A Coat for my Petticoat


At long last a sewing FO post! Sewing Goddess be praised. I've been living with this coat as a UFO for what seems like two months.  It was more like one month, but there's nothing is worse than a giant project taking up your sewing space that refuses to finish it's self.   Where is my army of sewing frogs? What do I do all this baking for if they don't show up?

The problem did not lay in the pattern or even the fabric. The problem was me.  In the past I've gleefully cranked out several coats/jackets for the blog. Usually I find them to be an enjoyable project that has a great pay off.  This time the manic desire to cut into some coating just didn't come brimming up through my pores.  It could be that "sewing a coat" has been on the mental list so long that it turned into an obligation.  It could be that the Christmas dress was a big ass project and I wasn't really ready for another one. Or it could be that it's freaking cold in my sewing area and I'd rather hide in my bedroom with some knitting needles.  Bring me a heating pad and a pie!
Now you might be asking, "Heather, if you didn't want to sew a coat, then why did you bully yourself into doing it?"  Good question and I've got three perfectly valid reasons.  Number 1 There is a lot of wool coating in the stash taking up tons of room.  Number 2 - I didn't feel like freezing my butt off outside while taking pictures of summer dresses.  Number 3 - I needed a coat that had a wide enough skirt to fit my petticoat under it......like you do.   OK, I realize that the last sentence is a bit absurd and even Past Heather would be going, "Petticoat What?"  Let's just say this whole "retro dressing" thing is a slippery slope and soon you find yourself buying petticoats and hair flowers and LOVING IT. My petticoat gets worn semi-regularly and thus I needed a coat where it didn't awkwardly stick out the back. Nothing ruins your look faster then a "tooth paste squeezing out of the tube" look around your knees.
With the criteria "can fit a petticoat under it" only one pattern jumped into my mind.  Gertie's kimono sleeved, full skirted coat pattern, better known as Butterick 5824. Now that baby has petticoat room to spare. Heck I could smuggle drowsy Dashshounds under there and no one would be the wiser. "No your coat is barking. No yours!. Yip, yip, yip."
Ahem, where were we? Ah yes, coat planning. I've always liked the look of B5824, but it does need a whole lot of fabric. Did my stash have a length of coating long enough? I had to put my minions to work finding out. "Ohhhh Froggie, break out the tape measure cause you've got some measuring to do. Chop, chop." Turns out most of my coating lengths are in the 3-4 yard range, way too short for the pattern. I was about to abandon B5824 when, huzzah, the cobalt blue wool turned out to be 5 yards long. That's still a half yard short of the requirements, but with a little tweaking the pattern just might fit. I did a test layout and found that 5 yards would work fine if the coat was 2" shorter.

The original plan was to get this coat done in January for both Jungle January and the Gertie pattern contest McCall's was having. I'm sure that could have happened if I'd sewed the coat instead of doing a bunch of avoidance knitting. "Laa, Laa, Laa, what coat?  There is only yarn." Oh well, knowing you'll like a finished garment doesn't always make for speedy sewing. Hopefully Miz P. will forgive me for missing the wonderful Jungle January if she gets a flash of the lining.  Put on your sunglasses because snow leopard lining springs eternal.
As usual I've put all my fitting tweaks, scandalous confessions and husband input below. So read on for more coat goodness.

Butterick 5824. I used a combo of sizes 16/18, but could have easily cut a straight size 16.

Fabrics used
Wool flannel coating from Gorgeous fabrics.
Snow leopard lining also from Gorgeous fabrics

Pattern changes/alterations
1. Made the same 1/2" sloping shoulder adjustment to the kimono sleeve as I did to my Christmas dress.

2. Shortened the bodice length by 3/8".

3. Increased the back dart intake to 2 1/2".

4. Did an "on the fly" adjustment of taking in the waist at the side seams about an 1" total.

5. Instead of using bound buttonholes as the closure, I used large snaps so that there was nothing to get in the way of a belt. Also I hate sewing bound buttonholes.

6. Added some thread belt loops to the side seams.

7. Pieced the pocket so that the self fabric would peak out of the seam and not the lining.

8. Reduced the length of the coat by 2". I did not use the lengthen/shorten line. Instead the length was taken off the bottom of the hem to also reduce the hem sweep a bit.

- I did check out the sew-a-long for this pattern on Gertie's blog. Most of the coat's construction was straight forward to me so I didn't need additional hand holding. However I did appreciate some of the extra finishing tips she'd posted. For example I'd never basted down the edges of a coat and then steamed them so that they roll in the correct direction. That technique worked well and I think it makes the coat look a little more professional.

