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