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Muslin
Types to build a first garment for fitting
Texas Bonnet
Texas Bonnet
Beginner
Texas USA
Member since 12/20/11
Posts: 8
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Date: 2/16/12 9:15 AM

I am new to sewing and I don't know the type or weight of muslin that I should get for the first fit. Any pointers, hints, suggestions, or ideas would surely help me to decide what to buy. I have an easy sew pattern and I am anxious to get started. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

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Pat Sellers

Kemish
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Kemish  Friend of PR
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 4/24/06
Posts: 283
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Date: 2/16/12 10:19 AM

I was told that the muslin should be the same weight as the fashion fabric so that the muslin will drape and act just like the fashion fabric and so you can see how the completed garment will be on you.

However, having said that (or typed it) I don't follow that advice. I buy a bolt of muslin at JoAnn's and use that regardless of if it matches the weight of my fashion fabric. The JoAnns' by me carries muslin in several different weights and so I try and get a medium weight and just use that for all my muslins.

P.S. When I say weight I mean how heavy the fabric is and how well it drapes. For instance a light weight muslin would drape better that a heavier weight fabric.

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Kemish

Erica B.
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Erica B.
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Member since 6/6/06
Posts: 362
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Date: 2/16/12 1:48 PM

When I do choose to make a muslin, find deeply discounted fashion fabric that is similar in weight to the fabric I plan to use. Cotton muslin does not react the same as a lot of other fabrics.

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Erica B.
Birmingham, AL
http://www.ericabunker.com

AdaH
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AdaH  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Iowa USA
Member since 11/21/09
Posts: 2484
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Date: 2/16/12 2:04 PM

I use to use muslin but found that it didn't work out. I got the muslin to fit and look great but when I used a fashion fabric I had any number of fitting issues. So I now find the cheapest fabric that comes as close as I can get it to my good fabric.
Much better results and most times I get a muslin that I can wear.

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Ada

solosmocker
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solosmocker
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New York USA
Member since 1/23/06
Posts: 1557
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Date: 2/16/12 2:47 PM

I don't confine myself to muslin. I have used sheets a lot but now try to mimic the fabric I will be stitching on. I have people who are always giving me fabrics and I take this usually too dated fabrics and keep them for muslins. I don't use prints, only solids. I dig till I find one similar in weight and hand to the final fabric and use that. Muslin can be thin unless you have access to various weights and I don't.

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http://lasewist.blogspot.com/

ChickenFreak
ChickenFreak
Advanced Beginner
Oregon USA
Member since 12/10/11
Posts: 145
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Date: 2/18/12 7:13 PM

This is an "it depends" question - depends on your sewing process, and the pattern, and the fabric choices for the pattern, and why you make the muslin, and so on.

For anything but knits, I just use the cheapest lightweight cotton muslin available at my local quilt store. I don't know what I use for knits, because I don't sew knits.Yet.

This is because for me, a muslin is just a replacement for the tissue fit that many people do. Just as tissue doesn't remotely resemble the weight and drape of the fabric, neither (usually) does muslin. I make the muslin mostly to establish basic fit - can I get it on, are the shoulders roughly where they belong, and so on. Someday I'll probably have enough experience to do this by measuring the pattern or comparing it to other patterns, but I'm not there yet.

The next level of muslin would be a garment made to actually evaluate the style of the garment. For that, I would need fabric similar in weight and drape to that of the garment that I'm going to make from the pattern. Rather than doing a "muslin" for that step, though, I do a "wearable muslin" out of the least precious fashion fabric that will make a garment that I'd actually wear. If it fails, I toss it or cannibalize it; if it succeeds, I wear it.

I say this with big confidence, as if it's been working well for me for a long time. I've really only been sewing again for a few months after a break of several years, but this is what I'm doing so far.

If I had a bigger house, my process might be entirely different -- I might have a "muslin stash" of cheap fabrics with varying characteristics so that my first muslin could be more useful for evaluating style as well as fit. But I don't have enough space for that - I'm narrowing my stash to nicer and therefore often more expensive fabrics, rather than cheaper fabrics that I'd be willing to toss.

ChickenFreak

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ChickenFreak
Blogness: http://chickenfreaksobsessions.blogspot.com/

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