- Because of the weight of the skirt pulling on the waist, you could almost go down a waist size on the pattern.  Even with my on the fly waist alteration, the coat is still overly roomy in that location.

- I like the look of this coat with a belt on my figure. The belt gives me some more waist definition and detracts from the fact that the front closure is bulky in this fabric.

- The instructions to fuse the entire hem were followed even though it was a total pain in the ass. It probably doesn't matter in wool this thick.....but then I'm not a coat expert.

Husband Comment
"You look like cookie monster. Just kidding, it's elegant.....for cookie exchange parties."

My Final Thoughts
While I might not have been in the mood to sew a coat, I sure do love wearing it. It's all "wintertime princess" with serious twirl factor. Pretty sure you could throw this over a bath robe and strangers on the street would still ask why you are dressed up. "Because I made this coat. See, SEE!" Then they back away slowly. That's good cause I need room to twirl.

P.S.  A big thanks to everyone who nominated/voted for my blog over on Madalynne's best sewing blog series. I almost feel sheepish about getting an "award" for inheriting my father's need to be productive at all times. Still gonna put the button up though. ;)

When Sewing Mojo is a No Go


Hello fellow lovers of fabric, I seem to be suffering from lengthy loss of my sewing mojo. It hightailed it out of here some time in November when my back was turned. Maybe it was offended at all my Black Friday clothing purchases, or just saw a chance to escape for warmer climates. We may never know.

In the meantime I've been keeping myself busy with the following things:

1. Casting on a crap load of yarn.
The cold weather seems to have sparked a desire to cover myself in yarn until I'm entangled in a yarny cocoon. I've been running amok on ravelry queuing up loads of sweater patterns and debating about how many should be cast on at once. My knitting mojo says, "How about all of them? That won't make you crazy or anything." Hey Mojo, I'm already crazy, does that make a difference? No? OK then, pass me those 40 yarn skeins.

2. Watching lots of TV
What goes together better than knitting stockinette and TV?  Nothing...unless you also add chocolate and wine to the equation.  Then you are having a proper Granny style party. "Ain't no party like a Granny style party, cause a Granny style party stops at 10 pm.....Granny needs her beauty sleep."  

I've watched "Death comes to Pemberley" which was very enjoyable and I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys period pieces.  Next I went on a large bender of crime dramas with "Broadchurch" and "The Killing." "Broadchurch was excellent and had me guessing the killer almost to the very end.  "The Killing" began strong, then started to drag and finally ended with me yelling about the writers being monkeys with type writers. After all the heavy fare I watched Lifetime's "Liz & Dick" and ironically enjoyed the horrible train wreck of a program that was. Oh Lohan, you better hope Liz Taylor's ghost doesn't rise from her grave intent on revenge. Though death by diamonds does sound kind of sexy.

3. Culling the fabric stash
After culling the fabric stash last year I thought there wouldn't be much more to remove.  Ummmm wrong. I've gotten to the point where my tastes have changed, which means some fabric has fallen out of favor. This led to some serious musing about the number of sewing plans vs time to sew. It so easy to wrack up a mental sewing list, harder to actually sew it.

I'm never going to be the one to say, "No more fabric purchases," because sometimes you need a pick me up or you run across something fantastic. However it crossed my mind that I should only purchase fabric I LOVE and not fabric that I only like. I've also reached the conclusion that what gets sewn and worn most often are cotton fabrics of both the knitted and woven variety. For years I've been buying all manner of fabrics because "I'm a real sewer and can sew all sorts of things."  That's all well and good, but if you don't wear those other fabrics what's the point? Well the point probably was to Have All The Pretties. I might have to concede there are some flaws to that way of thinking. Flaws like when the fabric stash starts invading every room of your home and other family members start giving you the stink eye. It's like they want space for their hobbies, ungrateful wretches. ;)
(I did post some of my stash for sale on Etsy if you are not aware. Store name is FrogsStash.  Thank you to those of you that have already given some of my stuff new homes. I know you'll treat those fabric babies well.)

4. Eating my weight in chocolate. 
I'm sure you're aware that February is chocolate month and you must stuff your face with it at every opportunity. I've been fully embracing this concept and have been ransacking Trader Joe's and the local independent candy store. My current favorites are anything that involves chocolate and caramel creating a sinfully delicious union in my mouth. Come to Mamma!

