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making a muslin

why make a muslin?

this post isn't so much an in depth tutorial, as a reminder to myself why making a muslin is a necessary part of sewing. muslins are annoying. and time consuming. and a pain in the buns. so why make a muslin instead of diving right in?

  1. fit
  2. practice

a muslin is a trial run. it allows you to see the pattern mostly complete, before cutting expensive fabric. it also gives you experience of reading the pattern- if you make a mistake, it's better to learn from it at this stage. finally, a muslin gives you a chance to riff on the original design- i wanted pockets, and thought the collar looked a bit wide. but above all, the fit of simplicity 8096 gave me reservations- it looks so slim against her body, yet there are no lengthwise darts. suspicious...

the best way to make a muslin, is to use a cheaper version of whatever your final fabric choice will be. it's important to mimic the drape of the fabric- if it's silk, go with poly. if it's cotton, go with actual muslin. this jacket was to be made in a bonded wool, so i used a soft, non-fusible pellon.

there's no reason to go all out with this trial run. i didn't cut out the facings, the interfacings, or the lining. this is just to get a sense of the fit. instead of facing the collar and front lapel of the jacket, just press under the seam allowance and machine baste where the top stitching should be.

the results? it's enormous. not just in the body, but also the shoulders and the collar. it's at least 2 sizes bigger that what i need, and even then, it's still wide in the body. fixable? i suppose, but it's much more work than i'm willing to spend. disappointing? yes- but at least i didn't ruin $200 of fancy fabric. no tears were shed- and that is why making a muslin is so important.

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