Monday, July 28, 2008

Muslins: A Review

I offered to help Marji review the steps she has presented for analyzing a muslin. As a good teacher, Marji has modeled the thought-process for us. It is now up to us to help each other, and comment on each other's muslins. I have so appreciated the comments people have shared with me. Maybe we can each resolve to comment on at least one aspect of another person's work each day. Most of us participate in a project like this because we want to share the experience with like-minded people, and we all find the conversation motivating.

Marji sent me this quick checklist of what to look for in a fitting muslin.

First, start with an overall look: If it's so tight that...

  • it doesn't hang straight from the shoulders
  • it hangs up on your body instead of gliding over it
  • it has horizontal wrinkles
    • showing the strain as it goes around your body;
    • showing where wider parts (as at hips) ride up to provide more room at waist
  • it gaps where you pin center fronts together
...then let it out (that's what the 1-inch seams are for!).

Begin at the top, and making ONE change at a time:

  • Check neckline for proximity to neck (light chain around neck is great for this) .
  • Claire S. is wearing a light chain in one of her muslin pics, and this is where Marji began to advise her to adjust the size around the neck. See the start of that conversation here. Scroll to the bottom of the post and click on the picture on the left to enlarge it. Look at how the neckline sits away from Claire's neck in relation to the chain. See how nice it looks now.

    Tany discussed the fit of the neckline of her coat. Els noticed that it seemed to stand away from her neck, and Tany checked it for stretch and shoulder slope. She adjusted the fit by changing the shoulder pads. See the first neckline here and the adjusted neckline here.

  • Check shoulder seam placement (should run from bottom of ear to top of shoulder). Marji demonstrates this on Claire's muslin here.

  • Check shoulder width/upper chest width/upper back width (horizontal ripples indicate it is too tight, vertical ripples mean it is too loose) Liana's first muslin has a large vertical fold down the back, which she has corrected in the second set of pictures in this post.
  • Check for fit at bust. The ripples on Poppy's muslin point to the bust, indicating she needs a full bust adjustment.

  • Check width and ease through waist/hip (horizontal ripples indicate it is too tight, vertical ripples mean it is too loose—the ripples may point to the problem)

  • Check that bust/waist/hip lines are horizontal/perpendicular to floor

  • Check that vertical seams hang straight —particularly side seams and CF/CB. Cafe Couture realized her vintage pattern is smaller than today's sizing. The center fronts do not line up in her first muslin. I've had persistent problems with my side seams, and finally have realized the pulling at my bust indicated a need for more length there. See here and here

  • Check sleeve fit (horizontal ripples indicate it is too tight, vertical ripples mean it is too loose).

  • Then, when the mechanics of fit are satisfactory, look at the design lines and proportions of the collar/pocket placement.

    You can also review examples of Marji's problem-solving by reviewing the posts linked below:

    The Great Coat Sew-Along: Thoughts on The Fitting Muslin

    The Great Coat Sew-Along: Q&A #2

    The Great Coat Sew-Along: Constructing and Fitting the Muslin Part 1

    The Great Coat Sew-Along: Constructing and Fitting the Muslin, Part 2

    The Great Coat Sew-Along: Analyzing and Altering The Fitting Muslin

    The Great Coat Sew-Along: Analyzing and Altering The Fitting Muslin, part 2, LisaC

    The Great Coat Sew-Along: Marji: Tips for Presenting Your Fitting Muslin

    The Great Coat Sew-Along: Index for Fitting the Muslin (Toile) posts

    The Great Coat Sew-Along: Heidi's Muslin - V7979

    I hope this helps! The Great Coat Sew-Along has become my favorite stop on the web! I love seeing what everyone is doing. Did you know that there have been 194 posts, not including the comments?



    Marji said...

    Thank you Mary for compiling this synopsis.
    I hope that it's helpful to everyone out there still working on fitting the muslin. I know it's more work than most everyone here is used to in terms of pre-sewing work for any garment.

    Jean in NC said...

    Mary, Thank you for the great synopsis. It is very helpful. I do not have the ability to post pictures of my muslin but because of all the posts and comments, I am able to better evaluate the fit of my muslin. This is a process I have never done before and it has been a great learning experience. I love how you wrapped everything up so nicely. Again, Thank You!

    Melissa Fehr Trade said...

    thanks, this was really helpful for a "take home message"!

    Claire S. said...

    Thanks lot Mary - Til I finish the muslin, I'm still jumping around for all the instructions so this is great !

    Mary OK said...

    I am so glad this is helpful!

    Heidi said...

    This is perfect! Thanks Mary and Marji!

    Cennetta said...

    Thanks. This was helpful.