the mid back. Except that it looks too wide there???

One thing that was odd to me is that both the center front and back pieces are cut, neither is placed upon the fold.  Usually, designers use this feature to add shaping.  I pulled the directions out and specifically checked to see how the pattern pieces were laid out on the fabric and when you were instructed to sew the center back seam. Well, the center back seam should have a center back closure as well, but I skipped that because I already planned to leave the front neckline open.  But I wonder, why the designer didn’t add a little shaping.

OK so what am I going to do.  Well the blouse above has finished necklines and armscyes and I was truly thinking of finishing it and getting a few wearings. But upon seeing the back I’ve decided this is a muslin.  I’m pondering the changes that need to be made.

The neckline is almost too tight and the armscye almost too low.  This may be because of my preferred 3/8″ SA. I need to remove 1/4″ from shoulder and the neckline.

I didn’t need the extra 3/8″ added at the armscye. But I need a little extra ease both back and front a little higher up I’m thinking my alterations need to be a little bit more like a real FBA.

The line which bisects the armscye should be higher into the armscye  and the pieces should be hinged at that point.

The horizontal dart needs to be cut and allowed to open up

The 3/4″ ease added at tummy needs to 1″ for the front and 1.25″ for the back.

Lastly, the muslin is not hemmed. This is the shortest I would want to wear it, so adding 1/2″ for a double turned hem is essential.

Let’s see what that gets me.  You know, it’s entirely possible that had I been using a knit, this blouse would be perfect.

Note about the muslin fabric. It is a 100% cotton voile.  I’m fairly sure I purchased this at Mill Ends in Sioux Falls SD. I haven’t been in Joanns for years. Yet on the edge is clearly imprinted “manufactured especially for JoAnn’s”.   Also I thought this was a batik. However I’ve recently seen a printing process in which the fabric is printed with a solid color and then  color is removed by forcing small amounts of acid through a roller on which is etched a design, similar to the fabric patterning.  I don’t know what that process is called beyond color discharging (of which there are several processes).  Either way, the fabric is a muslin as much for the fact that I can tell it’s not good quality as that I also know it’s not good fit either.

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