Friday, May 30, 2008

Muslin for fitting garment

Regarding the fitting muslin:

Personally, I use muslin as something just secondary to pattern tissue.
It is not meant to be worn. It is meant to work out the fitting issues, and in my sewing room many times it Becomes the pattern after the fitting is done.

I don't use a "muslin" as a "wearable test garment".
For a coat or jacket I'll use a heavy weight muslin.
I had quite a bit that I'd purchased from a local store that has gone out of business, but I'm just running out now. LindsayT emailed me that she picked up some at the FIT store in NYC last week. The heavy stuff. Link on the sidebar for ordering information from FIT, or, I also found some online here which I think is similar to what I've used. B.Black has some here.

There are questions being asked about whether it is suitable to use a home dec fabric, or heavy denim for the muslin stage.
Think about the draping qualities of your final fashion fabric. IF your fashion fabric is as stiff and heavy as the denim or hdec fabric, go ahead and use it.
My guess though, is that your ultimate fabric is not as stiff as a denim or a home dec fabric.

The muslin that I use, and have suggested, is a tightly woven cotton that isn't as thick or heavy as a woolen, however, it does have some small degree of drape - it won't stand alone in a corner without a body in it. I find it works well as I get a good idea of fit, and I can see my markings and I can draw or write all over it.

On my own personal blog you can see a dress that I just started working on for my dsd that is in it's first muslin, to get an idea of what I'm talking about. It's the 2nd or 3rd entry down now.
It's made using the lighter weight muslin that I buy by the bolt at Joanns, using a coupon, and typically pay 50 cents a yard for.
The muslin I use for coats and jackets is heavier, more tightly woven, and a bit costlier, but when you consider the investment of time, and in many cases the significant investment in materials as well, I think it's worth the $5/yd spent.
OTOH, if you're easy to fit, and you are confident of the pattern, then you may decide to tissue-fit, or use that non-woven pattern tracing material to "tissue fit". It's up to you.

Note: Have more muslin on hand than you think is the minimum essential for cutting your garment.

No need to pre-shrink the muslin - it isn't ever going to get washed or worn.


lorrwill said...

I think I have some annoyingly heavy denim (that I will never make any jeans from) that I can use successfully for this step.

Um, why is your blog dated for next year?

Jenny said...

I don't think I've ever made a muslin before. I'm just too lazy, but I definitely will to make my coat with my first Marfy pattern. I have some home dec fabric laying around that I'm never going to use. Does anyone think that would work ok?

I think the post date is next year so that these informational posts are always at the top.

Marji said...

I think the post date is next year so that these informational posts are always at the top.
Exactly! I'm trying to keep the informational posts up top while everyone is joining. As soon as the membership closes I'll create an index with links to the info posts on the sideline, and go back and date them all for this year, so that they fall where they will, chronologically.
Each week when I post a new step for the guided part of this sewalong, I'll postdate it by a week or two, just to keep it at the top, so everyone can add their posts of their progress if they want, and the Step won't get buried.

cidell said...

Marji, I can't find it now, but I did read tat you were going to pswd protect the blog since you were putting up so much good info. I also read that you were going to do a full RSS Feed? I'm not positive, but I think if you password protect, that this won't show up in Bloglines or RSS. But, I don't know enough about how it all works to be positive. Just an FYI.

And really, thank you for taking this on! I'll also sign up for your Great Jeans Sew Along (subliminal messaging).

Lisa said...

Oh, me too Cidell! I will join the great jeans sew along!


Marji said...

LOL, you guys are in for a rude rude shock, but I've never made a pair of jeans in my life!
Not happenin'.

Lisa said...

Bummer Marji!

I wanted to ask if you pre-wash your muslin?

Also, the Vogue pattern I want to use doesn't have a two piece sleeve. Should I make it a two piece? Would it be difficult?

Thanks for your thoughts.


Nancy K said...

I am hoping that these muslins will work well for finally getting comfortable fit int he armscye area. I think that it is a combination of things, The fit looks ok, but I always feel the armscy.

Maggie said...

I'm going to use a heavy muslin like you suggest for this trial. I usually only make a muslin of the top half of paterns. I'm pretty easy to fit other than needing smaller armsyces and neck area. I actually use flat measurements of good fitting garments and try to transfer them to whatever I'm making. That's tough to do with a coat though!

nancy2001 said...

I'm thrilled to join this sew-along. I hope to sew my first wearable tailored jacket (all previous tries were wadders). I plan to use stretch twill for my muslin, lightweight wool/lycra tweed for the actual jacket, and a Vogue Badgley Mischka pattern.


nancy2001 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meg said...

I just added a post about buying the tailoring muslin at the FIT Bookstore. FYI.

Nancy K said...

I know that coats have built in ease, but what about when making a raincoat with a lining and a button out liner, which will take up more room?

Kathleen Fasanella said...

I recommend using whatever test fabric you have or can buy inexpensively that is most similar to your actual goods. For leather coats (my specialty) I use pig suede mostly. It's very inexpensive, it costs less than ultrasuede!

Also, it's critical to fuse those areas for fitting, that will also be fused in the final garment.

Els said...

Just a reminder for the fitting stage, it is crucial to wear the right garments under your winter coat muslin to observe a good fit.
In winter when you want to wear this coat you probably do not wear just a t-shirt or lightweight top. Try the coat on with your winter clothes/ heavier fabrics like a woollen sweater etc. so you can see what needs to be adjusted in fit and wearing ease