Knit Muslin. An oxymoron?

MuslinFrontA few months ago a new Vogue dress pattern, 8920, came out that caught my eye. When there was a Club BMV sale, I grabbed it. V8920When we were invited to a family wedding (that takes place this weekend), I started obsessing about what to wear. While working the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago, I saw the most beautiful soft knit in the Vogue Fabrics booth. This fabric reminded me of Gustav Klimt’s painting, “The Kiss.” The colors were like caramel ice cream topping, and the fabric is so soft you just want to throw it on the floor and roll around on it. Pure yum all around.

The more I thought about cutting into this lovely fabric to make a pattern I’d never made before, the more anxious I got. I didn’t want to waste the fabric. I loved the look of this dress and thought it would look good on me, but I was unsure about adding a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) to it. So I went to Jo-Ann’s and bought a yard of a cheap cotton-blend knit. I figured I’d cut the four main pattern pieces as long as I could – get as much out of this yard of fabric as I could.

[I’ve heard people talk about just pinning the front and back pattern pieces together and holding it up to your body to see how it fits, but that’s never really been a true measure for me. And when you’re working with a knit and need to take the amount of stretch into account, it really wouldn’t work, right?]

MuslinBackI sewed all seams except the underbust seam (the seam with the gathering). And the “muslin” fit around my body nicely. The underbust seam area appeared to be a little short, but when I tested the lengthwise stretch of the “muslin” fabric (0% stretch) against the fashion fabric (>0% stretch), I figured I’d be okay.

So I’m moving forward. I cut the fabric out last night and assembled everything to the shoulder seams today. The tricot lining arrived today and has been washed and dried, ready to be cut out.

Let me say a word about the tricot lining: I’m not sure I need it. The pattern envelope suggests a mesh or sheer knit, which would—of course—need to be lined. But this is a substantial knit that doesn’t need lining. However, if I line it, I won’t have to wear a slip. It will, in effect, have a slip built in. So I guess I’m gonna go ahead and line it.

I have about six hours to work on it tomorrow before I have to get my grandkids for a sleepover with Grandma. That leaves Friday to finish up. We leave at noon Saturday to drive up to Lake Erie west of Cleveland for the outdoor wedding. The forecast for Saturday is mid-60s. Hmmm. I’m making the sleeveless view. I guess a little black shrug will be okay, if I don’t find the time to finish the chocolate brown bouclé shawl.

Why, yes, I do think I’m Superwoman!


And while I was getting ready to publish this post, the Jazzman got home from a hard day on the railroad. I was telling him about the muslin and then slipped the dress on in its current state—shoulder seams pinned, underbust seam not yet sewn. I lovelovelove it!!!! I’m not a dancer, but this dress is going to make me want to dance. Or at least sashay!!

About Jan

Musician and geek and Juris Doctor; lover of fine art and fine craft; mother and grandmother and significant other and friend. Passionate about sewing.

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3 Responses to Knit Muslin. An oxymoron?

  1. Jane M says:

    That is a pretty dress and one that totally went by me. Can’t wait to see your finished version.

    • Jan says:

      Thanks, Jane. When I complete the standard PatternReview template and it asks “Will you make this again?”, my answer will be, “Not even on a bet!”

      This dress is simple (so far), but long and involved. This morning I hemmed the bottom band (while flat, rather than after attaching it to the dress), and that task took over an hour-and-a-half!

      I’m close to finished. Tomorrow (Friday) is do-or-die before the intended wearing to the family wedding on Saturday. Spousal Equivalent wants to know if I have a fallback plan in case I don’t finish. 🙂

  2. Pingback: The Dress From Hell - Exploring Creativity, One Project at a Time

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