Monday, January 21, 2008

SWAP muslins and fitting garments

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.


LadyLungDoc said...

Wow - I hope your sister appreciates your effort! I love the piping - the vertical lines will make the top very slimming.

Mardel said...

The top with the pipings looks lovely. I can see your point with the muslins. The garment looks like it basically fits or has promise, but it is hard to tell anything due to the patchwork. But that is what I love about muslin as well. You can add, and write on it and in the end you have a pattern. And photos are great, especially since I usually end up fitting myself.

Your sister must be so thrilled that you are doing all this for her.

Carrie K said...

Wow. I mean, just wow. I hope it all works out! You're certainly doing the homework for it!

knittinbrit_in_wi said...

I'm with Carrie K - WOW! I had no idea there was that much involved in sewing your beautiful garments. I'm so impressed.

a little sewing on the side said...

Thank you for posting about your method of sewing muslins, along with pictures. I find it very helpful.
I am enjoying your turbo-charged sewing these days!
Keep up the good work!!!

Nancy K said...

great to see your process. I have a DD bust, and I hesitate to make a princess jacket out of anything that has to match. I have seen posts on shoulder seam princess that accentuates the bust in not a good way. There is often a crescent shape at the bust. Does that make sense? Not a good look. Or like your sister's jacket with the very bias section. How do you solve this problem?

Tany said...

You are doing a fabulous job with your sister's SWAP, Marji! Thank you so much for sharing all this info and for showing the muslin details. I always enjoy reading about sewing work in progress and how a dressmaker solves different kinds of problems. Fitting is something I'm not very experienced at, since I only sew for myself and I *THINK* I don't have major fitting issues but I crave all the information I can get on that subject.