I finally managed to get some pictures of the bodice muslins I made for the Pattern Runway Gathered Sundress that I made [don't worry, you'll get to see the finished product in good time!]. I don't know how people who live alone manage to blog about sewing clothing for themselves, because I had to take these pictures myself and it was quite difficult.
I ended up having to kneel by a window for the best lighting and place to set my camera, so I don't think my posture is as accurate as if I'd been standing, but this is close enough.
The white bodice on the left was my first muslin, cut at a size Small. According to the measurements given in the pattern, I should have been a small. But look at how baggy it is! Not attractive in the slightest. Not to mention that it's way too long for my torso. The waistband was hitting at my hips [I'm wearing an A-line cotton skirt to mimic the gathers of the skirt of the dress when it gets added...but it does make my waistline thicker than it is normally, so that puts strain on the waistband that wouldn't normally be there].
So I said "Hm." And then I cut an XS. Sort of gratifying, I guess. And you know what...I made the second muslin in blue, purely because I ran out of white muslin, and the blue is some crappy fabric that I inherited that I could care less about. And having the two muslins be different colors has been so helpful! Ah, happy accidents.
Even those who are not well-versed in apparel fitting [aka me] can see that the second bodice fits much better. The neckline is smooth, there is less puckering at the bust, and the waistband sits higher. This bodice uses princess seams for a flattering fit, which I think is great, but as I was trying to decide on the fitting of the bodice, I googled the hell out of princess seams, and didn't find much. I was looking for a resource to tell me if the seam line was supposed to hit at the apex of the bust, or on the outside curve. Kind of like how you don't want your bust dart to end at the center of your bust, or else you get unflattering points. So I ended up looking at so many images of princess-seamed tops, and after basically staring at hundreds of boobs I decided that bodice #2 princess seams were good to go.
I also shortened the bodice by an inch by cutting at the line indicated on the pattern pieces. It was very straight-forward and helpful to have that line to indicate where to lengthen or shorten the bodice. The pattern instructions also included helpful information on those alterations.
My fashion fabric is some silky polyester blend that almost runs away when you sew with it. It feels extremely slippery, but has actually been better to work with then some rayon blends that I've used.
And really, who doesn't need a black and white polka-dotted dress?!