When it comes to sewing I like to just go for things and see what happens.
Once I am in the mood to sew I simply go to my sewing room, see what fabric jumps out and takes my fancy, choose a pattern to go along with it and just go for it! If I come across a few hiccups along the way then that just adds to the challenge, and I tend to learn quite a lot that way!
I like my methods.
I find I am the most productive this way, and it saves for disappointment when you plan something in so much detail only to find you can’t get the right fabric or something.
So as you can probably imagine, muslins aren’t something I tend to make often either. I can completely see the benefit in doing them, you get to identify issues and rectify them before cutting the fancy fabric you have purchased for your final creation. It makes a lot of sense. But to someone as impatient as me – and trust me, I am veeeery impatient, they just take up precious time!!!
If I do, on occasion, make a muslin it has to be a wearable muslin, or the lining of the final garment, so that I don’t feel like I have wasted too much time.
This was one of those occasions.
I decided to join in the Elisalex party from By Hand London, rather late I must say, but hey – better late than never.
I am not sure why it took me so long, it seemed a fairly straight forward pattern that was similar to others I had in my stash – or so I thought. Once I started seeing other bloggers’ versions of it though I decided that maybe my initial perceptions were wrong.
However, I had a bit of a psychic moment. Somehow I just knew that this pattern wasn’t going to work for me the first time. I just had a feeling. There was no real reason or explanation for this feeling, almost all of the blog posts I have read from people who have made this have raved about the style and fit – but I just knew, deep down inside that it wasn’t going to be as straight forward for me.
I had some fabric in mind for my final creation, a dark brown, medium weight upholstery type material. I only had a small amount though so this was my final encouragement to make a muslin.
I used some cheap bedding material – a cotton polyester mix. I had tons of the stuff and no real plans for it. I was simple and quite pretty with a small baby pink polka dot all over it. Wearable but not fancy.
I cut a straight UK size 12 and expected a little bit of ease. I lined the bodice in the same fabric and took the opportunity to practice my zip insertion a little. I am getting much better at this, though I really do need to get myself and invisible zipper foot soon.
As predicted I came across quite a few issues, some of which you might be able to spot in the pictures!
I told you I was psychic.
The under bust was a bit baggy
The arm holes were rather tight, particularly under the arm pit.
The skirt box pleats didn’t line up at all
I wasn’t a fan of the side seams of the skirt – although I think this had more to do with the fabric I chose.
There was a lot of extra room around the waist
And there was something not quite right about the straps that I couldn’t put my finger on.
HOWEVER – it still fit, it was still rather cute, and a little pink ribbon around the waist and a cardigan hides a whole multitude of sins, and breaks up the fabric a bit also! I have already worn this a few times and am more than happy with it as a relaxed, wearable muslin.
The best thing is, I have been able to take all these little observations and tweaks that need making and apply them straight to the paper pattern pieces.
My next challenge is to have another go with my fancy, brown upholstery fabric!
So my questions for you are:
Do you make muslins?
Do you consider them worth the time they take to make?
And what are your experiences with this pattern?