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Made By A Fabricista: Why Sew A Muslin

Here it is, my September blog post featuring Newlook N6692 and this pretty rayon challis from Fabric Mart! This pattern style is so in right now. The square neckline, cute puff sleeves and the tiered skirt are all exactly what I was looking for in a summer dress. As always I started with making a muslin first!  Let’s get into why it’s important to start with a muslin. 

A muslin is basically a practice garment. It prevents you from cutting into your good fabric prematurely.  I usually use a muslin fabric (natural cotton) but you should also consider using a fabric that is the same weight as your fashion fabric. This will give you a truer gauge of how the garment is going to lay in the final fabric. Anytime I try out a new pattern company I make a muslin. This was my first time using a Newlook pattern so I need to know what the ease would be like for this pattern. Also I need to see how the bust would fit me and where I would need to make adjustments. Plus there were some new techniques I wanted to practice first.  And lastly I really needed to make sure this was a style I felt comfortable in and could pull off. 

Fitting the bust area is something I always have to adjust. Here are two photos showing some of the differences in the bust area. One is more tight, especially horizontally. It is kinda flatting me at the apex. The second photo shows where I made adjustments to give me more room in the bust so that I wasn’t smashed down. I do wish I fitted the neckline a little more. In the final dress the neckline is loose and I just don’t like that. This is something I would have to go back and hopefully fix or tighten up. 

Next I wanted to try out sewing it up because of the neckline. The pattern used large dots and while I have used that method before I just wanted to practice sewing that part. If your stitches are not precise you could get tucks and it just won’t lay right. Also the pattern said to “break the stitch line”. I had no idea what that meant so I had to run to a sewing Facebook group to ask. Basically you stitch to the dot, stop that stitch line and then pick up or start again right after the dot. I wish the pattern instructions were better worded. 

Lastly I wanted to make sure this was a style that did actually look good on me. Some styles (for me) right now seem too frilly. While I like the look I get nervous that I can’t pull it off. Plus I like to make sure the sleeve wasn’t too puffy as I don’t want more fabric in or near the bust area. I don’t want to make that area larger looking. So in a nut shell make a muslin to 1) get the fit right, 2) practice new techniques, and 3) make sure its a style that is something you like. Hopefully these tips help you understand why making a muslin might be good for you. 

This dress did mostly turn out the way I wanted. The neckline does need to be fixed by other than that I’m happy with the result. As far as the actual pattern goes it’s not my favorite pattern company to work with. The instructions were kind of vague. You definitely need to know how to sew already. Not great for a very beginner.  The biggest pet peeve I have with the pattern is that no where did it call for interfacing. After adding interfacing to the zipper area the zipper when right in, the pattern never called for placing it there. If someone sews this dress without zipper experience they might have problems with installation. Also I do feel the neckline should have been interfaced. I think that would have helped with the problems I faced with that area of the dress. The neckline basically has no structure to hold it in place and now there is like a wave across the neckline. I won’t trash this pattern. I will just approach it differently if I decide to make it again. 

Overall I am happy with this dress. Honestly this is one of my best Fabric Mart fabrics I have used. I truly love this cute print and it goes with the dress pattern perfectly. I’ll be wearing this dress right into the fall here in So Cal. So go try making a muslin to get the best results for your next project!! Happy sewing!

HANNAH   @modistrasews

Unfortunately Fabric Mart Fabrics sell out quickly!
You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following categories: CHALLIS & MUSLIN.


  1. Your dress looks lovely on you. I totally get what you mean about the pattern company not going the whole way and making a complete effort toward ensuring that the pattern, including instructions, will be a complete success when made by any sewist. Thank you for this thoughtful post!


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