5. Browsing Etsy for vintage sewing patterns......for hours
The part of my brain that wants to plan projects is still going strong.  I'm using vintage pledge a thinly veiled excuse to slightly pad the small vintage portion of the pattern stash. Maybe I'm genetically programmed to hoard things, but buying summer dress patterns helps me get through the winter.  I have no regrets about these new new additions. Bonus, the Advance one was only 5 bucks because the pencil skirt pieces were missing. No problem, I've got pencil skirt patterns a plenty.
So that's what's up in my neck of the woods. I'm hoping the sewing mojo will return soon because the lack of new clothing in my closet is really bumming me out. Where are those sewing birds and mice when you need them?

Odds and Ends


I'm knee deep in a coat sewing project and all sewing mojo has run off on a tropical vacation.  Not fair sewing mojo, you were supposed to take me with you.  That's what the stash of tropical print fabric is for!
I've been coping with my disappointment by marathoning murder mystery programs while knitting. The coat moodily glowers at me from the other room but I don't care. La la la laaaa, you don't exist coat, it's just me and my yarn and we are sooooo happy together. (Yarn is Madelinetosh DK in Flash dance and the pattern is a vintage Sidar, if you're wondering.)
It looks like it might be awhile until the sewjo returns to help me complete a project, so I'd better clear out some odds and ends in the meantime.

#1 - This year I'm going to participate in Vintage Pattern sewing pledge. My desire to sew more vintage patterns has been stoked by the Christmas dress project.  The vintage pattern stash is pretty small, so I'm setting the modest goal of sewing up 3 patterns this year. Here are two of my newest acquisitions that I'm pretty excited about.

#2 - We decided to do themes for the stashbusting sew-a-long a little differently this year.  Each month is going to be hosted by a different blog. In February Judy is having a big fabric contest complete with prizes. It sounds like she's set up a great bag of goodies, so you might want to stop on by to see if you want to sew along.  I'll be hosting March where the theme is "Using patterns you already have."

#3 - I'm the sewing superstar of the week over at Cut Out + Keep.  If you like reading my weird questions to interviews then check it it. ;)

Alright, I'm gonna stare at my coat lining now and wiggle my fingers around hoping it will attach it's self to the shell. Have a great week folks!

Sewing on and off the List


Every year I try to start off strong with my stash busting plans. Usually I'm in the mood for it and it's good to get the numbers down before my inevitable fall off the wagon in June. Warm weather makes me buy novelty prints, lots of them.

I admitted in the last post that my sewing plan for January was to sew all the things that were planned in December. When I say "planned" I really mean things that were floating around in my head. Things that I might have bought fabric for during Black Friday sales. Yeah, this girl is a horrible stash buster at the end of the year too.

The December but now January sewing list.
1. Red circle skirt
2. Black circle skirt
3. Another red pencil skirt
4. Plaid shirt dress
5. Plaid top of some kind

While I was hopped up turkey it seemed completely possible to sew all this stuff plus a Christmas dress. Yep, there needs to be an oversight committee for my sewing plans. "Excuse me Mrs. Beckley. Are you planning on never sleeping during the month of December?  Or maybe you are exploiting a small gang of furry frogs as sewing slaves?"  Exploit?! They have all the baked goods they can eat!

Annnyway, back to those sewing plans.  Ugh plans. I hate real plans in writing because they suck all the joy from my sewing.  No one tells me what to do with my hobby, not even me! So after looking at the sewing list, I went off and cut out a fruit print Edith blouse.  Suck it list!
That was all well and good except the fruity cotton was a small vintage cut of fabric. There wasn't enough yardage for me to squeeze out self bias binding for the armholes. What to do, what to do?  Oh wait, I have black cotton poplin for that circle skirt. That would work great.....except I'll need to cut the skirt out first. Crap, guess I have to sew from that stupid list. (Cue sad horn)

I went the easy route and purchased New Look 6056 after seeing Margo sew it up.  Sure I could have messed around with maths and drafted myself one. Honestly I didn't have the head space for that after Christmas + germs. Take my 5 bucks and give me some mindless tracing.
I mindlessly traced the size 18, the one which corresponded to my waist circumference.  Surely I didn't need to worry about extra ease in a simple circle skirt. Who wears a circle skirt on their hips? Guess what, New Look thinks you should because I found 4" of ease needed to be removed. Lord have mercy.
I was a bit put out about having to rip apart what was supposed to be a quick project.  Then Froggie pointed out that I could have taken...oh 5 minutes....to measure the waist area on the pattern before starting.  Fair point.  I shall don the ribbons of Shame along with the ribbons of Laziness.

