Muslin time again - Butterick 5917

I am not sure yet what I am going to make in December.  I was planning the very popular Butterick B5917:

I am not sure yet what I am going to make in December.  I was planning to make the very popular Butterick B5917 - in a lovely black and white gingham fabric.  Or maybe a navy blue seersucker.

I think you all know by now that I usually muslin any new pattern.  I am still learning how my body relates to pattern sizing.  I have worked out I need to use size 8 for pants and enlarge the waist to size 12.  I sometimes use size 8 for tops, and let out the bust/waist a bit.  I am not sure what size to use for dresses, tailored shirts  or jackets.

With this dress I decided to cut size 10 and let out the waist to size 12: And warning - I certainly do not look my best in this picture - I've had a very tiring month, and it is showing!!  So look at the dress, not me :)

Size 10 is far too big on the shoulders.   I can also see that the hip pouches too much for me - I would need to take that in.  I have added about the right amount at the waist.

The dress seems to sway to the front and pull down at the back.

Let's look at the back and see what's happening there:

Again, you can see the shoulders are far too big.  But so is the upper back - it bags right out.And you can see the lines that are indicating far too much fullness.  I suspect all this is affecting the shape of the front.

Let's look at the side:

And there we see it again - a big baggy pouch over the middle of my back.

I pinned the pouch together (while wearing the muslin)  and this was the result:

Straight away things are looking better.

And from the side, this is how it looks:

Again, the dress looks a lot better - it is even hanging better, and the hemline looks better.

I only roughly pinned the garment as I was wearing it - it's not easy to pin parts of the back of a garment when it's on :). 

As you can see, I took a substantial chunk out.  Over an inch, but I think an inch or 2 cms would be appropriate.

As you all know, I will make lots of muslins to get a garment to fit correctly.  But I don't know if I have time this month to do the muslins and make this the garment of the month.

So I might make some trousers instead.  I do know how to fit my trousers reasonably well by now.  So I'll look for a pair of pants that will do for our upcoming summer.

All for now,

Sarah Liz


  1. It's amazing what a few pins and a nip'n'tuck can do. Looking good, SarahLiz.

  2. Do persevere as it really is a great dress. You are so slim that you will need to take in a few cm's. I did do a narrow shoulder adjustment and that in itself made a big difference to both the shoulder and the upper back/bodice area. But I didn't do sleeves, and found being sleeveless made fitting easier. From the waist down it looks like a great fit ~ you really are a fine boned person, aren't you ?!? And once you add the ruffle on your good version it really lifts the dress instantly ~ hang in there ... J

    1. Hi Judith - thank you for your words of encouragement - a good sleep has found me back doing muslin #2. You are right, it is a lovely dress. And yes, fine boned, and fine muscles.

  3. As always I admire your persistence in getting the fit just right with your muslins. When you make it it will look great, you suit shift dresses.

    1. Thank you Louise - yes, I do persist - but our weather here helps - it's not so cold that you put off doing a fitting.

  4. That is a great pattern so I hope you get it all sorted. Good luck with it.

  5. There are so many great versions of this dress in sure hours will be fabulous too! Can't wait to see it.

  6. You and this dress are lovely! With those few edits, the fit was immediately better. I know once it's finished it will fit like a dream!

    1. Hi Candyce - yes, the fit was better - I tend to always show fitting on my blog so other people get an idea what to do.

  7. This is going to be a great dress for you. The tuck in the back improved the fit dramatically.

    This pattern is one of many on my to-sew list.

    1. Yes, it's a really lovely dress - I haven't seen one version yet I don't like.


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