Months and months ago, I made a Laurel muslin. I realized it is a basic kurti pattern and then used it to better fit some of my RTW kurtis. I generally manage to find RTW kurtas my size, except for handicrafts selections – there you’re paying for the gorgeous hand-woven textile or exquisite embroidery, not so much for the cut and fit. So they end up being decidedly matronly off the rack.
I cut the sleeves off the matronly kurtas and separated the front and back. Then I positoned the Laurel pattern fetchingly on the embroidery, cut the pieces out and sewed them up. Instantly wearable!
The Laurel pattern drafting is excellent and fits my shape perfectly. The back was a tiny bit wide, though, so I just removed 1cm wide vertical sections from each half back piece, then redrew the neck curve smooth. Also, after making the muslin, I realized I didn’t really need a closure, so cut the back in one piece for all the rest (eliminating seam allowances).
1. The (Wearable) Muslin
Made with some cotton mix. Please excuse the fitting wrinkles:
I scooped out the neck and finished it with i-cord…
… and the hems and sleeves with bias tape:
I also changed the back zip to a lapped construction. I can’t remember which tutorial I used, but there are tons online if you google “lapped zipper”. Innit lovely?!
2. The Green Alteration
Here’s the Before (awful low light pic, but gives an idea of the general shape!):
And the After; so much more wearable!
3. The White Alteration
(No Before photograph. I kept the original crochet sleeves)
4. The Diagonal Adventure
This fabric had diagonal pin-tucks stitched into it, giving it an unexpected stretchiness. It felt bias cut, although it is cut on the straight grain. I cut the back and front in halves. Of course I had to flip the pieces horizontally to do that, but I also flipped them vertically at the same to get chevrons.
Since I couldn’t add back darts to this fabric, I shaped the back waist curve by removing fabric at the centre-back seam. The edges have lace and bias binding finishing. I cut a v-neck and scooped the bottom into a U shape.
Having established that the Laurel pattern could be used for casual daytime tops / kurtis, I’m planning something slightly more complicated for the future. Let’s see!