The one good thing about having to rip apart a garment, is that you might as well make some other changes. I decided to widen the waistband so it would look "nicer" if shirts are tucked in. Instead of cutting one waistband piece, I cut two and used one as a facing. The waistband still closes with skirt hooks on the side. This works fine but it's not my favorite finish.  If I remake this pattern I'd attach the zipper to the waistband as well.
Here's the full deets on the pattern...

New Look 6056 (Now OOP, but still pretty easy to find)

Fabrics used
Kaufman Organic Cotton poplin from Fabric.com.  I bought this version because of it's wider width.

Pattern changes/alterations
1. Removed about 4" of ease from the side seams.
2. Cut the waistband out twice and sewed the upper edge at 3/8" seam allowance. This gives me a 1 3/4" wide waistband.
3. Did not use either suggested length from the pattern. Instead I cut the skirt to be a finished length of 28".

- Don't be like me, measure the waist circumference before you begin!

- The skirt was cut cross grain to get the pattern to fit at the longer length. In this light weight fabric that worked fine.

- The waistband facing and the hem were all done on the machine.
- I'm wearing my Christmas petticoat under the skirt in these photos. The pattern looks equally well without it.

Husband Comment
He didn't have anything to say about the skirt, but this comment about the Edith blouse was too good not to share. "I like fruit on a black background. It's like your shirt is a dangerous jungle at night."

My Final Thoughts
Sewing a black circle skirt is a terrifically boring project. I coped by putting an audio book in my ears and machine finishing nearly everything on the garment. At least the cotton poplin was most cooperative with my time saving efforts.  That stuff don't get uppity notions about moving around after you pin it.
OK, I belly ached about a lot of things in this post, but do I like the finished garment?  Yes, it's great to have a black circle skirt in the closet. Too bad it couldn't magically appear in there without my involvement. What am I paying my slave frog work force for anyway?

On that note I'll leave you with the obligatory circle skirt swish photo. Yeahhhh petticoat swishing is awesome.
P.S. If you're new to the blog and want more details on Edith then here's the original review.

Stashes, Pledges and Whatnot


It's January so it's time for well meaning pledges which we may or may not follow through with. Woo hooo, zero blog accountability!

All jokes aside, I did make a stash busting pledge last year and did really well with it. Yes I still bought plenty of fabric, *cough* 154 yards *cough*.  However I sewed up/give away/trashed a lot more then that.  Thanks to my trusty excel spread sheet, I can confirm that my stash is now 97.5 yards lighter than it was at the beginning of the year.  Cue balloon drop and the donning of party hats. Froggie has cake for everyone on the side board and you can also admire the 2014 purchase of a Bernina 350 sewing machine.  (Big thanks to my immediate family who also contributed a good chunk of the sewing machine money.)

But now it's time to wipe the cake crumbs from my mouth and commit to another year of stash busting. Yes the stash is lighter, but somehow uses up the same amount of storage space.  At least I don't have to sit on the rubber maids bins to get them to lock anymore. They're "only" filled to the brim now. Baby steps, baby steps. Good news for me is that the Stash Busting Sew-a-long is in it's 3rd year and we have a great bunch of ladies in the facebook group. So without further ado here is my stash busting pledge for 2015

I, Heather Beckley, commit to stash busting enough fabric so that one of these containers can be removed from the floor of my bedroom.
This is not the main stash, it is the larger satellite stash. Which should not be confused with the smaller satellite stash down stairs next to the sewing machine.  I know, I know, big time hoarding. How many yards of fabric are in one of those bins?   Ummm lots?  Am I going to go measure the fabric lengths to find out?  God No! Instead I'm going to try and limit my purchases and sew up a bunch of stuff I've already got. Amorphous goals totally work people.

Froggie felt this whole plan needed his expert help, so he jumped in and asked me a few questions.
"What is your plan this month to sew up stash?"  
Right now I'm sewing all the garments that were planned in November/December. News flash Heather, there's no time to sew all those red/plaid/Christmas print garments in December. If you want to theme dress you've got to get beat your sewing elves into productivity right now! In December they run off to bake cookies. Stupid elf union.

"How are you going to limit purchasing pretty new fabric?"
Well thanks to the snazzy excel spread sheet,  I now know that my monthly sewing average is around 12 yards.  I'm going to try to buy less than what I can sew in a month. You should also change my paypal password when my back is turned.

