Saturday, March 28, 2009

There are no bad mistakes, or why a muslin is ALWAYS important

"Muslin" is an inexpensive woven cotton fabric. Its fashion sewing purpose is to make a rough draft of a garment. This rough draft is also called a "muslin", whether made with muslin fabric or any other inexpensive fabric which you might choose to use. The garment muslin is used to confirm and adjust the pattern and design to fit, prior to cutting into the fashion fabric. I never thought that it should be done to confirm you are making the correct garment!

I had wanted to make myself a billowy, crunched crosswise at the hem skirt ever since I had to abort the plan for my cotton bias patchwork fabric. So, as part of my SWAP - Timmel's Sewing with a Plan - challenge at Artisanssquare, I planned to make a skirt from natural silk mugga inspired by this one that was made for a couture collector client of Fine Fabrics.

This client and I are very close in measurement. I had tried on skirts made for her in the past, so I knew whatever skirt I made using her patterns would fit me well. With more than 40 years of sewing experience behind me, I'm pretty good at visualizing the 3-dimensional garment from a flat pattern, but this pattern just did not look right. I couldn't figure out how the pleats would go together to give me cross side pleat look I was wanting. So, I waited until our dressmaker, Cindy was about to ask her how it went together. She quickly pulled in the pleats and with a flick of her wrist said, "Just go for it. We know it fits you and you'll see how it works when its on you." We would not have cut the muslin corner for a paying client, but I was anxious to get something made, so I did just that.

And here is my skirt. Fits perfectly. With the loop drape of the pleats it is a better use for the silk mugga than the planned pattern, which really shows itself with a more structured fabric. I love it. I'll live in it this Spring and Summer. But, it is a different skirt. As Cindy says, there really are no bad mistakes, but it demostrates that there is a purpose for making a muslin, even when you think you can get away without.

1 comment:

  1. That's a really cute skirt and a great explanation of a muslin and why it's important.