This muslin is a hot mess

Turquoise and yellow muslin - front

My first muslin of Butterick 5353 was such a disaster that pretty much the only thing to do at this point is sit back, have a big glass of wine, and laugh at how ridiculous it is.  : )   I don’t often call my projects a hot mess, but this one definitely fits the bill!  Please excuse the awful photos in this post – I struggled so much with this stupid dress tonight that I didn’t have any energy left for decent photography.  Just please join me in maniacal laughter about how sewing projects can sometimes go very, very wrong.

There are many things that went horribly wrong with this muslin, but I think the main ones are as follows:

  • I cut this dress at least one size too big, as it is baggy absolutely everywhere.
  • I added too much length to the bodice.  Typically I add an inch at the shoulders and an inch at the waist, but it added up to way too much length in this case.  Pattern alternation FAIL.
  • Even taking into account the previous two bullets, the bodice is HUGE.  Do you see all that extra width (several inches on each side) under my arms?  WTF?!?!???
  • I suck at sewing princess seams (it was my first time doing this) and circular seams (ditto).  Curvy seams are not for beginners!

This dress makes me look like a triangle-shaped alien from a very unfashionable planet.  As LOLcats would say, I haz a sad.  😦

Turquoise and yellow muslin - front again

Another view from the front – the entire dress is sitting way too low.  I’ll have to remove some of the length I added.  Bummer.

Turquoise and yellow muslin - side

Baggy baggy baggy.  I can’t decide if this is better or worse than wearing an actual potato sack.  At least the polka dots are pretty!

Turquoise and yellow muslin - back

Surprisingly, the view from the back doesn’t look all that bad.  Go figure.

Turquoise and yellow muslin - bodice closeup

Here you can see just how wide the bodice is – what’s up with that craziness???  I think I might have to manually pinch it out once I cut the smaller size.  Also, I’m not sure how well you can see this from the photo, but the apex of the princess seams is sitting well below my actual bust apex.  Pattern alteration fail on my part.  Oh well.

Princess seam instructions

As I mentioned, this was my first ever attempt at sewing princess seams.  It did not go well.  Apparently princess seams are a bitch (at least for a beginner)!  I took many calming deep breaths and enlisted the help of my sewing reference book, but alas, my seams came out like crap.  I assume this will get better with practice.

Turquoise and yellow muslin - messy sewing table

Here you can see my messy sewing table as I was struggling to pin the princess seams.  Blargh!!!

Carolyn feeling sad about princess seamsAnd this pretty much sums up how I feel about this entire muslin.  😦

I need to ask the sewing gods to have mercy on this dress, as I really would like to have a good-looking finished version at some point.  For now, I’m going to take a little break from this mess and then get back to my ruler, pencil, and scissors.


8 thoughts on “This muslin is a hot mess

  1. Yikes! I think you have analyzed the fit issues really well. But you are right, take a step back and approach the dress with fresh eyes (or at least with a glass of wine in hand!) Have you looked at the Palmer Pleutsch (sp?) Fit for Real People? I think in there they have some diagrams for fitting a princess seam. But for me, it is usually trial and error – in other words, several muslins.


    • No, I haven’t seen that book, but thanks for the advice! I’ll have to check it out and do some more research on princess seams in general. This is all part of the garment sewing learning curve, after all. : )


  2. This is exactly what made me give up on sewing a few years ago when I made several attempts! Everything turned out ginormous despite careful measuring to determine my size, and I had no idea how to fix it. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the “big” pattern companies now that I’ve tried indie patterns that actually fit. Good luck with this one!


    • Yeah, I’m starting to see exactly what you mean! This pattern is really ridiculous. Even taking into account the fact that I shouldn’t have added the extra length, the pattern is still WAY bigger than the measurements. Seriously, WTF. I think I need to take your advice and try an indie pattern to see what the fuss is all about. : ) Live and learn, I guess!


  3. thanks so much for posting this – I’ve had a tiugh week, and your hilarious post made me laugh truly out loud. I know the feeling when you give all your energy to your goal and it doesnt even get close to the visualized version. Brava, though for analyzing all the errors and sharing a great laugh on your blog!


    • You’re welcome, glad you got a good laugh out of it. : ) Sometimes when things go so horribly wrong, you just have to laugh at it instead of getting frustrated. I kept telling myself that it’s only sewing, and if I screw it up beyond repair, I can always just buy more fabric!


  4. I am just curious….the line down the middle of the fabric, did you not wash and dry it before you started sewing with it? I have made this dress from different patterns and just can’t see how up ended up with something so off! I admit, I have messed plenty of things up, but I am still scratching my head on this one! Good luck!


    • Haha! Yes, I did wash and dry the fabric beforehand – I just iron the center crease back in as a guideline while I’m sewing, and then iron it out in the finished garment. I think part of the reason this came out so badly was that I shouldn’t have added in the extra length, but even so, the dress is still way too wide. I will fix it though… eventually!


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