Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dressmaking From A Free Dress Pattern & Saving On Muslin Time



Since I'm on a sewing patterns kick this month, I thought it would be a good time to share a dress I made with a fabulous free pattern.  That's right, I found this pattern for free online and I think it's one of my all-time favorites:  The Coffee Date Dress by The Selfish Seamstress


I stumbled across Elaine's blog a while ago and adored her stylish creations & witty tone (her FAQ is hilarious).  I also couldn't believe she was offering such a cute downloadable dress pattern.

I love sewing, but I don't make a lot for myself.  That's because it's usually tough to get a good fit without a lot of slight changes, since I'm short & thin-ish, but still a little curvy.  And when you've got 3 kids under 10, you don't have a lot of free time to sew, let alone time to make a muslin first, fiddle with alterations and then get to actually sewing the item.  But since this was free I was willing to give it a go and I had an accidental epiphany of how to save time too.

I found this fabulous, retro kitchen appliance print fabric (from Jo-Ann's last summer - totally should have bought more!!), but the issue was it was too see-through to use on it's own.  




The pattern has a facing around the armholes & neck, but that wouldn't be enough to cover the goods, so I decided to make a full lining out of plain muslin.  I now do this for nearly every new dress pattern I try.  For one it gives a nice finished lining for the whole of the dress and doesn't really take much more time than fiddling with multiple facing pieces.  For two, it IS the practice muslin, so any goofs, changes, etc. are done to the cheap interior, not the nice print fabric, so big time saver.  No fabric or time wasted on something I won't use.



The amazing thing was I didn't have to make a bunch of changes, I used her original size 32 version and just did a slightly smaller seam allowance and it was perfect.  Even the length!! It's got a nice fitted shape thanks to some well placed darts & the zip up back gives it a smooth look too.  


I just had to slipstitch the lining on the zipper sides, but that was pretty quick to do while watching tv one night.



The only other change was that I skipped the ruffled bit at the front.  With a pattern this busy, it would have been too much, but I'd definitely add it to future dresses, because it adds just the right amount of designer-style flair.


You can find the pattern HERE on The Selfish Seamstress's downloads page (just scroll down to the bottom for this dress - there are other great patterns there too).  

Have you found any awesome free clothing patterns? I'd love if you shared the links in the comments.



15 comments:

  1. Cheryl, I love Selfish! Where has she been?! I'm sure you already know they're doing a sew along at Project Sewn...I'm going to try to sew one up...if I have time. I love your fabric, you're right- you should've bought a bolt! You look lovely!

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    1. I hope she'll have new stuff up soon too Amy. And I didn't know about Project Sewn (I made this last summer, but never got around to taking pics), so thank you for telling me. I've gone & linked mine up. Hope you make one too - would love to see it:)

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  2. Smart lady!! I've got a post on Craft Gossip scheduled for later today that links to your muslin-to-lining method.
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/idea-file-waste-free-dress-muslin/2013/08/13
    --Anne

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  3. Great info, Cheryl, and your dress is darling!

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  4. That is a good idea! Your dress is really cute. =)

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  5. I used the same method when I made a "fits like a glove" wedding dress for my sister. It had princess seams and I made several bodice linings before I achieved the perfect fit. Then I had to wrap my head around making the mirror image of it, because of course my sister had one shoulder higher than the other, and other areas of non symmetry. :*)

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    1. I hear you about the visualizing - that's the toughest part of sewing for me. You were especially smart to do this for a wedding gown - I'm sure having that perfect fit was very appreciated!

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  6. Super cute dress, Cheryl! Love also the fun fabric!
    Happy day!
    Hugs from Portugal.

    Ana Love Craft
    www.lovecraft2012.blogspot.com

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  7. LOVE your idea of using your muslin as your lining! You are brilliant! Thanks for linking your dress up...it is AWESOMELY vintage which is right up my alley!!!!
    ~Elizabeth

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    1. Thanks so much Elizabeth & for the perfectly timed link up. Great minds sew alike!!

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  8. So smart and budget friendly. I love this idea. I also love your fabric choice, so fun and friendly. Great job.

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    1. I'm all about the budget friendly when it comes to clothes for myself. I've got ModCloth taste and a Costco budget. LOL.

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  9. Love the idea of making the muslin the liner! Turned out great!

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  10. soo CUTE! I really like that you lined it... I also linked up a dress to the sew a long :o) Emily@nap-timecreations.com

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    1. I'm lazy with sewing details, but lining is so worth it on dresses like these and doesn't really take much extra time. Going to check yours out:)

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Getting your comments brightens my day. I'd love if you left one:)

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