Muslin 4 (LH1011 the Rochelle)

It’s not just that’s I’m pig-headed -which I am- but that I really need a procedure for fitting new patterns. My procedure for Connie Crawford patterns doesn’t work with the other patterns I’ve been sewing. So yes Muslin IV (four not intravenous): I measured bust waist and hips of the pattern; subtracted seam allowances and my body measurements.  I traced the neckline shoulders and armscye of the small but bust, waist and hip of the large because that should result in  5″ bust, 3.5 waist and 3″ hip ease. These numbers are more in keeping with what I want to see on a woven.  However, I’m using the same 25% stretch knit fabric because, well I still have 2 yards and I’d like to use it up, as well as I’d like some fabric consistency.  I know without a doubt that fabric alone can account for the differences in look and fit.

I cut fabric, serged CF and CB then basted (with water-soluble thread) the shoulders and side seams.  The result was not wonderful but not really bad.  I tweaked the shoulder slope by pinching the muslin and repeated darting at the CF CB and underarms as I did on Muslins 1 and 2. Each dart is only 1/4″ more than the default seam allowance, unlike the 3/4 and 1/2″ wedges of the previous muslins.

The hip lacks sufficient ease. I had to tug the hem downwards or it would to creep up to the middle of my back. Sure sign for me to add hip ease.  I like the shoulder slope now and the shoulder looks about the right width.  I think the wrinkles below the underarm are from the altered size and shape of the armscye.  I’m hoping the weird drag lines result from a combination of the two issues (hip room and armscye shape)

The front is starting to look like the much too large Version 2.   The neckline is lying smoothly. The shoulders are about the right length. I might want them 3/8″ wider.  The fabric isn’t stretched tightly across my midsection. All good things.

Keeping in mind that I’m Grandma (not bunny) shaped, this is beginning to come together. Clearly from the side, I can tell the armscye has to be redrawn and I’m in urgent need of a little extra hip ease.  That bust dart is wanting form again.  Hope reshaping the armscye will help. Back to the sewing room

I copied the fitting tweaks to my tissue.  Trimmed the front side to a size medium and then traced the original armscyes to my tissue pattern. I recut my fabric to reflect the changes. Then I serged the shoulders (I think they’re done) plus basted the side seams with a 1/4″ seam allowance

While this is an improvement, it’s still not a garment I’m proud to wear. I still feel the hip doesn’t have enough ease which will negatively affect the garment and maybe in several places.  I can’t add fabric, so in the next pic I removed the side seam stitching from hip to hem.

I like the front. Yes I do. I'[m not all that bothered by the dart which wants to form between armscye and bust or the drag lines below the bust.  Now that the back isn’t distorting the entire garment, I think the shoulders and neckline are near perfect.  I’m inclined to believe  smoothing the front below the waist would have resulted in the entire front between bust and hem  looking very nice.  The back and side view are,,, interesting?  The back should not be cupping below the rear.  Is the fabric already stretched-out of shape?  I’ve only tried this on 4 or 5 times. Seconds on my body.  Not even a full minute. I see the masses in the center back what you don’t see is the center seam of upper back is very curved.  I might need that much curve in 4-5 years. For now, I really need to reduce  the curvature.  Although I’ve carefully reshaped the armscye I’m still seeing the U’s (side view) that indicate the armscye needs to be deeper/wider.

It had already occurred to me that it would be easier to create this style by copying my sloper, adding CB and CF seams and rotating the bust dart to the CF.  I was looking not merely to fit the pattern, but to discover how to fit all Loes Hinse patterns to my body.  I’m disappointed to have completed 4 muslins without producing a better fitting garment.  Fortunately, my “muslin” fabric was old and inexpensive.  At least I didn’t waste a good fabric.

At the moment, I’m not sure what my next step is.  I still desire a procedure to follow when fitting new patterns not merely to fit this one.

For any of you following along, I would urge that you not use this particular experience of mine to finalize your purchase decision. I have fitting issues that I don’t know what they are and so don’t know how to fix them. This pattern, just like all of Loes Hinse designs, is really well drafted. It sews together easily. The extra shaping is a boone for mature bodies.  I take issue only with the fabric recommendations. I believe that there are significant differences between patterns for woven, including drapey woven fabrics and patterns drafted for knits. That she includes both fabrics is a red flag for me.  Perhaps it creates a prejudice which affects my experience. I don’t know. What I know is that it’s entirely possible any of you could take the same pattern and with your choice of fabric create a beautifully fitting garment.


2 thoughts on “Muslin 4 (LH1011 the Rochelle)

  1. Your muslins are looking better and better. I hope to measure & cut & sew my Rochelle soon. I sew only with knit fabric. Sorry to say this but the dart that forms between your muslin’s bust & armscye would bother me. 😦


  2. IMHO the length is too long. What happens if you turn it up to a shorter length as suggested in the looks of the pattern? Also, I think you need to put the sleeves in to get a clear picture of the fitting issues.


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