"What types of fabric will you buy with abandon, conveniently forgetting your stash
busting pledge?"
Florals on black back grounds, anything with a fruit on it and probably any sort of red solid.  Snow leopard of course, cause that's a neutral and lobster prints, lots of lobsters. Oh and frog fabric, you are the top animal in the house.

"Sometimes that guy you married tells you that you have enough fabric. Does this help with stash busting?"
No, I then go spite buy fabric. I'm a horrible person.

"Will I be able to sleep in/eat cake on any fabric that arrives in the mail?"
You are more than welcome to make a frog nest in any fabric.  I would ask that you restrict cake eating to on top of the sewing patterns. I can't fault you about that cause I'm doing it too.

"How can I convince you to spend your fabric money on frog shoes instead?"
What do this shoes look like? Are they red with white polka dots? Can I also get a new pair of human sized shoes? If so we might have a deal.

"I think I hear the oven timer. Can we go eat some cake now?"
Yes, yes we can.

P.S. The Stash busting facebook group is a closed group only because we didn't want to clog up our main FB feeds.  We'll happily accept any new members who want to join the stash busting effort.

Operation Xmas Dress Part 4 - The Real Deal


Yessss, it's finally time for the "sexy dress reveal" post.  Learning about fitting is all well and good, but it can't compare to finished garment eye candy. Warning, this post is overly photo heavy, cause reasons. Now let's get to it, shall we?

My first fabric choice for McCall's 9572 was green velvet, not crushed or panne, but regular velvet. However my internet searches did not turn up much in the way of regular velvet.  The only site that had something similar to what I was looking for was Michael Levine. Their emerald green velvet was lovely, but at 30 bucks a yard for 45" wide fabric, it was too rich for my budget. I consoled myself that sewing bias seams in velvet isn't something you want to do on a deadline.  Probably one of the smarter decisions of my life.

So right about the time I was admitting to myself that velvet wasn't going to happen, Sunni posted about wool crepe over on her blog. Ahhh wool crepe. Now that's a fabric that would drape well on the bias and wouldn't be a bear to sew.  I checked out what colors Sunni had in stock and low and behold she had the perfect color of hunter green.  The color pretty much sold me and 4 yards were soon on their way to me. People this color is GORGEOUS!  My camera can not fully capture the lovely depth it has. Wish I could mail you all swatches or something so that you could behold it with your own eyes. Mmmmm fabric crush.  
As you would expect, the wool crepe sewed up like a dream.  I did line the bodice portion of the dress since wool feels a little itchy when it is next to my skin. My "chiffon" petticoat took care of shielding my legs from the bottom half of the dress.

This pattern has cut on facings that are folded over and catch stitched to the seams. The directions suggested finishing the edges with bias binding and calling the insides done.  Personally this made me nervous since the entire neckline is on the bias. For my own peace of mind I fused the facing part of the bodice and then sewed twill tape right next to the area where the facings fold over.  Then I drafted a lining pattern by tracing the bodice pieces and removing most of the facings, leaving only a 5/8" seam allowance to attach it.
Some polyester leopard lining was chosen from the stash and I then found out why this pattern didn't tell you to line the bodice.  Ummm yeah, sewing 4 right angles is a complete pain in the ass. There was much ripping, clipping and cursing at past Heather. What the hell had she been thinking?  Only by some miracle did I get that lining in without major puckering at every point. Maybe the sewing goddess likes Christmas cookies.

The dress has a side zip for getting in and out of it.  I was going to do a regular invisible zip because me and invisible zips are best buds. My local JoAnn's had other plans for me since the only green invisible zip color they had in stock was olive green.  You had one job JoAnn's! Instead I had to buy a regular zip and hand pick it. BLARG. 
It did not go well...at all. Just getting the one side of the zipper in took me half a day.  Then I thought the zipper was done, unpicked it, and found that I hadn't hand stitched close enough to the tape and the entire seam allowance was free. GAHHHH!  So let's just all admit that we have different talents and hand picked zippers isn't mine.  However if you need an invisible zip sewn in with a perfect join in about 20 minutes then I'm the girl to call.
The rest of the insides are sergred and I finished the skirt with a small rolled hem as called for in the instructions.  Thank god for audio books to distract you from endless hems.

The final step for my Christmas dress was to make a self covered belt.  I lucked out and found a lady on Etsy who was destashing all of her of vintage belt kits. They were all added to my stash. Muhaaaa Mine!
This was my first time making a belt and it turned out OK for a beginner.  Wool crepe isn't the best fabric to start with since it does like to ravel. At least the worst looking ravely bits are all on the back side and can't be seen when the belt is worn. Putting, "more self covered belts" on the to do list for this year, so that I can get better at the skill.

