My Mother of The Bride Dress – Part 1

January 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm (Mother Of The Bride Dress, Sewing Projects, The 1912 Project)

This is the first time I’ve ever made a muslin test garment of anything and I’m 52 and have been sewing since I’ve been 10 years old. Why? You ask? Let me ‘splain. When I was 10 I was fearless. I made a beautiful Easter dress and a hat out of some cotton fabric my mom had in her stash. When I was 13, I made a purple jumpsuit because… Donny Osmond’s favorite color was purple. Through my teenage years I just sewed and sewed. When I was at Grace College, I made my “Lucy” costume for “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

Definitely my “ugly duckling” stage

I loved being a diva! I used an ice skating pattern for this (it was 1978 🙂

In my 20’s I weighed 110 pounds, had no bulges and just sewed. When I was sewing baby and toddler clothing for darling Amanda, I never made a test garment. When she was a teenager, I made all of her prom and formal dresses. Amanda has a beautiful figure and there was never any doubt the dresses would fit.

I didn’t use a pattern — we saw a dress she liked…

Winter formal dress — 1999

Cut to 2012 – this is the most important dress I’ve ever made in my life. I weigh *** . Thank goodness they no longer require weight to be listed on drivers’ licenses! I have so many lumps and bumps and jiggles that spanx will be needed and a muslin test garment is a necessary step! Patterns are also not “vanity” sized like ready-to-wear garments are sized. In a store I wear a 6 or an 8. In a pattern a 12 may be too small.

In my previous blog I posted a picture of my dress pattern and my fabric. I found my Threads Magazine, 151 from October/November 2010. In it Susan Khalje gives fabulous instructions on how to make a muslin test garment.

I received nearly a bolt of muslin from my massage therapist, Ginny. She was giving away a room of fabric and her friends who sewed got to “shop” in that room! Thank you, Ginny! I’ll see you in February!

Truthfully, as I was following Ms. Khalje’s instructions to the “T” (remember, I have OCD), I nearly quit. It seemed to be so much work… to cut, trace, sew, sew, sew… and that was before I evened sewed a seam. I used a spool of cheap black thread to mark the seams, a charcoal pencil to mark all of the notches, circles and squares. I then sewed the seams with pink thread – you know, my favorite color is pink… I’ve got oodles of pink thread just lying around! Sewing the seams together was the easiest part. I am learning (again… I know I knew this important tidbit years ago) that pressing is important to “shape” seams. Muslin is almost indestructible so I am ironing this sucker to death! Here is my garment all sewed together. The next step is to see if it fits… Yikes!! To be continued…

After 4 hours of work…

This is also a valuable experience for my next adventure. I am sewing test garments in “The 1912 Project.” I have joined other, many more experienced than I, sewers to, first make muslin test garments, and then if we’d like, to make the garments out of “real” fabric. We are sewing through a French Pattern Catalog of 1912 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic.



  1. vpll1912projecttech said,

    Welcome to the older sewers club! The muslin looks gorgeous! I can’t wait to see the final dress.

  2. My Purple Coat « Melodyejoy’s Weblog said,

    […] picture of my finished coat.  I had to put my spanx on to check the fit of my muslin mock-up of my Mother of The Bride’s dress — another post for another […]

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