Tomorrow I am heading to the post office, with 2, maybe even 3 flat rate boxes, full of fitting garments. The above top I've made for my sister 3 times already. Each fit differently, due to fabrication, and whether or not they were lined or finished with binding. This one is made from a rayon slubby crepe, and I'm binding the edges rather than lining it, however I've also inserted a contrast piping in each of the seams, which I think will draw it in a bit. I also want to make sure that the hem is even before I hem it up. I've already taken out the lower 1" of each seam and drawn the piping back in, to facilitate hemming. If I have to move one of those - I want to do it now, not after I've serged the bottom and hemmed it.
When D was here in August, I tried to cut corners by making a "wearable muslin". As I think I've already noted, this was a serious mistake. I put so much excess time into trying to make that jacket work. Several of you noted that you didn't see anything wrong with it. So I drew on the pic, and inserted a pic of it on my sister, after she got it. You can see how the grain is skewed way off on the side front, and how I was still unable to make it fit properly. Note the bubble just above the bustline. Meanwhile, I'm finding that good pictures are an awesome fitting tool. My sisters husband has exhibited a facility for taking exceedingly detailed pics of exactly what I need to see. From the latest pics I realized that I needed to add just a smidge in the circumference on the straight skirt, and I needed to add on the bicep on this jacket. As also previously noted, while D was here, I ended up almost completely redrafting the pattern, then making a new muslin anyway.
When I make a muslin, I trace every line onto the muslin for all markings, then stitch those in contrast thread that I'll need to be able to see on right side and wrong side. I cut with 1" seam allowances. Below is the muslin for Vogue 8146 Boy, am I ever glad I muslined that one. What else I like about working in muslin: If it needs a wedge inserted in the middle, I just chop into the muslin, then add a slice. This is the pattern that MaryBeth of The Stitchery had so many problems with last year. She ended up saving the garment by inserting gussets. This fit was so horrible on my sister that I'm certain I wouldn't have been able to save it, if I had just cut in the fashion fabric. That 'shield that you see on the upper chest isn't a separate shield, it's the piece of fabric I inserted when I realized that even with the 1" seam allowances I wasn't going to be able to make it.
Once I get the muslin to where It looks to me like I can move on to the fashion fabric, I cut it apart, on the seam lines, and then use the muslin as the pattern piece. I laying it out, Add seam allowance when cutting, then thread trace the stitching lines.
This one looks so bad that I will make another muslin from this one, before moving on to fashion fabric. Part of that is, I'm still slightly hesitant that it will be an attractive style. It'll be easier to tell when it doesn't look like patchwork.
coming up tomorrow - maybe, if I have the energy to take all the pics before packing, pics of prelim fitting garments.