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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > The few. The proud. The sew-ers who donít make a muslin. ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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The few. The proud. The sew-ers who donít make a muslin.
jadamo00
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jadamo00
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Date: 1/10/12 5:48 PM

There. I said it. I don't make a muslin. Ever. Iíve been sewing since the stone age. Iím an advanced sew-er. My family was in the NY rag trade, both mass and couture. None of them ever made a muslin either.

I TRIED making a muslin once, but it didn't work out: I had this ridiculous huge tiger-stripe cotton that I bought for a buck a yard during some inexplainable lapse of judgment. I figured Iíd get rid of it by using it to make a muslin of my first tailored, structured jacket. That tiger/muslin jacket turned out so INCREDIBLY WELL that I HAD to wear it. And I did -- to church, where I felt the only way I could avoid scandal was to keep reminding people that Jesus also loves circus folkÖ

If you want to double your speed from bolt to garment here are some tips.

- Know your shape. Strip to your undies: mark your knees, hips, waist and bust with a little white masking take. Take some full on shots with your digital camera and print multiple copies. Use this as a paper doll to sketch out designs with tracing paper.

- Know your colors and stick with them. Sewing With a Plan begins with you choosing 2 basic colors from which you sew 2 pants, 1 skirt, 1 shirt, and a jacket. Then choose a print with both basic colors in it and sew a skirt and shirt. Then choose 4 punchy coordinating colors and sew 4 tops. Those 11 garments make 48 outfits.

- Choose only styles that you know look great on you. Pencil skirts wonít work for me; making a pencil skirt muslin may make it fit well, but it still wonít look good on me -- good fit does not always mean great garment.

- Take your body measurements, update them regularly and coordinate that with the pattern measurements: in general, for tops, choose a pattern by bust measurement. For bottoms, choose pattern by hip measurement.

- Use measurements from your favorite ready-to-wear. I have a basic white Ann Taylor shirt that I love and I copy the bust measurements, and sleeve and hem length from it every time.

- Take good notes. Next garment, try making a ďwearable muslinĒ: cut and sew the garment in fashion fabric, make adjustments in the garment, mark those adjustments on the pattern, and the next time you make that pattern, youíre ready to go.

- Sew with your head. I only sew for myself so Iím the only one I have to please. If I sold my dressmaking skills, I might make a muslin.

Fellow sew-ers: f you donít make a muslin, post tips here.

j.













-- Edited on 9/14/12 6:57 PM --

rmusic1
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rmusic1
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Date: 1/10/12 6:06 PM

well, I cant claim never to have made a full muslin. By that I have only (very occasionally) checked a specific aspect of a garment. Once when practically all the reviewers of a pattern complained that the bust was too small and another where they said the shoulders were too wide.

I try and sew each garment as it I am going to wear it (which I do intend to do!). That means measuring carefully the length of the arms and skirt/pants lengths (where I am longer than average) and also checking the waist (where I go up in size). I also find sticking to the same pattern companies provides a certain amount of additional confidence.

Not that it is a guarantee, but they tend to approach ease in a more repetitve manner. For example the shoulders with Vogue patterns have always fit me in the same size. Having said that, I still have lots to learn.

Recent additions to What not to do include assuming older patterns (pre 1990 in my book) even in the same pattern company will have the same levels of consistent fit you are used to. Also just because you love the pattern, and it looks good on all the other reviewers, does not mean (unfortunately) it will look as good on you.

One other thing, I have never let a new pattern lead me to buy cheap fabric. I think good quality fabric is easier to sew with. I also think wool and cotton are much easier than synthetics (just my experience!) as they don't fray as much. I'm just thinking back to a rather horrendous raveling memory for a synthetic lining and making a quilted bag. To be avoided by my good self for ever more...

poorpigling

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In reply to jadamo00


Date: 1/10/12 6:32 PM


You forgot people like me.. the cheap.. the lazy..

BEST TIP I can give is keep a good figure .. Was recently shocked to find I am no longer a stock size.. was so glad to lose that extra weight..

frame
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frame
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In reply to jadamo00


Date: 1/10/12 6:58 PM

I love it. Back to the basics. Simple and to the point. None of the mumbo-jumbo. You are my hero.

My best tip: Measure the pattern pieces. I don't understand why people don't do this.

------
"framed" was taken
"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant." - Horton(Dr. Seuss)

kkkkaty
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In reply to jadamo00


Date: 1/10/12 7:14 PM

wow, j, thanks so much, that is actually quite inspiring.... ! Back to basics, indeed!

Tip? Sometimes I pin the paper pattern together, and then try it on, to get a feel for fit. I think this is useful for pants, maybe not so much for tops....

-- Edited on 1/10/12 7:16 PM --

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Viking Lily 545
Viking Ruby
Bernina Activa 210
Brother 1034d

jadamo00
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jadamo00
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In reply to kkkkaty


Date: 1/10/12 7:22 PM

frame and kkk! Right! I forgot about these great tips!



j.





-- Edited on 1/10/12 7:24 PM --

kkkkaty
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Date: 1/10/12 7:24 PM

angle the pins down....

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Viking Lily 545
Viking Ruby
Bernina Activa 210
Brother 1034d

Choco Pie
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Date: 1/10/12 7:28 PM

I'm not a highly advanced or experienced sewer, but I've never made a muslin either, and doubt I ever will. I'm amazed when I read blogs and see all the work people do with their muslins and customizing patterns, but I don't have that kind of patience. Luckily, I seem to be a standard shape and most clothes fit me pretty well.

Not making a muslin works for me because

-I read the pattern reviews before sewing anything

-I buy inexpensive fabric (especially for my first try on any pattern)

-I make multiples of any pattern that fits, looks, and wears well. If you change the fabric and some of the details, it doesn't look the same.

-I don't buy lots of patterns.

sewingsilly
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Date: 1/10/12 7:56 PM

I ACTUALLY measure the pattern pieces and compare them to my meaurements with ease. I took alot of heat on one message board for sharing that I do this. People generally disagreed with me that I measure my patterns. They felt it was absurd. I am a professional, and I measure. If the measurements fit, the garment will fit in my experience. The trick is knowing where to measure.

------
strikesmyfancy-2013.blogspot.com

What's Meant for You Won't Pass You By.

hpsauce
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In reply to jadamo00
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Date: 1/10/12 8:06 PM

Love, love, love your post. Thank you for taking away my no-muslin guilt! Great tips and excellent points . (your circus folk comment made me laugh out loud AND hiccup).

------
Island Couture http://islandcouture.blogspot.ca/

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