Skip to main content

Emery dress - I Made A Muslin

So I thought I'd update you with my progress so far with the Emery Dress.

Progress has admittedly been slow on sewing this dress as I have been doing a lot of reading in my spare time. I recently got addicted to the novels of Robin Hobb and have been working my way through them. Her books are amazing, if you enjoy fantasy novels I would definitely recommend reading them.

On other news, I am still following my diet and I have lost just over a stone in total now.  Still about half a stone to go but really pleased with myself.  I got a fitbit for my birthday last week too so I am finding it really interesting to see how active I am (or not as the case maybe).

Anyway, I decided to make a muslin for this dress as I have learnt from experience that this is a very important step not to skip if you want to have a wearable dress.

The material I am going to use for this dress was more expensive than I would normally buy, as I bought in John Lewis, and I really didn't want to spoil it. There is a sew-along on  Christine Haynes's website, and she also advocates making a muslin. I include a link to her blog post if you are interested.

This time I thought I would try making the whole thing, including setting in the sleeves and adding a zip so that I could get a proper idea of fit. It was a surprisingly fast process.

The muslin is made from an old duvet cover.  I cut a straight size 8 based on my measurements (36 bust).  This not a UK size 8 by the way, I think Christine has her own sizing or maybe it's an American size?

So what is the verdict? The fit is pretty good actually.  The bust darts seem to be in the right place and I don't need to do a FBA.   I am going to shorten the waist slightly as it the bodice is not quite hitting my natural waist, although I'm nervous about doing this as I don't want to shorten it too much! The only other change I need to make is sort out the dreaded back neck gape which I always seem to suffer from. Having searched the internet there seems to be loads of different ways to tackle this but as this dress already has neck darts, I am simply going to deepen them. This post here explains more about adding neck darts.

If you suffer from this problem too, check out this tutorial by By Hand London or this one by Lauren Guthrie as these look like useful methods too.

Emery dress - Christine Haynes - a muslin

I will make my changes to my paper pattern and then hopefully cut out this weekend, so sewing can begin!

So do you always make a muslin or do you just go for it? I'd love to know.

Catherine x


  1. Hi Catherine, I never used to make a toile but made so many things that either didn't fit or didn't suit me that I always do now, at least of the bodice anyway. Saves many hours and fabric wasted in the long run!

    1. I agree, I 'm definitely converted to making a muslin - it seems like an extra step, but I think it's so worthwhile.

  2. Well done on the weight loss. I have never made a muslin but to be honest, my sewing would definitely benefit from it.

    1. Thank you, I seem a bit stuck now but I am going to try and up my exercise now that spring is here!


Post a Comment

I'd really love to hear from you. If you liked this blog post, please leave me a little comment!

Popular posts from this blog

New Look 6483.... in less than a week

My last post was a round up of my favourite simple sewing patterns in my stash. I've finished my first make, New Look 6483! And it look me less than a week! I spent a bit of time adjusting the pattern last weekend, and then it probably took two evenings of sewing plus a little bit of of  extra time hand sewing. Not bad for me!

The pattern came free with Sew Magazine this month. It comes with 5 different options. I chose view E with the wider neckline as I felt this was the most flattering.  The suggested fabrics are ginghams, laundered cottons (which is just cotton that has been washed to remove the stiffness caused by the sizing), silks, silk types, rayons etc. So fabric with a bit of drape is required.

The top does not have a zip and is fasten with a simple thread loop and button.  There is an all in one facing for the neck and armholes. The pattern is rated "easy" and claims to take one hour to sew! (not including cutting out time etc).

However, my major rookie mistak…

The Washi Dress

What a lovely sunny day and as promised, here is my latest make, the Washi dress by Made by Rae.

I coerced my daughter into taking the photos. As you can see,my cat was keen to get into the photos.

I made this using some cotton that I bought at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia, that I posted about here. The fabric came from Simply Fabrics and was very reasonably priced, about £5 a metre if I remember rightly.

The Washi dress is a simple make, and perfect for beginner dressmakers.

I fell in love with it after seeing it on pinterest. It features a cut-out scoop neckline, although I decided to omit this as I felt it might be a bit low cut for everyday life.  It features a pleated front and a shirred back. It also has built in pockets.  It can be made with or without sleeves and also can be adapted as a tunic or maxi dress. It's a fairly expensive pattern to download at $16 dollars (roughly £10) but I figured this would be a dress that I could make again and again.

 There is…

The Ultimate Shift Dress

So the first of my Autumn-Winter Stitching plans is now complete!

This is the Ultimate Shift Dress by independent sewing pattern company Sew Over It.  The fabric was something I picked up at the Knitting and Stitching Show.

This is a very easy dress to complete. In fact I think it is the fastest thing I have ever sewn. I traced the pattern pieces one evening and then cut and sewed most of the dress the next evening.

This is a good pattern for a relative beginner like me and the instructions are quite clear. I think it's not suitable for a total beginner as it assumes a bit of knowledge such as how to sew bust darts and the sleeves are eased in which is quite tricky.However, the pattern booklet includes a glossary which is helpful as it explains some of the terms that other patterns assume you know and understand.
The pattern comes in size 8-20.  Looking at my measurements, I was between the 12 and the 14 sizes. This pattern is designed for a very close fit and includes less ease t…