Saturday, November 27, 2010

Muslin Epiphany

Almost 2 weeks into the Endless Combinations contest & I don't have a wearable garment. Sure, my straight skirt is salvageable, but right now I just don't have the motivation to 'fix' it. And my cardigan is nearly done. I just might be able to whip out 4 garments before the deadline. But, without doing musins of the patterns, it is quite a gamble.

In fact, I've had an epiphany. Sewing garments sans muslins is like buying RTW without trying on (which I've done plenty of--and regretted it). Sure, you might get lucky & have a well fitting, nice looking top, or you may have the RTW equivalent of a wadder. Now, if you've purchased that particular brand & style of garment, then, well, you're probably ok foregoing the fitting rooms. But if not, well, be sure to hold on to your receipt.

And yet that is exactly what I was planning on doing. I've never even sewn myself a (fitted) top before & I was just gonna jump in & do it. Sure, the key to sewing (like everything else) is balance. You won't conquer new techniques unless you try them. At the same time, though, why set myself up for disappointment by skipping such a simple step? Needless to say, I've decided that muslins are the way to go. At least for now. Until I get some direction in fitting & such.

Do you regularly sew muslins? Did you when you were first starting out?


  1. I have never sewn a muslin, and I have had one wadder so far (out of three garments). I do recognize the importance of muslins, though, and I plan to make my first muslin with the next garment I sew for myself.

  2. i always make a muslin. I am trying to perfect my fitting. I think one day when I really figured out how to readjust the pattern perfectly I wont need muslins. Right now I do, I just bought my first french curve, that is helping alot with arm hole adjustments.

  3. I also just realized the importance of a muslin.

    When I was taking sewing lessons, I was surprised that we didn't make any adjustments to the pattern beforehand, pin fit or sew a muslin. And both times, the garment was way too big.

    I've been making muslins for the pattern that shall not be named, and even though the pattern itself has given me a horrible time with fitting, I've been able to practice my new skills, like gathering and zippers.

    So, not only are muslins good for adjusting the fit, but they give you an opportunity to practice your techniques before you sew the real thing.

    I'll only stop making muslins when I get a sense of what size I am. I've been all over the board, with less than desirable resuls.

  4. I will definitely make muslins when I start sewing for myself; I've made a few for the garments I've sewn for my daughter. Overall I think they have saved my sanity. Something as simple as taking a larger seam can greatly change the fit of an item. I'm afraid that if I make too many wadders, I'll lose interest in sewing for myself really fast.

  5. No, I don't make muslins, but I will start if I attempt something expensive like a wool coat. I have so little time for sewing that I always want to jump right in and just START! But I mostly have been sewing for my daughter, and learning my mistakes along the way. After two peasant tops I have learned that I MUST lengthen them the next time! I am getting better at fitting along the way, and paying attention to small details, which I never did before.

  6. I feel your pain on the Endless Combinations contest... I really want to join, but probably can't manage the deadline. Anyway, about muslins... it depends on the project. If I'm using pricey fabric and an untested pattern, I tend to do a wearable muslin. Otherwise I usually skip this step. I do make sure to carefully measure my pattern pieces before cutting, which has saved me a lot of headaches along the way.


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