Felix Sew-Along: Making a Muslin and Basic Adjustments

I’ve decided to break our typical pattern adjustment post down into two segments so that we can go into a bit more detail and talk about making a muslin. We *always* recommend making a muslin for a new pattern, especially if it’s a style you aren’t used to wearing. In this post we’ll cover making a muslin, gathering what info you need from your muslin, blending between sizes, and lengthening and shortening the bodice and skirt. Please refer to our previous post on choosing a size if you’re unsure which size you should muslin.

Felix Sew-Along: Making a Muslin and Basic Adjustments | Grainline StudioFelix Sew-Along: Making a Muslin and Basic Adjustments | Grainline Studio

Making a Muslin

Felix Sew-Along: Making a Muslin and Basic Adjustments | Grainline Studio

Cut one layer of the fronts and back out of muslin. Sew the shoulder and side seams together and press the seam allowances open.

Felix Sew-Along: Making a Muslin and Basic Adjustments | Grainline Studio

Cut one layer of the neckband pieces. Sew them together as shown and press the seam allowance open.

Felix Sew-Along: Making a Muslin and Basic Adjustments | Grainline Studio

Align the ends and notches/shoulder seams of the neckline and neckband. Stitch along the seam line and press the seam allowances towards the neckband. Stitch along the 1/2″ seam allowance of the neckline so that you can see where the actual finished neckline will lay.

Felix Sew-Along: Making a Muslin and Basic Adjustments | Grainline Studio

Sew the two fronts together along the flat edge of the left front to close the front of the dress. Press the seam allowance up in the same direction it has already been pressed. You may want to press the neckline seam allowance under at this point.

Felix Sew-Along: Making a Muslin and Basic Adjustments | Grainline Studio

Now you can try on the bodice and see what sort of adjustments you may need to make. You can see above where the bust point and seam of the waistline seam should fall. You’ll want to mark where your bust point hits as well, especially if you think you’ll want to do any sort of bust adjustment. Your muslin should give you a pretty good idea of what adjustments you might need to make. For example, if your bust point level hits pretty close to the line shown above, but your waist hits higher or lower, you’ll want to adjust the lower portion of the bodice.

Blending Between Sizes

Felix Sew-Along: Making a Muslin and Basic Adjustments | Grainline Studio

As we discussed in the previous post on choosing a size, if you happen to be a smaller size in the bust than hip, you can check the finished garment measurements to see if you need to make adjustments. If you happen to have the opposite problem, your hip measurement is smaller than the bust, you may want to blend between sizes. In this example we’ll be blending from a size 10 at the bust to a 6 at the hip.

Felix Sew-Along: Making a Muslin and Basic Adjustments | Grainline Studio

The light blue above is our new pattern piece. You can see that we kept the 10 untouched above the underarm point, and started blending to the 6 along the side seam approximately at the side seam notch. Repeat for the back bodice piece. In this example you would cut a 10 sleeve and neckband, and a 6 skirt. Make sure that when you blend you’re blending between the bust and hip so that you maintain the original measurements of each section.

Basic Length Adjustments

Felix Sew-Along: Making a Muslin and Basic Adjustments | Grainline Studio

This method is the easiest way to lengthen or shorten your Felix bodice because it only affects one of neckbands and avoids the armhole. If you need to lengthen or shorten your bodice below the V – this is where you’ll want to do that. We’ll be lengthening in this example.

To begin, cut your bodice along the lengthen / shorten line printed on the pattern. Spread the pattern pieces the amount you need to lengthen, or overlap them the amount you need to shorten.

Felix Sew-Along: Making a Muslin and Basic Adjustments | Grainline Studio

Blend any jagged edges along the side seam and neckline edge, then cut your new pattern piece. You’ll need to make this same change to all pattern pieces affected, so in this case it would be the other front neckline, the back bodice, and the right front neckband.

Felix Sew-Along: Making a Muslin and Basic Adjustments | Grainline Studio

The same method applies to the skirt pieces, though you can also add or subtract from the hem. After you’ve finished your adjustments, walk the seam lines of your pattern pieces to make sure that everything aligns before you cut your fabric, and you’ll be all set!

That’s it for today. We’ll be back Wednesday with more adjustments for you. If you have any questions on these, let us know in the comments below!

Patterns Used in this Tutorial

6 replies on “Felix Sew-Along: Making a Muslin and Basic Adjustments

    • Jen

      I don’t have that in the post, we’ll be covering bust adjustments and techniques to raise or lower the V neck. The back of the dress hangs away from the body so it’s possible that you might not need one.

      Reply
  • clayton.j82

    Fabulous! – pattern is traced… this is the post I have been waiting for! I am sure there will be plenty of adjustments needed to fit my (short, non standard) body, so it’s muslin time tonight, armed with this very useful set of suggestions/ instructions… Thank you!

    Reply
    • Jen

      So glad to be of help! Definitely make sure you’ve checked out our advanced adjustments post as well. Might be useful if you have a lot of adjustments to make.

      Reply
  • Marit

    Thank you for covering this. One question: do you use a muslin fabric for this sample or same type of fabric as for the finished garment, like voile oder rayon?

    Reply
    • Jen

      Good Q! When developing the pattern we used rayon as our muslin, but it was too drapey to really show you the measurements and construction clearly for this post. I would recommend using something similar to the fabric you’ve chosen for your final garment so that you can get an idea how that fabric will fit.

      Reply

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