samedi 9 juillet 2011

WIP: Muslining Away

I’m in a big muslin roll these days. I have made 4 so far, and I have 1 more ready to go.
I actually do enjoy making muslins (that’s when I’m not making the third muslin of the same pattern with still fitting issues). It allows me to sew something really fast – since I don’t worry about finishing seams or facings, and to see the fit right away. Hopefully I find that there are not too many alterations, and they are easy to make. And once I’m happy with the muslin I can go head first into the garment, wihtout worrying (as much) about the fit, and I can concentrate on making clean seams and finishes.

Making a muslin is also good to check if you actually like the garment style on you. Many times I see a pattern that I find interesting and would like to make, but if I think about it a little, I realize the style wouldn’t work for me.

So far, I’ve made muslins for a top, a dress, a skirt and a jacket. The reason(s) I decided to make all these muslins, aside from checking the fit, was also because
a) l was lacking some of my supplies ( lining fabric mostly)
b) I hadn’t pre-washed my fabrics
c) I was uncertain of which project to start with.
So that way I still get to do some sewing, and in the meantime I can complete the steps listed above.

The patterns I’ve used for my most recents projects were envelope patterns so I have kind of forgotten about the whole Burda magazine deal: the tracing, and the seam-allowance-adding, the lack of markings for lengthening/shortening and the overly complicated instructions. Since all of my next projects involve BWOF patterns, making muslins was also a good way to brush up on the Burda process and make mistakes without consequences. Like adding a seam allowance to an edge that’s supposed to be cut on the fold….Or cutting on the bias a piece that’s supposed to be on the grain line (while the lining is cut on the bias…the grain direction on the pattern made it a bit confusing).

The first muslin I made is blouse 105 from BWOF April 2010. In this case, the muslin fabric is much stiffer than the fabric I intend to use for the final garment (silk chiffon). I already know I need to lengthen it a bit, but I’m having troubles figuring out the right fit in the bust, and the fabric isn’t helping. So I bought some cheap polyester chiffon at $2 a meter to make a second muslin. This will also give me an idea of the difficulty of sewing chiffon fabric (another good reason to make a muslin)…

My second muslin is looking good. I’ve managed to find the fitting issues and correct most of them. The pattern was one of Burda's "petite" sizing (for women who are 160cm, and I’m 1.78) so adjusting it to properly fit my bust length was necessary. I still have issues with gaping at the back armhole, but I think I know how to solve that. This is most likely my next project on the table, as soon as I’ve washed my lining fabric.

My third muslin is a jacket (121 also from BWOF April 2010). Although this is already a Tall Pattern, I will need to lengthen the bodice a bit, as I hate feeling a draft in the belly area :). I'm happy with the "boxy" fit of the bodice but I'll have to make adjustments to the sleeves as they are too big, so I will most likely make another muslin of just the sleeve piece. This is where an “elbow” mark on the pattern would also be helpful, to check that the sleeve length is proportionate, but again, BWOF patterns lack these….

I made a muslin of this skirt because this is a typical case of “Franken-pattern”. The skirt is from McCall 5192 and the high waist band from BWOF 112-01-2009. The muslin helped make sure both pieces would fit together, and make a sway back adjustment on the waist band piece.
This is a fall/winter garment so it will probably stay in the sewing cue until the end of summer…

My next muslin (maybe after I’ve finished the dress) will also be an experiment as I would like to make a pair of wide-legged paperbag-waist pants for summer. I don’t have a pattern for the waistband, so I will have to draft it, but first I had to find a pants pattern that would work without having to draft the whole thing myself. Making a muslin will help make sure the result is what I have in mind.

Do you guys make a lot of muslin? Do you enjoy it or do you find it’s one more time-consuming step before completing a garment? As it turns out there's a recent post this week on Burdastyle about why muslins are so useful, that I found very interesting.

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