Monday, March 22, 2010

WHY SEW A MUSLIN, OR EVEN 3?

Sewing this past weekend consisted of sewing  2 muslins and then cutting a second one for my dress and sewing it.  This from a woman who usually tissue fits.  I always think that it will take so much time, but honestly, I have perfected the art of quick and dirty muslin sewing.  No hems, so facings and I try and keep a bolt of muslin, one of the only things I buy at Joann's with a coupon of course. I know that lots of people make 'wearable' muslins, but that has always been an oxymoron to me or an expensive muslin if it doesn't work out.  The other thing is that I would never spend that much time on cheap fabric.    I like to be able to draw on my muslin with a sharpie.  I like to mark the center front,  the cross grain and the waist so that I can see it in the mirror when I fit.  The plain light color of the muslin is helpful in seeing the wrinkles that point to fitting problems.
So why did I choose to sew a muslin for my jacket, which I had already  tissue fit, and my dress, which I also had tissue fit?  I  wasn't sure about either of the styles and I wanted to have the least amount of ripping and adjusting when I sewed the good stuff.  I usually sew jackets with princess seams, but they tend to be more fitted than I wanted for this jacket and I've never sewn a jacket like this before.
I was pleasantly surprised with the jacket's fit.  As you know I am a curvy woman, with a 36 DD bust.  One dart is not usually  the best or easiest fitting solution for me but this worked amazingly well. Why you ask?  See that dart that meets the pocket opening and how the upper pocket mouth is actually on or close to the bias?  Sewing that dart  makes  the  section of the jacket  to the left of the dart  fall on the bias.  Bias molds very nicely without this being in anyway a fitted jacket. The fit is very good.  I made all my usual alterations on the pattern, except that I started with a size 40 in the upper body, instead of the 42 that I've been using and the fit is much better. 
My upper bust measurement is just a bit more than the full bust  of the size 40.  I blended it out to a 42 by the bust line.  It's easier to get a nice line when I blend it out for the hip, where I need a 46 or a bit more depending the ease.
The dress, now that needed two muslins to get a good fit.  I'll get to that in my next post.  I want to take some photos first.

I also did some thinking and research over the weekend  on Passover  menus and recipes.  How about gluten free, vegetarian.  Lactose free would be helpful too.   I have a number of Passover cookbooks, but I found a mother lode of information on line.  Google Gluten free, vegetarian Passover main dishes and there are a ton of recipes available.  Very cool, but I still love to read my cookbooks, or novels as my dh calls them.
Edited to add that only two of the guests are vegetarian.  Two are gluten free and one, myself, is lactose intolerant.   We are having a meat main dish, but I wanted to have good food for the vegetarians too.  It is certainly doable.  I am leaning towards a vegetable curry and a quinoa pilaf.  But there will be no gluten free matzoh.  It's disgusting, and at $28, at least the year my dh was diagnosed, not worth it since he had one piece and we threw out the rest.

12 comments:

  1. I'm trying to envision a vegetarian Passover. I'm too attached to my lamb...lactose and gluten free sound rather promising though. I love that your dh calls your cookbooks novels. I often fear that my own collection will overtake my house the way I use them.

    What do you use for muslin when fitting knits? I can't get my head around tissue fitting them, so I usually make up a practice.

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  2. This is such a great post and I couldn't agree more. I tissue fit and then I make a muslin. Tissue fitting is never enough and I find that if I skip the muslin I always run into a plethora of problems. I do the same thing with the Joann's coupon, a bolt of muslin lasts me a good long while!

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  3. I haven't really mastered the art of tissue fitting - I can't seem to keep from tearing the pattern while fitting. However, I am a recent convert to muslin. I am just finishing a muslin for pants that I have been wanting to sew for some time. It would have been a disaster if I hadn't worked out the fitting issues with muslin first and cut into my beautiful fabric.

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  5. I also muslin. I'm on the 2nd muslin for a coat right now. I'd rather make a muslin than ruin fabric. It sounds like you've done a lot of thinking about people's dietary concerns. I'm a vegetarian, and although it's easy for me to cook for myself, I know that when I'm asked to dinner, the cook has anxiety!

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  6. Ugh I don't enjoy muslins, either, and I also just do the "quick & dirty" with a sharpie most days. It's usually my love of a particular end-result fabric that forces me to sew a muslin, or a pattern company I'm not used to (so I pretty much never sew muslins for Burda unless my fabric is to die for!). I always think the end result is much better for having done a muslin, but most of the time I just find it too boring to sew something twice...

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  7. I muslined a skirt yesterday. I measured first - as my measurements were between 2 sizes and the smaller size did not seam to have enought ease. With this skirt there are no side seams so I did a muslin of the larger size - quick and dirty like you describe. And a perfect fit - no need to ajust anything! But worth doing because what if it didn't fit?

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  8. I used to do the tissue fit and have given it up completely. I found it just didn't give me the clear pic I wanted. Let's face it - it's paper. My MO is to flat pattern measure, do my usual adjustments, and then proceed with a muslin, or two, or three! I have become a real muslin convert. Other than my recent jacket I am not into wearable muslins. What's the point? But if you make a wearable muslin after making two muslin muslins, is it really a wearable muslin? Maybe not. Whew, that was a mouthful of muslins!

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  9. Heeeeeeeeeee heee entertaining at the Karpen house is always a challenge. This is why I like Korean food: it's always lactose free!

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  10. I (almost) always make a muslin. I have to make quite a lot of pattern alterations and I much prefer to get the fit sorted out before I cut into my nice fabric. I tend to use a light weight calico fabric that I can buy very cheaply and draw all over.

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  11. Muslins are a must in my opinion for more complex patterns. I never tissue-fit, too complicated with ordinary (relatively stiff) pattern paper. As I always trace my patterns (BWOF but also Vogue)there is not enough flexibility to use tissue fitting. No big deal, a muslin like you describe is easy to make.
    Looking forward to your garments.

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