Muslin is Actually Calico

This was something new I learnt today.  In the UK, the fabric that seems to be called muslin in the US is Calico over here.  Muslin here is more of a mesh like fabric, as anyone who makes jam or has seen baby muslins will know.  Something I should know considering there is at least 30 baby muslins in the house, it just never occurred to me that what I actually needed was calico.

So,tonight I made a muslin / test garment from my slashed and spread pattern.  If you remember I mentioned yesterday that my waist was 10″ bigger than that on the pattern size chart, so I’d added 10″ to the pattern by adding 2 1/2″ to each piece as there were four of them. 4 x 2.5 = 10.

Anyway I made the muslin…

Hmm, just a smidge too big...

As you can see (from a slightly out of focus and dark photo – I’m trying to photograph myself in a mirror, not easy!) it is WAY too big, so I’ve ripped it and will do another one tomorrow.  That one will be the straight 18 from the pattern with no adjustments, but big seam alowances in case I need to let it out.  I am so, so pleased I made a muslin of this.  I very nearly didn’t but the thought of having wrecked my beautiful polka dots for the sake of a couple of evenings work is not worth thinking about.  It’d have involved tears and quite possibly a temper tantrum.  Two big positives from this, other than realising my sizing is way off somewhere down the line, cutting the hem at size 0 gave me the length I want, and is one of only two things that went as planned on the muslin.

My First EVER Zip!

The other was the zip!  Hurrah!  First ever zip in the history of the world by me, it’s an  invisible one and it ain’t bad if I do say so myself!  I followed this tutorial from Colette as it was straight forward and I got it, Sunni’s method didn’t suit me, but it may suit you?  I also used my special invisible zipper foot which made the whole job a pleasure rather than the common source of frustration that it seems to be.  It’s invisible and the waistband seams line up beautifully.  I hope I can repeat this level of finish as I am really rather pleased with myself on this little achievement.

So the three very important sewing related things that I’ve learnt today are:

Muslin is Calico
Making up a muslin of a pattern is a VERY good idea
Zips aren’t half as bad as I thought they’d be

I’ve also bought a darker invisible zipper for the final skirt as Sunni’s examples yesterday made a very clear point, so I’ve taken her advice.  And her posts today about sewing on the bias and inserting a zip in a bias garment were really interesting and will come in handy should I decide to tackle version 3.

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