Casey's sdsa #2: muslin feedback sought

Well now, there's nothing like a bit of jealousy admiration to motivate you! After seeing Jane's post on her beautifully finished swing dress – from Casey's swing dress sew-along - I just knew I had to get a wiggle on with mine!

First a disclaimer though: my muslin is a a very cheap and nasty cotton - bought ages ago, before I knew anything about sewing - so please try to imagine the whole thing with a bit of drape. Also, I didn't hem the dress nor did I shorten it what you see in the picture is just a temporary botch job.

Although the fit's not bad, I recognise that there's room for improvement, so I welcome all handy tips please. Would you, however, agree that I need to:

  • Add an inch or so to the front bodice? I made the required alterations for a short-waist, but forgot to account for my ample bosom! If I do this will I have to do the same for the back bodice? I hope not, cause that actually fits well.
  • Will adding a bit to the front bodice help to create a more modest cross-over? At the moment I have to wear a t-shirt underneath to avoid exposing myself...any thoughts?
  • Take whatever I add to the front bodice off from the midriff piece? Maybe even take a little more off as the midriff piece seems quite wide for a shortie like me?
  • Perhaps nip the skirt in a bit? I haven't ironed the skirt side seams down, so is this just wishful thinking on my part?
  • I know for a fact that I have to lengthen the tie belt, it knots once, but won't tie into a bow. Did anyone else find this, or have a done something silly?

I'm really happy with the shoulder and sleeve fit though. I don't think I've ever managed to get it this good before and I know it's all thanks to Casey and her expert tutorials...thanks Casey!

I'm hoping to cut out my fashion fabric this weekend! In case you forgot what I'm using, it's a double-sided crepe, but I'm still undecided as to whether to use the shiny or the matte side.

If you're taking part in this sew-along, how are you getting on? Have you steamed ahead like Jane, or are you lagging behind like moi?


  1. Ooh looking great Marie and thanks for your kind comments! I agree you could probably add a teeny bit to the bodice length to accommodate the bosom but leave the back, as it looks perfect. Personally I would keep the midriff shape as it is, once it's got interfacing in it, it acts as a stomach flattener which is always useful. My tie only ties in a knot too and I didn't realise until quite near the end (doh). It must be the pattern. Finally on the front cross over section, I don't know whether it mentions it in your PDF version but it's actually meant to have that bit of excess fabric so it can be worn with a brooch or button keeping it in place. I would leave it as it is as it's such a flattering shape and just add a vintage brooch.
    Fabric-wise I'm biased but I'd say go with the matt side as matt crepe just makes the dress look so polished and posh (for want of a better word!)
    Can't wait to see the finished dress, the shoulders and sleeves are perfect and it's a fantastic shape on you. x

  2. Fab! That already looks great on you but I agree with what Jane said about the alterations. Look forwards to seeing your progress.

  3. Hi Marie,
    I think you did a great job! I think the lengt of the dress is pretty good even without hemming. It looks quite balanced a tad longer. Maybe you shouldn't shorten it too much.
    Unfortunatly I missed the sew along as I have been without a computer for a while. Maybe I could still start anyway. Can you still get the instructions if you start very late?

  4. I dont do making clothes so cannot advise at all, but I can say I'm following quite a few blogs doing the dress and I'd say you're doing really well! I'm very impressed. Such a shame you're not happy with the quality of that cotton as the colour and print look gorgeous on you!

  5. Thank you all for the encouragment!

    Jane, thanks so much for all your helpful comments which I've totally taken on board. My only issue with the cross-over front section is that it won't cross-over enough for a brooch...hence I had to wear a top underneath. So maybe if I overlapped the front a bit more before sewing to the midriff, it would cross-over enough to be held in place with a brooch...? Oh and I agree about using the matt side of the crepe, it will look 'posher' and it feel nicer having the 'silky' side against my body!

    Sarah, this fabric is only for my mock up of the dress to see how it fits. Although it is a pretty pattern, it's a really nasty cotton...eeew :o(

    Wendel, hi! I'm definitely keeping the length as you see it in the photos...any shorter wouldn't work I think. You can take part in the sew-along whenever you like, I'd really recommend it as she's a fantastic tutor and guides you through techniques and so on. Just follow the link below and it will take you to all of Casey's relevant posts, including where to buy your pattern from and so on:

  6. What i did to make room for my bosom was not to lenghten it, but to make it a little wider. I made a straight cut from the middle of the gathers top to bottom and pulled the pattern apart 1/2 inch so it became wider there. A little more roomy for my bosom, but don't affect the other pattern pieces, but there is a little more fabric to gather. :)

  7. Looks good Marie, I like your blog's new look too. If you do lengthen the front of the bodice but not the back can you explain how you matched up the side seams? I have a larger bust and find altering patterns for it hard!

    Isis's comment above sounds good though, adding width rather than length.

  8. Hi Isis, thanks for sharing your tips with me. I seem to have enough room width-wise though, it's just that the mid-drift seems to start too high up.

    Law, I think I may have a go at lengthening it just by an inch or so and just shaving the same amount from the mid-drift as I think it looks too wide on me. Hopefully this should ensure that the side seems match up...I'll let you know though!

    Wish me luck!!!

  9. Hey Marie
    This looks great. Afraid I have no actual advice as I have set this poject to one side for now. But well done you!