McCalls 2401: A very wearable polka dot muslin

Oh it feels like I’ve been away for ages! I’ve not been far, I’ve still been reading all my favourite blogs and I’ve even been doing a bit of sewing. But I had my lovely sister and nephew over for the weekend so there wasn’t much time to witter in between trips to Doctor Who and the London Aquarium.

But I did find time to finish my first muslin for McCalls 2401. Here it is

McCalls 2401 a

I picked up the polka dot cotton for £6 a metre from MacCulloch & Wallis and I managed to squeeze the whole dress out of two metres so it was a bargainous £12 to make! (Not counting the zipper and thread though.)

McCalls 2401 b

Although this was a fairly simple dress to make, I had some issues with the fit. I cut a size 12 which ended up giving me a huge gape at the back – only discovered after inserting the zipper, d’oh. I then had to unpick the entire zipper and add about an inch extra seam allowance on each side. I’m still wondering if I should take it in a tiny bit from the hips downwards.

McCalls 2401 c

There’s an awful lot of creasing going on in these photos as well – which isn’t as apparent in real life but will cause me some worries if I wear it to work or whatnot. Would a lining reduce this, does anyone know? Or a slip?

McCalls 2401 d

I really like the back darts – they definitely make your back waist look good. This is a total illusion!

McCalls 2401 eI’ll have to transfer my changes to the pattern, or at least see if a 10 will fit better before I make another one. I plan to make another wearable muslin, iron out any details and then go for it with the vintage Liberty silk I got at the North London vintage fair a couple of weeks back. I’ve also got my Ginger and my Peony patterns now – am itching to do the Peony. It’s such a gorgeous style. What’s on your sewing table?

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19 thoughts on “McCalls 2401: A very wearable polka dot muslin

  1. The Peony is on my sewing table as well, but I’m at a standstill. I am a size 0 in the bust and a size 6 in the hips so I’m unsure of how to proceed. Any suggestions?

  2. oooh now Colette patterns have a small bust adjustment tutorial on their site but I’m not sure if that’s the right way to go about it as have never tried. Here’s the link anyway:
    http://www.coletterie.com/tutorials-tips-tricks/adjusting-parfait-for-a-small-bust-a-tutorial-from-gertie
    I’d suggest asking on the coletterie forum as they’re so lovely and helpful there. Am sure they’ll also (well I hope!) do a bit of a sewalong on the Peony eventually!

  3. Ooh that’s lovely, I love the fabric! I’ve just made a Peony dress and it came together well for me. Jasmine is next on my list I think!

  4. This is really lovely and flattering Joanne! I don’t even think it looks creased really, but it if rides up when you wear it with tights, you probably need to line it or wear a slip. I have too many things on my sewing table and not enough time to sew them all!

    • Thanks Marie! I might try lining the next one but I will have to find some tips on creating a lining for a pattern that doesn’t have one. Am sure I’ve got a sewing book with a chapter on it somewhere. Failing that – anyone got any tips?

  5. Good old M2401! This is great – I wouldn’t call it a muslin, I’d call this the real thing. 6 pounds for McCulloch and Wallis fabric? I’ve been too scared to go there even though it’s really near my office – but maybe I should take a peek…

    • Cheers Tilly! Yes do go in there. It’s very old school and some of the fabric is quite expensive but a good root through will get you some fabric finds. They also allow you to take little swatches of fabric which is great if you’re not sure. Perhaps other sewing emporiums allow for that too but I’m always too scared to ask, whereas McCulloch and Wallis are quite open about it.

  6. Ooh nice. I made this dress ages ago and have never worn it as (unlike yours) it makes me feel too secretary-like and now you mention it, it’s got a gapey back! Plus the corally colour I made it in doesn’t float my boat. Maybe I’ll try it with a thin belt….. I’ve got a jacket on my sewing table and then a Collette Jasmine. x

    • Cheers Jane – I’ve been following your coat muslins and am very excited about what will come out of it. I have a Sew U Made by Wendy book which has some patterns with it so might try them out at some point!

  7. Yeay for polka-dots! Love the colour you chose and that is definitely the real deal as Tilly suggests, rather than just a muslin! I guess its creasing because it’s cotton and a lining would stop it from sticking to your tights which I guess it might do. I don’t really have a lot of experience in making linings (still new to me!) but I remember Tasia did a tutorial on Tillys blog on how to make a lining for a jacket with no lining peices…perhaps the same principles could be used for your dress?
    The fit on the back is fantastic, very flattering indeed. If it were me I would maybe try and make the front skirt a little tighter (but perhaps I wear my shift dresses a bit too tight?!!), but then again, I don’t think it will matter for the silk version you make as I imagine it will drape gorgeously!

  8. A slip is definitely the answer – our mothers really did know things.

    And then you can wear it under a variety of unlined garments.

    Glad to see polka dots back on the agenda.

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  10. Oooh I’ve just seen this! It looks really similar to a version that I have just made (last weekend!) except that mine was in red with white polka dots :-) I also made another version in a colourful stretch cotton, and this is my current favourite pattern!

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