When creating your own clothes – FIT IS IT!


When Maddy (my daughter) decided to make her own dress for her sister’s wedding, I was delighted.  In one day we bought the pattern, the fabric, the fabric lining, thread and a stitch ripper (for good measure).  Then Maddy and I opened the pattern package and stared at the instructions.  While we are both able to operate a sewing machine and even own one, we knew that for something this important, we needed help to make sure the fit was exact, and that the dress didn’t fray at the seams where we had removed stitches one too many times (that’s my dilemma, not Maddy’s, btw).

We bought polyester lining, but decided on silk for it’s comfort against the skin.  Thought not an exact match, the lining won’t be visible, so it’s ok.
According to Jana Duplantis of A Perfect Fit Alteration and Custom Clothing, Maddy would need her dress made as a muslin before being cut from the beautiful plum fabric.  Muslin itself is a light cotton, finely woven fabric. Relatively inexpensive, it is often used to make a test garment, so you can forge ahead “without the risk of wasting good fabric and time on a garment you ultimately aren’t pleased with,” says Duplantis.  If that’s not enough incentive to try muslin before making the actual dress, please note that muslin can be used to filter wine of impurities during the decanting process.  Not only is muslin lightweight, inexpensive and easy to sew with, its recyclable assets qualify it as a 2fer!  I bet you didn’t know that!
According to Jana, after cutting the muslin to the pattern specifications, all the pattern markings are traced onto the muslin using a dressmaker’s wheel and carbon paper or waxed paper along with the pattern name, size and any other information you find helpful. After the patterns pieces are cut, the muslin is sewn using a long, basting stitch (making it easier to use that stitch ripper).  Once the muslin is fitted to Maddy, adjustments are made to the muslin and then it is taken apart and used as the pattern piece for the actual dress.  As you can see here, Jana is making some adjustments to the dress and Maddy is finding that she can indeed sit as well as stand in the dress.
While it may be difficult to think of having your clothing made for you, it might be fun to try just one piece such as a skirt or simple dress or Jana’s classic poncho.  There is something really special about putting on a garment that is made just for you. So far my clients have had dresses, skirts, jackets, ponchos and pants made for them.  If you are thinking about one unique piece for yourself, contact Jana at 775-771-4631.  You can also see her here on Facebook and Pinterest.When the dress is finished, I’ll be sure to highlight all the details.

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