Sunday, July 13, 2008

Heidi's Muslin - V7979

I finally completed my muslin! I was going to use Burda 8171, but I decided to go with this pattern because it had a center back seam. I just went to a Peggy Sagers seminar at the ASG conference and she had everyone repeat, "Center back seams are your friend." She said they would be my friend in particular because of my broad, curved shoulders. I'd like to introduce you to Vogue 7979, my new friend!

I tried the muslin on over a shirt and softly tailored jacket. Overall it was pretty comfortable, which surprised me. I felt I could move around comfortably. The pattern seems pretty well drafted. (I made a mistake on the side back piece - I cut it too short! Oops!) It has inseam pockets, as you can see in the front view below. How does the front and back look to you? It looked pretty good to me.

Next are the right and left side shots. The collar looks really bad here, but I think it's simply the choppy sewing I did (I didn't insert the band on the upper collar piece) and the stiff fabric. I inserted the sleeves pretty poorly, too, so you can see puckers. This fabric didn't ease very well. I inserted my shoulder pads so they were about 1/2" into the sleeve. This is what I was supposed to do, right? Overall I think the shoulder seam is fine both visually and comfort-wise.

Next is a closer view of the upper back with me hugging myself. Again, the collar is a little shabby and it is hard to tell how it will look in wool, since I used a stiffer cotton "muslin" for this trial.

All in all, it looks pretty good for my very first coat muslin. My conclusion is that I think I need to let it out a little in the upper back, upper chest, and waist. I also need to let it out a little in the hips, too. I think I will also shorten it a bit so it's closer to knee-length. After doing this, I might need to do a sway back adjustment, as the back view above seems to have some extra fabric in the lower back area.

Your honest feedback, please!

ETA 7/22/08: Anyone have any comments for this advanced beginner who's never made a jacket or coat? I could use all the help I can get before I start making the adjustments to my muslin!

Edit by Marji right on your post to keep the information together.
1. I think your muslin body looks Great!
Understand that making a muslin is a process to deal with the overall fitting issues. It's the place that you want to discover that you should have made the alterations that require changing the shape of the pattern pieces that can't be done once your fabric is cut. Things that require adding pattern tissue or slashing and darting tissue; like sway back adjustments and forward shoulder adj and many other alterations folks have been making here. The muslin is Not your final fitting garment.
In this case, it looks good, and you've said you feel you have enough room to move, I don't think you need to work any more on the body. I would suggest cutting 1" seam allowances on your vertical seams so that you can let it out if it feels snug - and maybe even 1.5" seam allowances through the tighter areas. Understanding that you're going to cut off the excess after your first fitting in the coat fabric.
2. The only place I have a little bit of concern is with the sleeve. I downloaded your pics and made a composite of the areas of concern and drew dk pink lines that evidently aren't going to show up here unless you click on and enlarge the photo.
It's not that a garment shouldn't ever have a wrinkle or a line, but it shouldn't have pull lines or creases where there is excess fabric. These lines on your sleeve indicate to me that the sleeve isn't fitting well.
I have a question before I make any recommendation on what to do with the sleeve - Is your shoulder seam sitting directly on top of your shoulder? I forget whose neck it is that I drew on showing what the correct shoulder placement should be, but if you scroll back a bit you should find it.
Starting from behind your ear, draw an imaginary line down to your neck. That is where your shoulder seam should originate, and it should terminate at the bone at the end of your arm. If your shoulder seam is sitting too far back (and the Big 4 are notorious for drafting patterns with shoulders aft), then that may be affecting how the sleeve is hanging, and that should be fixed first. If you shoulder seam is in the right place, then let me know, and I'll do a bit of looking at references to figure out what to recommend.
This is a case of where, if you were right in front of me, I'd take out the sleeve stitching, and rotate the sleeve a bit, pin it in, take a look, adjust a bit and keep tweaking until I got it good, then draw my new match lines and be on my way.

All in all, your muslin fits very well. The little bit of sleeve alteration your going to need to make is just the difference between a good fit and a great custom fit.

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