First Try at the Muslins:
I can't show you the "real" first try because it would be scandalous because it just wouldn't fit! I had cut this one out as a size 10 at top and tapered out to a size 12 towards the waist. In order to get these pictures, I had to remove the waist darts completely and shorten the neckline darts just to close the back. You can see it is still too small because of the strained direction of the neckline tucks which should be almost vertical. Oh, and also the fact that I can raise my arms only so high...
As far as they will go...
I still like this neckline and the general idea of what this could look like, so I will be attempting a size 12 muslin of this same pattern before jumping off to use something completely different like the lovely Vogue 8701.
Here's the only decent photo of the first McCall's 4052 muslin, also in a size 10 tapering down to a 12 at the waist. Between the time I made this muslin (and it fit perfectly!) and when I posed for this picture, I had gained some weight, which is evident in the horizontal stretch marks and mono-boob situation. I also do not remember that much gaping in the neckline before.
Therefore, because of my frustration with both muslins, I then moved along to two other projects during Thanksgiving weekend. I will probably also work on a third top or bottom before returning to these dresses. Hopefully, in that time, I will get answers for this bizarre weight thing.*
How I cheated: I didn't want to trace the pattern again or paste paper to the tissue pattern to regain the size 12 seam allowances that I had cut off making a size 10. So, I used a regular office copier. Voila! Instant white borders around the pattern pieces that I could use my curved design ruler on. I will be using this technique from now on for any small pattern pieces.
*No, I did not gain the weight during the holiday weekend, but before it happened. Weird, right? I've since lost some of it by walking more.