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Any Advice Before I Jump?

MomJen | Posted in General Discussion on

Greetings – newbie here!

My son is getting married this fall and I’m a ‘substantial’ woman who looks like a battle tank covered in sparklers whenever I try on off the rack mother-of-the-groom dresses, so I’ve come up with a design that will disguise some of my flaws, and keep me out of the often frumpy designs made for larger ladies.  Trouble is, its the skirt from that pattern, and the sleeves from another, bodice from another, and a collar (portrait style) that I can’t find in any pattern whatsoever.  Still, I’m determined.  Any advice before I jump in and just do-it-scared?  Thanks!


  1. jjgg | | #1

    Find a dressmaker that can do this for you. Either the dressmaker can do the pattern work and let you make the garment, or have the whole thing made. If you are not an accomplished sewer, I would not want to tackle this sort of project when you need to shine (with out the sparkles)

  2. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #2

    I have to agree with Jigg on this one MomJen. Take the pressure off of yourself at this happy but busy time and find someone to give you a big help up with this project if you are a newbie. It would be a challenge even for a fairly experienced sewer! Add in the fancy type of fabric you want and you will be pulling your hair out. A bald Mother of the Groom you don't want to be!
    Take your sketches and fabric ideas to a good seamstress, and talk to her. Be prepared to pay for her consultation, it will be well worth it. Cathy

    1. MomJen | | #3

      Thanks to both of you - I forgot I don't have to do everything myself!  Good advice, and I'll take it!

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #4

        That is the Spirit MomJen! If you still wish to sew something for yourself for the big event, you can still sew a great outfit for the rehearsal or the morning after breakfast that is more casual and less piece of this and piece of that. A great pattern and a great natural fibre and away you go! :) Cathy

  3. Ceeayche | | #5

    Once you get it finished, please share! 

  4. User avater
    adairent | | #6

    The standard reply would be to do a muslin version first.  Sometimes when I am mixing patterns, I will pin pieces together.  For example, if I am adding a sleeve from pattern A to the bodice of pattern B, I may put pattern a sleeve on top of pattern B sleeve so that I can marry them easily as I cut.  It is an adventure!  Good luck!

    1. MomJen | | #7

      Really like the idea of 'marrying' pattern pieces like that!  Forgot about the muslin mock up - it's been so long since I've sat down at the machine, I hope it's like riding a bike!  Thanks again for the great ideas - Jen

      1. User avater
        CostumerVal | | #8

        I mix and match all the time. First I put a pen in a compass and set it for 5/8". I mark the sewing line on all the pattern pieces. When you marry the 2 together you need to marry the sewing line, the cutting line isn't accurate on curves. You can do this with the collar also. The collar needs to marry to the shirt accurately at the neck. The edges outside are anything goes, sketch in whatever you want. Word of advise....Some patterns don't correct the seam line after they're drafted and I've found a lot of mistakes in the sleeve cap. Measure and measure again. Maybe even one more time. For a fitted sleeve cap the sleeve cap should be 3/4" larger than the armscye. If it's bigger there will be gathers, if you want gathers then it becomes a design element as to how much. Make sure you measure your bicep and have a few inches of ease in the sleeve width for comfort. Definitely make a muslin. You can think of the mus. as interlining and maybe use as that also if the dress design calls for interlining.Pletsch and Palmer have some great books: Fit for Real People, and Looking Good are 2 excellent ones.

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