Ahhh, so those are all the details on the Christmas Dress.  I was super pleased with how the whole thing turned out.  The dress was very comfortable to wear and I loved how the hunter green color looked with the red accessories.  It all went together just perfectly and I had that mental glow of a big project that turned out well.  

Thanks for sticking with me through this series that took longer than planned.  Now we can look forward to 2015 sewing. Hooray!

(Throwing in this less than great picture in because you should have at least one picture with a Christmas tree in the back. Look red petticoat!)

Operation Xmas Dress Part 3 - Fitting Adjustments


At long last another post in the Christmas dress series. In the last segment I'd futzed around with grading until the pattern fit my general dimensions. Today I'm going to talk about the fitting adjustments that were made to fit the pattern to my figure.

After trying on muslin #2 I had the following concerns - the dart had been dropped too low, the front neckline still felt a bit big, and there seemed to be too much extra length in the shoulder area. I also had figure out what skirt length to use.

In the end I made a ton of bodice muslins and quit at the point were my patience ran out.  You'll only see the final muslin since people under deadlines can't wait to favorable photo days. (There wasn't much difference between them anyway.)

Break down of all the final fitting adjustments. 
1. Raised the bust dart 1/2".
I'd previously dropped it 1.5 inches from the original position, so final dart location is 1" lower than the original.

2. Put a 3/4" hollow chest adjustment in front neckline.
In muslin #2 I felt neckline was still exposing a lot of my shoulder.  I'd picked a dress with sleeves so that I didn't have to mess around with special undergarments, but the neckline was exposing the whole bra strap.  Adding a hollow chest adjustment helped bring the neckline closer into the neck, giving me more bra coverage.  I didn't need to adjust the back neckline in anyway, probably because my forward shoulders need extra length in that area.

3. Removed 3/8" of grading in the shoulder area only. This change was made to both the front and back bodice.
McCall's 9572 has an elbow dart and it wasn't in the correct position. With the added grading the shoulder area felt a bit too big, even though the waist was perfect.  This makes sense because my shoulder/bust area is a size smaller than my waist/hip area.  Lucky for me a solution wasn't hard to figure out.
I'd put one of the grading lines right next to the side seam and decided it to use the underarm notch as a separation point.  I cut the notch deeper so that it connected with the grading line, breaking it into two parts. Then I removed 3/8" by moving upper part of the graded area back together. This operation left a small bump out under the notch area. To "true" the area I redrew the underarm curve.  Here's a picture of that adjustment before add the sloping shoulder adjustment mentioned in step 5.

4. Raised the kimono sleeve curve 1/2".
The ease in the upper part of the kimono sleeve was a bit too much for my modern tastes.  I decided to reduce that area by raising the curve of the kimono sleeve and narrowing the upper part of the arm. To do this I redrew the curve 1/2" higher than the original position and blended the underarm seam into the elbow area. (Didn't take a picture of this before cutting off the excess. Oops.)

5. Made a 1/2" sloping shoulder adjustment to sleeves.
After mocking up some of these changes I was still getting a horizontal fold across the back at the sleeve area.  (Super crappy photo below so you can get a general idea what I'm talking about.)
 Instagram was polled about this problem since I had no idea what was up. The general consensus was that it was excess fabric from my sloping shoulders.  I made a 1/2" adjustment for this using the "Fit for Real People" technique pictured below.
I'm only half convinced it made a real difference to the fit. Seems I need to work on more kimono sleeve fitting.

6. Shortened bodice by 1/4".
Took a scant quarter inch off that the bottom of the bodice. This length probably could have been left on because I ended up lining the bodice.

7. Shortened skirt by ????
OK I do know how much I shortened the skirt, it's just different in this muslin than it is in the final dress.  The muslin was shortened by 6" which turned out to be too short with the bias sucking back up.  On the final dress I shortened the skirt by 2".

Here's what all those adjustments look made up in the final muslin.



There's still some wrinkling going on under the arm on the back. I may need a larger sloping shoulder adjustment then a 1/2".  On the other hand kimono sleeves without gussets are going to have more ease which equal wrinkles.  It's something I could have worked on some more, but decided that it wasn't worth the effort. Girl can't wear a muslin to her in-laws house on Christmas day.

Part 4 "The final dress" post will arrive when ever I get a photo opportunity. So far non rainy days have been few and far between and usually happen when I'm the sole parent around. Let's hope the next one collides with some toddler free time and maybe semi-warm temps.

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