How I Start A New Sewing Project: Making A Muslin for Me Made Monday

For people new to sewing, you might be wondering how you should start a garment sewing project. Everyone, as they become more experienced have their favorite ways of doing things. This is generally how I start a new project, with a pattern I’m unfamiliar with and/or possibly using a difficult or new fabric.

MMM SN How I Start A New Sewing Project: Making A Muslin for Me Made MondayAfter asking you all on Facebook what I should do over the weekend; work on UFO’s or start on Simplicity 1104, I got a whole lotta advice! By far the best advice was to do a little UFO work and then start on the new project! Perfect. And, that is what I did over the weekend. I finished up a dress, made a scarf out of some remnant chartreuse silk and then cut out my Simplicity 1104.

First, I carry the pattern around in my purse or tote bag for about a week ( I kid you not). I read the directions while out to dinner, look at the measurements as if they might change, fantasize about how great this is going to look and think about fabric.

When I get a moment I get all my supplies together and spread them out on the dining room table (sorry, can’t make dinner tonight!). For this pattern since I’ve never sewn it up I am making a muslin. My supplies are dressmaker rulers, marking pens in various colors, muslin, scissors, pins.

IMG 3673 How I Start A New Sewing Project: Making A Muslin for Me Made MondayI love making muslins because I can do it fast, I can write on the fabric and I don’t have to be overly gentle with the fabric. A muslin is only for fitting purposes and to make sure I’ve cut out the right size and to see what fit issues I have.

When you look at the pattern be sure to look at the Finished Garment section. Most patterns will have this info, some don’t.

IMG 3674 How I Start A New Sewing Project: Making A Muslin for Me Made MondayI am cutting out a size 8 because I have a 31 1/2″ upper bust measurement. Finished, the muslin should fit when I wear my foundation garments (bras). Now, I haven’t decided if I am making the dress or the top, so I might ask you all again on Facebook. If I make the dress I will need to adjust, since I am not a size 8 on the hip portion. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Here is a photo of the muslin, very quickly worked up. The darts aren’t perfect, it’s wrinkled and so on. But, that’s okay. I also know plenty of women whose muslin’s are BEAUTIFUL. As long as you get accurate fit.

IMG 3686 How I Start A New Sewing Project: Making A Muslin for Me Made Monday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also always use a contrasting thread color so I can unpick/rip out easily. I use basting stitches along the side seams.

 How I Start A New Sewing Project: Making A Muslin for Me Made MondayWhen making a muslin you generally don’t need to put together the facings, install zippers, buttons etc. Just really the foundation of the garment. Sometimes I will only do one sleeve, it depends. Making a muslin is like a dress rehearsal and it is where you iron out any and all major fit issues or construction problems before using your fashion fabric.

However, what I  find to be most important when making a muslin is to make the muslin in a similar fabric as the fashion fabric. My fashion fabric for this project will be either a linen or a double gauze so the muslin fabric is a fairly decent weight and fiber and drape comparison.

Next, I would will show you what the muslin looks like when it is on my body. And, play “What Do Those Wrinkles Mean”

Until next time!

head shot200 How I Start A New Sewing Project: Making A Muslin for Me Made Monday

 How I Start A New Sewing Project: Making A Muslin for Me Made Monday

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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5 Responses to How I Start A New Sewing Project: Making A Muslin for Me Made Monday

  1. Pingback: Me Made Monday: Finished Simplicity 1104- A Review | Sew News

  2. I’m wondering what you do if the size you cut out doesn’t work? It’s hard to put a pattern back together, lol. I’ve only made costumes and a little skirt (with a zipper) for my daughter when she was 4 – it was navy blue for a concert. I’m also wondering what you do with the muslin after you are done with it. Do you use it for other projects or throw it out? Just Curious

    • Jill says:

      I forgot to put that in the post. What I did was copy my size right on to the muslin(you can see the black and blue marker) that way I don’t cut the pattern at all. I just put the pattern under the fabric and pin to secure. Then I trace away. I put my muslin and pattern on a table that has strong overhead lighting.

      Good questions! I save my muslins, most of them anyway. I can always refer back to them if needed.

  3. Tricia says:

    Even in a muslin it looks gorgeous! I’m just a huge fan of peplums, always have. Always will be. I mean they go with levis or nice slacks, a skirt. You know what I mean. And they are sexy. Jill, can you please tell me exactly what professionals call dress forms? I bet the one in your photo costs about $500. My Dritz one is nothing to brag about but she was second hand and doesn’t seem to mind bad words.
    Thanks for educating the rest of us :)

    • Jill says:

      That dress Form is from Alvanon and you can find them here http://www.alvanon.com/. They are really nice. You can also find other brands online. I have a dress form/mannequin but it’s not fancy, I really use it for hemmming as the body proportions aren’t mine at all!