Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Wearable Muslin

I have a love/hate relationship with muslins. Yes, I think they are necessary and more helpful than not. They save the "good fabric" from potential disaster, and let you test out fit and techniques. Those are the parts I love. What I hate is wasting all that prime sewing time on a wadder, because if you use true muslin fabric, it will end up in the bin. So I usually compromise with potentially wearable muslins sewn from the more-aged/less-loved fabrics in the stash. But ... this means (a) I may end up with two of the very same garment when I really only wanted one and (b) I may be tired of the pattern by the time I finish the tester and the "good fabric" version, the one I really wanted but had to test first, never gets made.

Last night I finished cutting out the blouse-in-progress (#109 from the July Burda WOF). This afternoon I've been sewing it together off and on around other household stuff going on. The photo at the top is how it looks at this very moment. I stopped because of that love/hate thing.

I forgot that I wanted to add about 1.25" to the bottom piece so the blouse will hit a more flattering spot on me. To fix my mistake means I have to rip out those bottom pieces, recut 3 new pieces (2 front, 1 back) and re-sew the front. Here's my dilemma. I don't really love this fabric. It's plain semi-cheap cotton from Joann's. It's not really *my* colors or style but it's OK. If I don't make it longer, chances are I will never wear it but it will serve a purpose in testing fit and style. If I do fix it, I probably will wear it. But it still won't be loved — and never a Holy Grail — because I don't love the fabric. So how much will I really wear it?

Switching gears a moment — I took a photo in progress to see if I liked the topstitching I added. The Burda instructions have you topstitch the dart and the lower seam on middle piece where it joins the bottom piece but you are not supposed to topstitch the underbust seam. Well, I like the underbust seam and want to emphasize it and the line it creates on me. I topstitched one side and not the other, took a pic to compare and ... you can't really see the difference because of the print!

Here's the two sides. The one on your right is topstitched. Yeah, I know. You can't tell.

Here's a close-up where you can see the topstitching better. If you squint. But in a solid, I know I'll prefer it so that's what I'm going to do.

Back to the length ... I have cut out new pieces and because I'm quite anal, I'll most likely fix it. OK, I already know I'll fix it otherwise I wouldn't have cut out the new pieces. Thankfully, I hadn't yet overlocked the seam allowances on these pieces so ripping out will be easy. In fact, if I had just done it instead of writing about it, I'd be finished by now!


  1. I can see the topstitching in close up and I think it will be a nice touch.

  2. HeeHee.....I knew you'd fix it! I have never made an intentional muslin in my life for the very reasons you mentioned. Oh well....I know it would really be helpful but I'm such a slow sewer that I'd never get anything made if I did a muslin.

    I can see the topstitching, too....and I like it. The blouse is coming along nicely!

  3. I think the topstitching adds a lot of definition, even in the print. Should be very nice in a solid.

  4. Nice project so far. The print fabric will best be useful as just a fitting muslin.It doesnt do the original design any justice.Best to sew the wearable one in a flat/plain fabric.

  5. Debbie, I don't think that you can even see the design lines on that print, so I wouldn't bother with finishing this one. Make it up in a solid in a smashing, flattering color you love. Get the fit info you need from this muslin and bag it.

  6. Debbie, I hear you about muslins. Unfortunately, as a unexperience sewer, I have to make muslins. I need the practice before I "sacrifice" the real material. I also use actual muslin too so I don't even get the inclination that what I make has to work out in the slightest way LOL!

  7. I can see your top stitching! I do agree you would see it better in a solid. I had a grin though with the missed alteration of longer fronts - I know I do things like that!


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