Ashland Dress

So, the annoyances of yesterday made me go and do something I’ve never done before.  When my Ashland Dress pattern dropped through the letterbox today I decided to make a muslin of the bodice so as not to waste more fabric (I adore the fabric I showed yesterday and had been waiting years to use it, it wasn’t expensive and it’s only fabric but it’s still annoying as hell).  I can honestly say that I do not recall EVER making a muslin before, I ‘paper fit’ in an extremely loose definition of the term and then fly by the seat of my pants and sew the damn thing already.  I’ve talked before about how I don’t think a pattern can be considered to be wonderful if you have to re-draft half of it to get the desired result and I’m generally very lucky in finding that things tend to fit or are fixable if they don’t.

So, I cut the pattern (yeah yeah, it’s apparently become sacrilege to actually CUT a pattern but it’s what I always do) and then dug out a large scrap of fabric from the washing basket full of odds and ends I have and got to work.  Can I just say, the drafting on this pattern is excellent, every single piece went together wonderfully, the markings all matched up and it was a joy to sew, I’m really looking forward to making the rest of it now.  I started off with the 20 in a D cup.  I actually have no idea what size cup I am, my bras are old and I haven’t had a fitting for many years as I can’t afford expensive bras anyway.  I know that I was D pre-kids and as it is the largest size for the pattern I went with that.  I chose the 20, even though my bust measurement is the same as the 18, because the waist measurement of the 18 seemed like it would be too small for me.

Anyway, I tried it on and found that it was actually too big and the waist was fine with room to spare.  So I went back and measured the difference between the 18 and 20 on the pattern, re-sewed the seams that I could and tried it on again.

I didn’t line the bodice like it will be, I just turned over the seam allowances on the edges that will have lining attached.  I also didn’t put the zip in, it went on easily over my head without it but I will put one in the finished dress.

It had lovely curved seams down the front (I didn’t iron them the second time around, they look far neater than this when you do) which give it a great shape and there will be buttons rather than pins holding the front together.

This is the only bit I’m not too sure of, there is a lot of fabric under the arms.  I didn’t muslin the sleeves though so I’m hoping that they will sort out the extra fabric here.  Also, if they don’t take care of it the sleeve and side seams are sewn as one so I can take it in at the underarm if it needs to be.  This is an area I have made adjustments to in patterns the most.  I’m not sure if it’s some sort of body issue that I should be fitting for or if it’s just the way clothing patterns are designed.

On the dressform the waistband falls under the chest, on me it’s just a bit too high.  I was thinking of adding an inch in length and then I had a good close look at the photographs on the pattern and it looks like it’s supposed to be quite high.  I’m going to add half an inch to stop me constantly feeling like I have to tug it down though!

So, the fabric is ready to go and I will be getting on with this soon, maybe I’ll have something to show for my efforts soon!


3 thoughts on “Ashland Dress

  1. I like the looks of that dress. Good luck with it.

    I want just to tell you about me and the bra issue. I too had not the money for years to buy expensive bras. I used to buy a 38C or maybe a D and I looked very large and droopy. Finally I heard that one top line store would fit you for bras for free. I got fitted and found I wore a 34 DDD. I have found some web sites where you can buy expensive bras for much less i than in the stores, and I look for the sales. I have found that a proper fitting bra can make such a difference. I look taller because I stand up straighter and I actually look smaller in the top. If you have a chance, do try to get fitted- I think you will be pleased. Best wishes and good luck with sewing.


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