Friday, 6 April 2012

Rooibos Muslin

At last! Just when I thought all my projects would be prefaced with fitting nightmares along comes a pattern that's a relative breeze. Here's the Rooibos muslin.

The pattern needs no introduction but for the unfamilar it's the Rooibos pattern from Colette patterns. I was hesitant about trying another Colette pattern, particularly a dress, after the fitting nightmare that was the Macaron. How strange that this one should sew up fine with all the pieces matching perfectly.

Using the advice on page 60 of my Vogue Sewing book, I selected the pattern size closest to the bust measurement since it's easier to adjust the waist and hip area. (This only applies to A or B cups - there's a bit more too it with a bigger bust).  I then cut as per the pattern with no pre-adjustments. As I thought I may have to widen the hips a bit and add a bit of length, I:

- Sewed the side seams with a 1cm seam allowance instead of 1.5 cm*
- Sewed the waistband to the skirt with a 1 cm seam allowance.

It fits perfectly which I'm pleased about. There's a bit of weirdness in the back bodice where the darts are. Maybe I have a flatter back than normal but I don't know who's supposed to have a pointed back! I think I just need to extend the darts a bit more or pinch out some of the excess. It's certainly not a major issue and knowing me I'll probably ignore it - it'll only be an eyesore to anyone standing behind me.

I'll also add on about 3.5 cm for the hem as the muslin length is just right. 

Another thing I did, which I'm planning to do on the final dress, is have the side zip go all the way up to below the arms. The dress completely opens at the side rather than having the first couple of inches below the arm sewn. This makes the dress a million times easier to get on and off. I got the idea from a ready to wear dress I bought years ago which I've just started wearing again.  

In my final dress I may use lining fabric for the inner pocket pieces rather than the top fabric. There's quite a few layers at the princess seams in this area so anything I can do to reduce this will help.

The muslin fabric is actually going to be the final fabric.  It's similar to the black I used in the Macaron so it has a lot of body. Although I haven't finally decided on the contrast fabric I'm thinking about a black and white fabric made into bias tape for the top of the pockets and the underside of the Rooibos collar. (For the uninitiated that Wilma Flintstone neckline you see folds down into a collar!)

I may also line the dress which will take some figuring out with that contrast facing.

I've had a great time bank holiday sewing today. So nice that I didn't end up tearing my hair out!

Happy holiday!

*Update: I amended the seam allowance to 1.5 cm from the hips to the bottom of the skirt.  The centre panel of the skirt is now flatter than in the picture above.  I also intend to add a seam allowance to the neckline at the front and back because I liked the finished lines on the muslin.  


  1. Sounds like you've got it all sorted! Yay! Fitting nightmares are the worst. Now you're ready to get onto the fun bit!

    1. Yay! Knowing me there's bound to be more drama along the way but that's sewing!

  2. That's great that it fit so well! I have the rooibos pattern too and want to make it in denim... someday (ha!).

    1. Oh denim will be nice! Yes someday I may get round to making the Ginger, Violet and Beignet not mentioning the book patterns!

  3. Hooray for something that fits! The roobios is near the top of my to-sew list and I was considering adding a lining too, so i'm looking forward to seeing how you tackle it. I was just considering doing the whole lining in the contrast collar fabric, but i don't know yet.

    1. Absolutely! You'll like how this one comes together. Good idea about the contrast fabric - that would certainly make the lining a bit easier. I can't do this with a white top fabric. You've got me thinking - if I use the black top fabric I could do all the bodice front piece in the lining fabric.