Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cutting Line Designs: Pure and Simple Shell, First Look

I finally completed my first Pure and Simple Shell last night, having first started with this pattern back in July. I'll do my best to add a photo of it on me tomorrow.

Although I don't really care for the term "wearable muslin," basically that's what this is. I'd tested the fit with an actual muslin before (which was too small), tossed it, and decided to just size up and cross my fingers that it would work. I ended up making a straight Medium with a couple of minor adjustments: I tweaked the bust darts a little so they're in the right place and don't look like Madonna, and I also shortened the torso so the top ends in a more flattering place for me. I felt like the first muslin was just a bit too long on my 5'4" short waisted figure.

I used some more of the JoAnn's polyester faille that I used for the border print Tango Skirt. This time, the fabric handled better, probably because I was using the proper lengthwise-grain layout vs. the cross-grain required for the border print. This piece was leftover from a skirt I made several years ago.

This was the first Cutting Line pattern I've sewn, and I must say that I really liked it. Louise writes excellent instructions and the pattern pieces include some refinements that enhance the completed top. I'll be making more shells from it--it's a style that will look nice under a jacket. And besides, I've invested a lot of effort in it so I might as well benefit from my efforts to date.


Claire S. said...

Looks like a great pattern to add to your wardrobe. Love the print !

Duchesse said...

So true about bust darts, You need them in a shell but they are rarely in the right place (unless you sew your own).

What exactly IS a 'wearable muslin', isn't that an oxymoron?

SewingLibrarian said...

Duchesse, a muslin is a garment you sew for fit, than take apart and use for the pattern. A wearable muslin is a garment you sew to check for fit, but then you put in your wardrobe and wear. This assumes the garment fit well enough to wear, of course! Real muslins are generally made out of muslin, while wearable muslins are made out of regular, but usually cheaper, fabrics.

Nancy (nanflan) said...

Actually I do feel that "wearable muslin" is an oxymoron, that's why I don't care for the term.

Generally, muslins are quick and dirty sewing--you leave off the edge finishes, sew with long stitches, even draw on them. Basically just a way to test fit. If it's wearable as a garment, it really isn't a muslin, IMO.

And yet the term is commonly used...perhaps calling such garments prototypes would be an improvement.

Linda said...

I like the top. Louise C's pattern instructions are truly helpful. Her patterns run a little large on me and only made up two of them, but with good results.

Dotty said...

I just made this top this week end. I love the way it fits! Yours is great- glad you can wear it.

Louise's patterns are wonderful= everything just works together.


Carol Maclaskey said...


I'm sorry to contact you like this, but I can't find your email address! I found you through a comment that you made online about your steam generator iron. You mentioned that you'd had a Bernina one for a long time. Well (to make a short story long...jeese!!), I just bought what appears to be a brand new Bernina steam generator at an auction but it has no instructions and I can't find anything about it online! In the entire sphere of blogs, you appear to be the only person that I can find who's ever owned one! Can you tell me anything about it? I think I can figure out how to run the thing (fingers crossed here..) but is there a special kind of water that you used? That alone would get me started I think.

Thanks so much. My name is Carol Maclaskey and my email is