Rooibos…where are you? A beginner’s sewing woes

Can you believe that I am still stuck on the muslin part of the sew-along? I am. I blame my inexperience. I’ve never made a dress so I am learning about fit, new techniques and pattern adjustments all at once. I’ve made three bodices and one full dress and none fit right.

How many muslins will it take? Hmm...

So here’s the deal…My measurements are 46.5/43/47. Size 18 measures 46/38/48. I added 1/2 in. to the back and front, allowing the extra 1/2 in. for wiggle room. I added the needed inches for my waist at the midriff pieces (was this wrong?) and center and back skirt pieces. Here’s the dilemma: I can’t find a source that will help me figure out how I can get the bodice, midriff and skirt to match up. The midriff and skirt are way too wide for the bodice and I can’t seem to figure out how to grade the pieces to fit.

Forgetting about the midriff/skirt issue I did an FBA today, hoping that would take away the need to add the 1/2 in. to the bodice. The darts were way too low on the muslin. The bodice didn’t fit me nearly as well as the others. But maybe I did the FBA wrong? Or perhaps I can adjust the darts and make the bodice. work? Who knows? I don’t at this point. I am considering putting this project aside until I get some more experience under my belt or I have my ‘EUREKA’ moment and figure/find/am told the solutions to my problems. I don’t want to butcher any more fabric, to be honest.


(But on a happy note my long lost patterns have made their way back to the States and are now heading back to me at the right address. Happy happy, joy joy.)


15 thoughts on “Rooibos…where are you? A beginner’s sewing woes

  1. Yay for the patterns showing up! Pattern altering scares the crap out of me. I think a dress with separate bodice, waistband, and skirt pieces would be an easier pattern until you can figure out how to blend all your measurements.


  2. Hmm, fitting can be very frustrating but as you get more experienced it really does get easier. I would put it aside for a while, do something else, then come back to it in a better frame of mind. Have you got the book Fit for Real People? I found that to be invaluable when I was first learning to get dresses to fit. Good luck!


    • I do own Fit for Real People but I can’t figure out how to correctly apply some of the techniques to the Rooibos pattern. I feel a bit daft because of it but I’m sure it’ll all come to me eventually. For now I am going to put the pattern aside and work on something nice and beginner-ish.


  3. I’m so pleased that your long lost patterns are on their way to you…how exciting!!!

    As for the Rooibos, I haven’t started mine yet as it looks pretty challenging. Maybe if you set it aside and tackle a couple of easier dress patterns, you’ll learn some good techniques on the way and build your confidence up for the Rooibos? I’m pretty bad at fitting things right, so I’m not much use to you advise-wise…sorry!


  4. It’s all a process! Keep it up!
    I’ve starting looking more closely at finished garment measurements and ignoring the sizing measurements. It gives me a better idea of how much I need to add to the waist.
    You can always come back to it! Don’t get discouraged.


  5. Oh dear! I have to admit, after years of sewing and following patterns, I never managed to alter dresses like that. Do you have a dress makers mannequin? I’ve heard that can really help with taking in and out.


  6. I think the correct rating for this dress would be “Beginner” — if you fit the measurements. It’s honestly not that hard to put together. The minute you have anything to adjust to that dress, however, good luck! Then it goes from “Beginner” to “Nightmarish”. Lol. I’m so impressed by your perseverance. Can’t believe you did four muslins!


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