Sunday, February 8, 2009

3 Muslins Later... A Tulip Skirt Muslin was born!

Well, I have a rather serious issue not being able to find the fabrics I want for some of the garments in my summer sewing plan. I’ll wait a bit longer, order more samples, perhaps go to Denver even. Meanwhile, I decided to start working on my patterns and muslins, so at least I am ready when I find the fabrics.

I started off with the Tulip Skirt. It is a knock-off of a skirt by Malene Birger that I own and love. For some reason it really compliments my otherwise boyish from the waist-down figure. “By Malene Birger” is a well known label in Europe, while in the USA it is just coming in. A local boutique downtown Colorado Springs stocks a few items per season.

So, I started by rubbing off the pattern using GLAD Press and Seal (my favorite product for copying RTW). Then I transferred it onto paper and did some basic truing, measuring, marking. Next, I made the first muslin:

As you can see, there were a few problems:
- Too narrow at the waist
- Waistband too wide
- Dire need to level the seam connecting the upper and lower skirt at the CB and side seams
Then, there was a 2nd muslin, which I did not take pics of but it needed work as well, specifically at the side seams.
For the 3rd muslin I used the lower skirt from the 2nd muslin and only re-cut the upper skirt pieces. The 3rd muslin was OK, but I wanted a bit more volume at the side seams and let them out some between the lower thigh and the high hip.

Eventually, I arrived at my final muslin. Even on it there is one issue (as you can probably see above) – the hem is uneven, but that is already corrected on the paper pattern.

As you can see, even if you are copying a garment you own, muslins are crucial. Just compare the initial ( after rub-off) pattern for the upper skirt and the final one:

They also help with establishing the right sequence in construction. My first muslin was constructed in a completely different order than my last one and the sequence of the last is must more logical and easier to sew and press. The final construction order at which I arrived is:

1. Insert invisible zipper in CB (upper back skirt
2. Attach lower front to upper front and lower back to upper back
3. Inseam pockets.
4. Side seams (The photo below shows the skirt before it is pleated at the waistband)

5. Pleat the front and the back
6. Construct lining and hem lining
7. Baste lining to skirt at waist
8. Attack waistband
9. Hem: to be done with self-fabric facing, understitched and anchored to main fabric by hand.

About the fabric choice:

I want to make this skirt using a solid crisp woven for the upper skirt and drapier bold big print woven for the bottom.

Iam even thinking of attacking a petticoat to the lining for more "poof" in case the fabric for the lower part does not have enough beef, or maybe simply underlining the lower part.

Some of the fabrics I am considering (still don't have true favorites) for the lower part of the skirt are:

These bold florals from ( I especially like the 1st one):

And these cottons from

What do you think? I could use some opinions and advice on the fabric! Also, if you have seen some cool cotton print anywhere on the web, pls let me know!


Marita said...

WOW! you're really kickstarting with the s/s sewings, great muslin and great advise on knockin'off, the fabric choises are great, can't wait to see what you pick:-)

Sarah C said...

I really like the fabric from equilter, second row, second from the right. It will look so nice with a big print on the bottom!

I am so impressed with your muslin! I am just starting to alter patterns, and I really want to copy a RTW piece I have.

Can you give more detail on what rubbing off the pattern entails? I am so new at this I feel a little lost in all the details and options when you go outside of the Big 4 patterns.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

I looooove that poppy fabric, but I think for this skirt something more graphic like the gray/brown olive strings (or whatever the print might be called) might be better.

Meg said...

Love the skirt!

Joanne said...

Skirt is lovely! You are so clever! All of the fabrics would work!

Anonymous said...

I always love the Amy Butler collection!

HeatherJ said...

I am amazed at the way you draft patterns from ready to wear clothing- even pieces you don't own!

I like the second one from Gorgeous Fabrics. I think you could really pull that print off!

Byrdie said...

I also like the first fabric from gorgeous fabrics -or- the one from equilter- second row, second from the left. Both would look very spring/summer and would look great with a bright color top. Like Sarah, I think it would be cool if you did a little tutorial on "rubbing off" a rtw piece. Your draftings skills are enviable:)

xoxxo said...

Such cute fabric choices!