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Advance 6993: A Wearable Muslin

I have been wanting to at least try to make Advance 6993 ever since I picked up the pattern at a local antiques mall.  However, the pattern calls for something like 6 and 1/8 yards of fabric for the simpler version, which had rather put me off from making it.  But… Joann’s had a sale on their cheapest cotton ($2.49 a yard!), so I of course jumped at the chance to make a “muslin” of the dress pattern to test it out!

 (Dress pattern plus chosen fabric– my choices were limited by needing more than 6 yards of it!)

(The pattern had two newspaper clippings tucked inside when I bought it… obviously the previous owner had clipped a few inspirational ideas!)

(And here are the pieces, so you can see what I was getting into.  There is a lot of skirt.)

The main thing I was struck by as I cut out my pieces was just how much skirt there is for this pattern.  It’s about one and a half circles when it’s all put together, and it’s expansive.  I was very happy that this pattern included pieces for all the facings, and they were relatively easy to put together.  Many a time I’ve started sewing a vintage pattern and come to instructions that tell me to face an armhole opening with a bias strip that I was never instructed to cut!

So, how did it turn out?  Well…

I LOVE it.  The fit is insanely flattering, and the skirt is HUGE and twirly.   I actually ended up cutting off 8 inches of skirt before I hemmed it, because it was just too long for a cotton day dress.  I probably could have left it an inch or two longer, to compensate for the fullness.

Two twirl pictures to get a sense of the scale and movement of the skirt.  It’s REALLY fluffy.  I’m wearing one full petticoat and one light petticoat here, but really it can easily accommodate two full petticoats without much trouble.  I ended up putting in a very narrow twice-folded hem instead of the deeper hem the pattern suggests because I didn’t really relish the idea of trying to press out the fullness of one and a half circles.  No thank you!

I made a few small alterations to the fit, as well:  I ended up taking in the side seams by about an extra half-inch, and I sewed the armholes closed higher than the pattern showed, as there was quite a bit of bra visible from the side when I first tried it on!  I also ended up taking in the top back (rather inelegantly) by tapering the piece towards the top of the zipper, it was gapeing badly at first and falling off my shoulders a bit as a result.

Next time I make this, I’m going to graft on some sleeves from one of the other Advance patterns I’ve sewn.  I think I’ll also leave the skirt an inch or two longer.  Oh, and I’ll remember to start pinning the zipper from the TOP of the opening, so I’m not closing the top inch with hooks & eyes.

I will need to make another one, and probably soon… I don’t think it’s considered good form to wear the same dress four days in a row!

About the author: A recent college graduate, Frances is pursuing a career in music (preferably opera) while nursing a strong passion for sparkles, sewing, and all things vintage.

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Bea W March 11, 2013, 3:44 am

    Beautiful dress and well worth the ££££ for the fabric. The skirt really makes it. This would make a beautiful occasion dress as its so striking. Maybe in a satin? I can see why you are over the moon with it.

  • Hanne March 11, 2013, 4:42 am

    Very pretty dress! You look as if you’re starring in one of these old movies…

  • Marie March 11, 2013, 6:32 am

    Wowzers, what a great dress! It really is incredibly flattering and looks like so much fun to wear!!!

  • Mancunian Vintage March 11, 2013, 7:10 am

    Gorgeous dress- looks amazing on – what a great ‘muslin’!


  • Stephanie March 11, 2013, 7:39 am

    Love it! Hope you find some fabulous fabric for a steal so that you can make a fancier version too!

  • Jackie OBrien March 11, 2013, 8:18 am

    Absolutely love it!

  • mokosha March 11, 2013, 9:55 am

    fabulous 🙂 lovely dress and you look like a movie star in it

  • Lolita March 11, 2013, 11:25 am

    I normally like the envelope art far better than the actual dress, but I think this is the first time I actually like the dress better than the envelope art! Wonderful job!

  • Michelle March 11, 2013, 1:05 pm

    Outstanding! This is completely gorgeous! I’m always curious to know how patterns with hip details translate when they’re sewn up, and this demonstrates it beautifully! I love what you’ve done to the length and think the addition of a pettiskirt was a brilliant idea. I wouldn’t judge if you wore it four days in a row. 😀

  • Lizzy March 11, 2013, 1:50 pm

    oH!!! Very pretty dress!!!!! you did great!!!!

  • Gill March 11, 2013, 4:39 pm

    I have to agree with Lolita above, finished dress looks even better than the pattern picture, in fact one of the nicest vintage dresses I’ve seen on here. Well done, and now you’ll be inclined to invest in some fancier fabric (and slightly less, now you’ve adjusted the length). Well done, it’s lovely x

  • Deb March 11, 2013, 5:13 pm

    Gorgeous! I LOVE it!

  • Gail March 11, 2013, 5:55 pm

    Great pattern and a job done well sewing it. You look beautiful in that style dress.

  • Katrina @ Edelweiss Patterns March 11, 2013, 8:55 pm

    How gorgeous! It’s just lovely! And I too often find that my muslin projects can turn into very wearable day dresses!

    Keep up the good work!

  • Jeannie Watt March 11, 2013, 10:35 pm

    I really love this dress. You look great in it! I can’t wait to see the next incarnation.

  • sophie March 12, 2013, 2:21 am

    Nice dress and pretty good job!!! 🙂

  • Handmade Jane March 12, 2013, 12:29 pm

    Oh it’s absolutely gorgeous! I think it looks lovely at the shorter length too, great job. x

  • Jamie March 13, 2013, 1:05 am

    So lovely! I literally gasped when I scrolled down past the “How did it turn out…” I assumed something went badly in the test, but you and the dress look fantastic.

  • Jeffsews50s March 15, 2013, 1:55 pm

    Super pretty dress and it fits you so well!! Love the basque waist effect and that super full skirt is fabulous. You did a marvelous job and would love to see the next version if it is a little longer and in a fancier fabric. The “muslin” version is to die for 🙂

  • Lori Fletcher April 1, 2013, 1:59 pm

    Hi – I bought this pattern in a size 12 which is way toooo small. Based on my size I am need of a 20. Trying to make a 12 into a 20 is going to be a nightmare. But making a 22 into a 20 would be manageable. Any chance you’d be willing to part with your size 22? Or somehow copy it for me? I’d certainly be willing to pay for it. or your trouble if copying it was an option. I am using this for my wedding dress.

    BTY – you look adorable in the dress! I’m excited to see one made from this pattern. It will be perfect for my backyard wedding!



    • Frances April 13, 2013, 11:07 pm

      Um, I’m not quite sure why you think I have a size 22 pattern… I’m afraid I’m working with a size 14, with a bust size of 32″. I would suggest you find a pattern that fits with similar lines, and then increase the fullness of the skirt…

  • Francie June 19, 2013, 3:31 pm

    Sometimes fabric, pattern and inspiration all come together to make a bit of magic. This is a gorgeous dress! I have seen this type of fabric at JoAnn’s – it is economical, thin and drapes very nicely in a full gathered skirt. It reminds me of the cotton voile-types we used to be able to get. I once made a lime green mini dress (in junior Hi in the late ’60’s) with black-orange-green embroidery banding and white pleated Queen Elizabeth type chiffon ruffling. Believe me – people noticed when I wore it more than 2 days in a row! Your fabric is understated enough that you could accessorize it all different ways and still get away with wearing it often. Very, very beautiful dress.

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