The “Half Way There” Muslin Tee | Adey Lim
Fabric: 2 yards red/pink/purple/orange stripe knit fabric from fabric.com $11
Time to complete: 7 hours
First worn: 9 December 2011
Wear again? Yes!
Total Cost: ~$11
It was love at first sight when I saw the Sweet on Stripes Dress by Stop Staring! on Modcloth. I have not bought a single garment for myself since I started the Sew Weekly Challenge this year and definitely wasn’t gonna spend US$164 on a jersey dress. If I did, the opportunity cost could have been more than 10 yards of fabrics for many projects! But, when this week’s challenge was to self draft a garment, it was the first dress that came to mind. I wanted to make a similar dress using a precious brown/ white stripe poly jersey mixed with strips of red jersey but as I started drafting, I was totally unsure if my idea on paper was going to work and decided to start from basics and sew a muslin from a cheaper rayon jersey fabric in my stash. The 2-yard fabric wasn’t gonna be sufficient for a dress. My plan was to do a muslin at least for the more complicated top bodice/ shoulder/ sleeves/neckline portion. I figured that the midriff and skirt portion should be quite straight forward and less likely to go wrong for the actual dress.Here’s my idea on paper. I later realized the back stripe positioning wasn’t going to work if I wanted those stripes to match at the seams. There were lots of trial & error with so many ideas being tossed or switched along the way and instead of having all pattern pieces ready to be cut, I was working with bit and pieces, pining them onto a tee I was wearing, measuring, drafting new pieces, marking grainlines, adding notches as I went along, without truly knowing if these were correctly marked.
It took more time than I had expected to get the pieces to work together whilst attempting to match the stripes where possible but I am glad that I am half way there in terms of getting the pattern pieces for the dress. And since I spent so much effort and time on the muslin tee which fitted nicely, I decided to finish it off as a tee. I traced the lower half of the tee off an old fitting t-shirt and cut the fabric on the bias for the front chevron effect. The neckline tie is essentially a straight piece folded with right sides facing, stitched until where the shoulder pieces are, turned right side out and top stitched sandwiching the ends of the shoulder pieces.
The fabric I used for the muslin had both thin and thick multi-colored stripes which complicated the matching of stripes quite a bit. The colors of the stripes were also irregular. The thin stripes for instance had some colors appearing in singles or pairs at various sequences, making it almost difficult to squeeze a tee out of 2 yards of fabric.
My favourite part is the top-down view of the tee where the four shoulder and sleeve pieces meet at the shoulders, forming two diamond shaped design.
I hope to finish drafting the midriff and skirt pieces soon so I can take a stroll in my first self drafted jersey dress. It feels good to be at least half way there.