WIP: The Darling Ranges Dress

April 6, 2012

That’s it. I’m making a sloper.

I’ve made five bodice muslins to get this dress to fit. It has nothing to do with Megan’s pattern and everything to do with my really weird upper body. The front is seriously almost an xl and the back is an xs. WTF?!?!

Here’s what I did:

  • lengthened the back strap pieces and shortened the front straps.
  • lengthened the front side pieces and shortened the back to balance out the above mods.
  • lengthened the bodice by 2″ (later took out 1.5″ from cb and 1″ from cf)
  • increased dart length and did an fba
  • raised the neckline 1″ (I’m going to lower it back down…)
  • created another dart for a better fit
  • shortened the skirt
  • probably did a few other things that I’m forgetting.

So here’s the bodice that I was fairly happy with until I attached to the skirt. Lengthening the bodice was unnecessary. It looks better shortened. I also need to end the darts sooner. Maybe 1/2″ each way?

Okay, this one is definitely too short, but you get the idea. I’ll probably add two inches to the skirt because right now there’s nothing to sit on. Whoops! I’m also going to bring the neckline back down an inch. I’m nothing if not immodest.

Aaaand, here’s the fabric:

A silk/cotton blend from Fabric Mart Fabrics that I’m going to underline with cotton batiste. I’m a bit worried about the stripes and lining everything up correctly, but if I do it right I think it’s going to look really nice.

Honestly, I’m a bit burned out on this pattern, so I may finish something else before I cut into this fashion fabric.

Your thoughts?



  • Melizza

    I made this pattern 4 times and I think…I think…I may just have the final adjustments sorted out. I feel your frustrations with this pattern. But when all is said and done it will look super cute. I love the fabric you chose. I am hoping to do my final version this month. Good luck!

  • Ginger

    This is going to be so cute (really, really love the fabric!!). The fit looks pretty good here, but it super sucks that you had to make four muslins to get the fit right. Ugh!

    • stephanie

      Ugh. I think I’m going to check the bodice ONE more time because I lowered the neckline and shortened the darts. Last time I made changes then cut into fabric I ruined the project (Clover’s).

      Thanks! I really love that fabric, too. It was a good find. I think I’ll have enough left over for a tank.

  • Mary

    This will be super on you and your muslin is showing a lot of promise. The bust darts are seriously in need of shortening :-). I am short waisted (my waist is close to my bust) and the last indy pattern I made up had the bust darts waaaay up there.

    • stephanie

      Eeeeh!! I know! Those darts are totally my fault. I got carried away with the pinning. 🙂

      I just have to accept the fact that I have to adjust every.single.pattern. How on earth do I wear RTW??

  • Maddie

    I’m so glad you’re making a sloper! I know it takes what seems like forever to fit but once it is correct, all you’re future patterns will be correct. I promise! It took me 3 muslins to get my sloper right but once I perfected it, every pattern I’ve made since has started from my sloper. If your interested, I gave a tutorial on my site of the method I used to draft a muslin. Check it out if you’re interested 🙂

    • stephanie

      Thanks Maddie! I will for sure. I can see that it’s totally worth the effort. I spend most of my sewing time messing around with fit.

  • Lavender

    I’m feeling your pain, girl. The last two dresses I’ve made, with muslins, have major issues in the final product that I totally didn’t notice in the muslins. Hindsight, I guess. And they are issues that the average person wouldn’t notice, but I sure do. And I bet every sewing blogger would, too :/

    • stephanie

      Gah! That’s the thing. I can’t let it go. If I know then it’s as bad as everyone knowing. My darts are still a little wonky, but I think after some excessive steaming they’ll look ok.

  • Amy

    I so understand this. I made three muslins of a Colette patterns blouse but realized it was just designed for a different body! I’ve started and stopped on sloperville several times but think I may do it for real this summer.

    Love your new blog!

    • stephanie

      Hi Amy! Thanks so much for following me over here.

      That’s another thing to consider, huh? I’ve gotten better about sewing pieces that flatter me and not picking patterns just because they’re popular, but I still have fit issues. Ha! Sloperville here we come!

  • Amy

    I hope this dress is going well by now. I agree that making a sloper would help so much getting a good muslin first try or even going straight to the fashion fabric. It’s on my list of things to do this year. If I don’t get it done myself, I’m going to try to scratch together money for a class. Also, I’m thinking of moving to a hosted blog as well. How has your initial experience been? I’d enjoy chatting about it if you have a moment.

    • stephanie

      I’m doing the same! Scraping money together for a class, that is. I’ve attended the local community college fashion institute off and on and this fall they have a ‘pattern by measurements’ class. MUCH NEEDED.

      Now that I’m [practically] done, I can say that it was a good experience. I’m going to email you. 🙂

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