A Failed “Muslin”

**I need advice!  Please read on and comment below if you can help!**


Yay, for finally catching up on my blogging.  Boo, for not being very pleased with my newest project.


This is a muslin of view A of Butterick 5568.  Hey, I made a muslin!  Actually it’s a polyester cause it was on sale and I’m really cheap.

Anyway…the “muslin” is pretty rough.  I basically used all baste stitches, didn’t hem, etc., etc.  I just wanted to get a better idea of things before I cut into my nice suiting fabric, which by the way, I’m not too sure about.  It’s a beige/black plaid type pattern, but it’s dry clean only.  I knew this when I bought it, but decided to go with it.  I like the fabric, but I just HATE to dry clean.  First, dry cleaning can be expensive.  Second, I never seem to actually go to the dry cleaners, so my clothes just sit there for a long time waiting to get cleaned and I don’t actually get to wear them.  Third, I’m kind of freaked out by the chemicals used by dry cleaners, even the “eco-friendly” ones.  So I’m still on the fence on how to pre-treat the fabric and then later clean the garment.  I tried hand washing a swatch, and things seem fine, but I’m still nervous to destroy three yards of nice fabric.

But I digress.  Muslin.  This polyester is a very different fabric from the actual suiting material, so I have to give some leeway.  However, fit is fit, and here’s my biggest issue.  I cut a size smaller than I would normally because everything has been large on me lately.  The waist fits pretty well, but the bust and underarms are ridiculously baggy.  You can’t really tell from the picture, but the arm hole allowance is unnecessarily large, which requires that the diameter of the sleeves be large, which makes the whole thing look baggy and sloppy.  Not a fan.

IMG_0417So, is there an easy fix to this?  It seems to me that I would need to redraft the pattern and draw new arm hole allowances above the current pieces in the pattern.  And maybe take in the sides around the ribcage a bit.  Is this correct?

I also don’t like the collar  – it’s two pieces seamed in the back (back view is to the right).  WHA???  I double-check my RTW jackets just to make sure I wasn’t being hypercritical, and none have a seam in the back of the collar.  I looked over the pattern again, and from what I can tell without making a muslin first is that views C and D are not seamed in the back, so maybe I’ll switch to one of those.

Worse case scenario, I was thinking about changing patterns entirely and making Eva from burdastyle.  Anyone make that one before?

If you have any suggestions how to fix the arm allowance/bagginess problem, please comment!  I’m stuck!

Oh, and by the way, I made a duct tape dress form!  That’s kind of a funny story…maybe I’ll get around to blogging about that…

5 thoughts on “A Failed “Muslin”

  1. I’m sorry you don’t like it. It’s a darling jacket. What if you take up some slack in the seam over the bust-just a tiny bit, and maybe in those back seams? Like start with a quarter inch on each seam. That might do it. I bet those arm holes are big to allow for a sweater, maybe? Maybe you could add some more fabric–again, just a tiny bit, to the portion of the body where it meets the armhole and then suck it in at the seam. I really have no idea. But that’s what I might try. Good luck. 🙂

  2. It seems to me that the arms would be bigger for a sweater as well. But I do think it looks awkward on your muslin. I’m so with you on no dry clean! I have literally never used dry cleaning because the chemicals scare me. I wish I could help you out, but I’m not sure what I would do either. Might be the satin poly is showing as more awkward and the suiting wouldn’t read the same way? I’m sorry I feel like I’m not helping.

  3. Yeah, I think if I were you, I would just redraft the part of the pattern with the armholes and take in the sides a little bit. I don’t know, I could be wrong… But I think that’s what I would try =D I think it will be very cute once you finish it!

  4. Thanks for all the advice! Yes, I’m sure the extra ease is to allow for sweaters, but the proportion of the waist/hip ease and chest/ribcage ease seems way off to me. BUT! I just made a muslin of Eva, which I’m going to post on my blog next. Please let me know what you think of Eva once I get it posted!

  5. Pingback: A New Muslin « theresacouch

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