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Hazel Muslin Continued

Hi there!

My Hazel muslin is almost complete, and I’m very happy to report that it is indeed wearable! I may have to make a small adjustment to the bodice, but I’ll know more tomorrow when I wear it out all day 🙂

I wanted to share a few more tips and photos of the process so far.

Last time I shared a tip for tracing darts, so this time I wanted share the process of sewing them. With right sides together, match your traced lines up as best you can. Pinch the point where the lines match at the beginning of the dart, and drop your needle down to keep that point. Then find where the tip of the dart ends, and use your finger nails to press a crease in the fold, from the end point back to where you’ve dropped your needle. You can also pin this fold down if it’s easier. It’s important to make sure this crease stays put to ensure you’re sewing an accurate dart. When you’re done, check the back side of your dart. Both your top and bottom stitch should be on (or very close) to your marked line.

The next tip I have is for matching the pocket dots. I stick a pin up through the skirt piece at the dot, and then I put the pocket piece down on top of the pin, also through the pocket’s dot. I do this at both ends of the pocket, pin down the middle of the pocket, and then remove the sticky-uppy pins (yeah, I’m making that the technical term) and pin those ends down flat as well.

Using three lines of baste stitches for gathering the skirt is really helpful! So is using lots and lots of pins.

Notice in the below photo how I forgot to serg one side of my skirt piece before attaching it to the bodice? Woops! It’s going to bug the everloving crap out of me that I did that… but I suppose since this is my muslin, I can let it slide.

Anyways, contrary to my original belief, invisible zippers are actually much easier than standard centered zippers. They require way fewer steps! Colette has a pretty great tutorial for installing invisible zippers, but here’s my take on it anyways.

Turn your garment to the right side with the back seam facing you. Place the right side of the zipper face down on the left back side seam. It’s important that the zipper is face down. This is going to look strange and backwards, but it will make sense soon! Line the top of the zipper up with the top of the bodice and pin it down. Normally you would want to measure out 5/8ths of an inch from the back seam, but since I serged my piece first, it makes up for this difference.

I don’t have an invisible zipper foot, so I use a standard one and just make sure to press the zipper teeth out as flat as I can before starting.

Once you’ve sewn the first zipper side down, lay your Hazel out flat again so you can get a better visual for the second part of the zipper install. Flip the zipper over so it’s facing up, with the un-sewn side on the right. The teeth will be facing towards the inside. Take the teeth and turn them over to the right, so they’re facing away from the open seam. The bottom of the zipper will now be twisted on both sides, but that’s okay. Pin the zipper down, and then zip it up to check if you got it right!

Sew the second side down as you did the first one.

Before you can zip up your sewn zipper, you have to flip the end tab to the correct side. Take the tab and flip it up towards the bodice, and then tuck it down under itself and back towards the bottom. Now everything should be facing the correct way and ready to zip up!

That un-serged seam is bugging me so much!!! I couldn’t fix it without making one side of the bodice smaller in the process 🙁  I have to remember that this is my muslin, and the whole point of making one is getting all the mistakes out of the way!

The ginger skirt waist band goes in the exact same way as the facing does on Hazel, so I’ve seen this “counter intuitive” method before. It really does make for a beautiful finish, and it’s not difficult to do. It just seems a little complicated at first glance.

My Hazel muslin is all sewn together now except for the bottom hem! I plan to wear it around tomorrow and see how it fits. I took in the side seams a bit between pieces B and D (I think) but I may have to take in the front bodice piece a bit as well. We’ll see!

All in all, Hazel sews together very quickly and I don’t believe there are any parts that would give anyone serious trouble. Have you gotten started with yours yet? What do you think? I’m loving the pockets!!


I’ll be back with some more photos soon, and a mood board for my final Hazel 🙂
I hope everyone has enjoyed their weekend so far!


  • Shannon Jordan

    Thanks for the invisible zipper how to!! Will be putting my first one in here shortly.

    • Hi Shannon! My ‘how to’ isn’t entirely thorough, so I recommend reading the Colette one as well 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions!

  • It’s looking terrific and yay for you for putting in an invisible zip!

  • Maddie964

    The dress is coming along so well. Thanks for the tip to use 3 rows of basting stitches for the gathers. I usually only use one or two but I’ve been reading that 3 is better. I am definitely going to give it a try next time I gather something

  • The trick with lining up the pockets is really nifty! I will use that one too! Decided that my green coat will definitely need pockets (since the pattern didn’t come with them). Thankfully they are really easy to add!

    I’ll also try three rows of gathers next time – I’ve not had issues with gathering before but anything to make it easier and more controllable. Just as well since my beloved 40s patterns sure feature a lot of gathering!

  • Looking good! I’m just about done with my muslin– still gotta do the straps, zipper, and facings. It’s such a fun pattern!

    • Thanks! It is a fun pattern isn’t it? I’m excited to have TWO Hazels by the time we’re through 🙂 Can’t wait to see yours!

  • Gillian Whitcombe

    Rochelle, you make a GOOD tutorial! It’s a real skill – I’m so impressed at people who remember to take bright, in-focus pictures of each step. (I’ve tried once or twice, but given up in disgust when I forget half the photos I should take!) You certainly are more careful with gathering and pinning the skirt than I ever am… It’s motivating me to try pinning more next time!

    • Gillian, you don’t know how much that means to me! I often feel that I’m terrible at explaining myself with words, so I do try really hard to take good photos to make up for it. Thank you for noticing, and appreciating that 🙂