5 muslins in 5 days challenge

A couple weeks ago, I had a week off work, so I set myself the challenge of fit-testing five muslins in five days.  I figured if I had some patterns already tested and ready to go, maybe I’d make something other than a T-shirt for a change.  Proper reviews will come when (or if) there are FOs.  For now, just a few comments.

HotPatterns 1217 – Weekender Utility Cargo Pants

First up was this pair of trousers.  It took me two days to get the fit right.  HotPatterns’ crotch curve is fabulous for flatter, lower butts, but that’s the opposite of what I’ve got.  And since I lost weight, my shape has changed, so the custom crotch curve I made for myself this time last year, didn’t really work when I drew it in for these pants.

On the other hand, once I created a crotch curve for my shape as it is now, these pants were quite easy to adjust because of the princess seams.  I think this is going to replace my previous go-to trousers pattern after a tiny bit more tweaking.

HotPatterns 1192: Metropolitan Chimera Cardi/Jacket/Vest

I started on this one when it was released last year, and had a terrible time with it.  Because I couldn’t figure out how to do a FBA on this kind of darted princess seam, I tried to make it work in size 26 (as chosen by my full bust measurement) instead of two sizes smaller plus a 2″FBA, the armholes and shoulders were gigantic and it was just a mess.  Then on top of that, the sleeves were extremely tight.

This year, I started with a size 20, based on my high bust measurement, then did a FBA.  (I’ll post a tutorial on my cheater FBA… sometime – it’s OK the way I did it, but I think I can make it still better).  And I added a seam along the outside of the arm to make room for my arms.  It seems to have worked but I’m going to test it one more time before cutting into my nice, “real” fabric.

 HotPatterns 1121 – Riviera Cote D’Azur Top/Dress

This is a more shapely and fun version of a knit T.  I had trouble with the gathers at the bust – a 3/8″ seam allowance doesn’t really leave room for gathering stitches to hide after the real seam is sewn.  Also, as is often the case, the sleeves were too narrow for my heavy upper arms.  For the next iteration, I plan to add to the seam allowance at the gathers, and drop the sleeve opening (they’re cut-on cap sleeves, with a sewn-on extension to make them 3/4 length) by about 1″.

HotPatterns 1206: Fast & Fabulous Layering Tank

As I’ve learned through experience, I started with a size 20, then added a 2″ FBA.  The fit is mostly good, except, surprise surprise, too tight under the armpit.  For my next iteration, I’m going to redraw the armhole to be a bit deeper and wider, and then also I feel like it’s a bit too A-line to be flattering on me, so I’m going to rotate the darts created by the FBA, to be more like French darts.  And also shorten it six or eight inches.

I really like the shape and depth of the neckline, and the finishing method for the combined neck and armhole facing is slick and polished.  Looking forward to doing one more test, then trying it for real.

HotPatterns 1208: Fast & Fabulous Dressage A-line Skirt

I’ve already completed one of these and worn it in public; I’ve submitted a review to Curvy Sewing Collective that I hope will be published soon.

It was super-easy to get a good fit – I just needed to add about 3″ to the front waist of a starting size 26.  Also super fast and easy to whip up.  I’m having trouble staying on track mentally with my capsule wardrobe plan, because the possibilities of this skirt demand execution in a huge variety of fabrics.


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