Move over Darling: An underwhelming muslin

Ooh doncha hate it when something you had high hopes for doesn’t quite match up to expectations?  I’ve almost finished my Darling Ranges wearable muslin and (shock! gasp!) I’ve decided not to finish it off. I’ve just got the sleeves to do but nope, it ain’t happening? Why?

Darling muslin with belt

Because contrary to how this charming dress looks on the mannequin, it makes me look like a sack of spuds. This isn’t false modesty either peeps, it really does. A few tweaks during construction to even out some flaws in the pattern measurement (see Roobeedoo for a breakdown) meant that a shortish bodice went even shorter than anticipated. The bodice stops at what must be the single most unflattering part of my ribcage – effectively widening my overall silhouette by, ooh, about a metre or so and enveloping the lower half of my body in what can only be described as the upper half of a deflated blimp.

Darling muslin no belt

The fabric I used was cheap and cheerful from Walthamstow market (well it is a muslin). Unfortunately it’s so cheap and cheerful that most of my buttonholes are miniature greek tragedies and I’d probably go up like a chinese lantern if someone held an open flame near me. Not a dress for BBQs then…

Darling muslin

So I’m ho-humming about where to go next with this dress. On the one hand, I can jump straight into making the necessary tweaks to the pattern, lengthening the bodice by an inch or so, maybe cut a size bigger in the bust area, use my wonderful new fabric donated by Our Patterned Hand… I think I’d definitely make a calico muslin this time though, rather than waste more fabric!

Darling muslin from the side

Or I might take a  break, do something else and come back to this dress refreshed and ready to tackle its challenges.



25 thoughts on “Move over Darling: An underwhelming muslin

  1. How annoying! But I dod love the title of your post, and the description of the button holes as “miniature greek tragedies” – very poetic! 🙂

  2. What a shame the fabric looks cute. For my DRD, I lengthended the bodice by over an inch and had to add a considerable amount to the back of the bodice for the dress to fit around the shoulders. The v-neck is also quite deep, so I brought mine up by an inch. Stick with it though. I love both of my DR dresses and the look fab. Also, don’t cut that awesome handprinted fabric yet. Use more trash fabric until you get the fit right!

  3. Oh man, how annoying for you! Maybe come back to it at a later date, but only if you feel like it…no point in forcing it if ya just ain’t feeling it! I actually have the pattern too, but posts like Roobeedoo’s (and others) have really scared me off it…eeek!

  4. Ack! How frustrating! If you don’t feel like you have the energy to approach this, set it aside for a bit and work on a short project. It never feels good to slog through something, and sometimes looking at it with a set of fresh eyes will make fixing it more pleasant later on.

  5. Awww, how frustrating! I think it’s time to put it away and enjoy some quick skirts/t-shirts/make-it-in-a-day sewing! (On the other hand, i really didn’t like my Licorice until I wore it today, and now I’m thinking of making another! Even if the muslin doesn’t grow on you, the pattern might!)

    • Good advice! And you know what – I’m almost finished another scout tee! Hooray for the scout tee! I loved your Licorice btw – cute neck detailing

  6. Finish the sleeves and donate it to Goodwill. It may not fit you but it’ll fit someone. It looks well made, and like you said, the fit is only off in the boobage area.. Also, you might want to start using more teals/ blue greens, burnt oranges and pumpkin shades in your garments. You have such a nice complexion and you hide it in very toned down shades. Actually you’d probably look awesome in pastels too, English rose and all that 😉

  7. OK – really daft question – but have you tried it with a belt? I didn’t put the back ties on mine to give me that option if the high waist turned out to be too unflattering. I think a lot is down to fabric choice. You definitely need something very drapey – mine is a bamboo / cotton mix and I have seen others in voile that look amazing. I am almost finished my second version with a redrafted bodice in a slinky viscose fabric – I am waiting til the weekend to try it on… in case it has all gone pear-shaped (literally!)
    I can’t tell you whether nor not to go ahead with another attempt – it depends whether you feel there are enough redeeming features! For me, the fit across the shoulders makes me feel like a ballerina, and that’s enough to make me want to make it work – that and the excuse to use a gazillion buttons!

    • I did try it with a belt – still too unflattering unfortunately. I definitely think a lower bodice line will work better but I agree the fabric needs to have loads of drape and the fabric I used for the muslin (although extremely floaty and light) has a certain stiffness to it that just doesn’t agree with the design! I love your version btw!

  8. This happens to me ALL the time. I work on a muslin, and work on a muslin, and work on a muslin, only to have it not work out, and by the time it’s close, all my steam is gone for the project. My vote is for taking a break. If it’s going to be a chore instead of fun, come back to it later.

  9. But aren’t you glad you made a muslin? Silver lining? Maybe?
    So sorry it didn’t turn out as planned. It happens to the best of us. I might take a break from it all and come back later with some fresh eyes and a bit more pep in step…

    • Absolutely I am! Definitely a silver lining. And it proves to me for the umpteenth time (I should start taking note though) that a muslin is vital.

  10. Such a shame… Such a cute dress! Take a break, I say, and whip up something that’s a sure winner. Quick satisfying fix – like one of your beautiful Violets! Then come back to it with renewed inspiration x

  11. I lost count at how many attempts it took me to get a Darling dress I liked. Four, five? I’m not suggesting you follow in my nutty footsteps but that maybe another try won’t be a bad thing. If you need me to pin your dress to sort out the fit, just let me know.

    • You are a darling Mela. Funnily enough the husband helped with pinning my simplicity 2444 and after about half an hour of instructions he managed to do it! But I may have to use you at some point! The offer is mutual – am always around if you need another pair of hands!

  12. The dress does look lovely but if it doesn’t look right on then def save it for altering once you have got over the disappointment.

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