Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Muslin

Found here
When I started to actually think about the muslin for this pattern, I came to the conclusion that I needed to (wanted to?) use something thicker than cotton - something that would somehow mimic the final quilted jacket.  Also, I hoped that this would result in a second jacket, instead of a limp rag that would get thrown into a box.  I dragged out a remnant piece of navy double faced wool - something that I thought originally would make a vest.  With some piecing of scraps (side front and side back are pieced, and the collar was a real scrap project - 3 scraps to make the collar!), I actually managed to fit all the pattern pieces for the jacket.  To make the fitting/pinning process easier, I elected to sew pieces wrong sides together, with the seam allowances facing out.  Once the the fitting was done, the pattern pieces cut down to "my" size - I got on with work on the quilted jacket.

Then it was back to my "muslin".  How to finish it off?  I wanted a clean finish on the inside, and the seams were all sewn already facing out...  I opened all the seams, stitched them down with a twin needle from the wrong side, trimmed the seam allowances (which were rather ginormous), then covered them up with bias strips. These were all sewn down by hand through one layer of the double wool, so that nothing would show on the inside.
This was definitely one of those cases where my scrap hoarding paid off.  The plaid silk dupioni was left over from some flower girl sashes from a wedding that happened decades ago.  Periodically I would unroll these bits of fabric, thinking what on earth am I keeping these for? - then I would roll them back up and pop them back into the scrap drawer.  Guess I was keeping those scraps just for this jacket, though I didn't know it.  The buttons are green leather - yet again one of those things that I wondered about periodically, but elected to keep - just the right number and size for this jacket!  I suppose I could call this my "environmentally friendly" jacket - zero waste (almost) when cutting the pieces, using up stash - not that I'm a stickler for such things, but it's always nice to give oneself an extra pat on the back.  The result is a jacket that wears like a cardigan, and keeps me quite warm - no mean feat for someone who is always freezing.
Aside from the fact that this pattern runs very large - the only real problem, I found, was the way the sleeves were drafted - no differentiation for front and back (same problem I had with the Simplicity jacket), which made the sleeves skew backward.  My very unscientific method to fix the problem, was to pinch in the sleeve...

until it hung properly, measure the amount of extra fabric, then scoop that amount out of the sleeve pattern.

Hopefully you can see my pencil lines on the original pattern piece - I did scoop out the back of the sleeve a little (top pencil line), and the front was scooped out quite a bit more (bottom pencil line).
One more view....  Ah... the buttonholes....  I simply made machine buttonholes, putting a piece of black tearaway stabilizer underneath.  It's hidden in the stitching on the wrong side, with the hope that it will keep the buttonhole from stretching out.  Perhaps I should have corded it, but I didn't.  We'll see how that works out in the long run.


  1. A beautiful piece of work. Well done.

  2. Wow, I am astonished that the word "muslin" is being applied to this garment! It is certainly all sharp perfection! Love the bound edges.

  3. I am in love with this jacket and its wonderful details. All that handsewing paid off with subtle flattering lines. thanls for some inspiration

  4. Wow! Muslin ?? This piece is a work of art !!

  5. That is stunning. It is not a muslin surely?