My Husband Thinks I’m Weird

And possibly for good reason, if you don’t make your own clothes.  Although as fellow sewists, I’m hoping you’ll understand?  I was sitting in the car wearing a muslin, with pins all over it that were shortening in a number of places as well as holding up the hem.  Well, what’s the point of making a coat that you can’t drive a car in?!

I’ve been tweaking my Minoru muslin as I want it to be as good as I can currently get it as it’ll be the most expensive thing I’ve made to date and I want to wear it to death this spring.  I did my usual FBA before even making the muslin and then set to trying to perfect it.

The first thing I changed was the torso length.  I’ve taken 2″ out above the elastic and this has got rid of the weird bunching in my lower back  and the funny sag over the elastic at the sides.

I’ve also taken 3″ length out of the sleeves and now the cuff edge is about 1/2 way down the back of my hand which is perfect for me.

The final change I made was to add some width across the upper back.  Now I do have a slightly broader than average back due to spending about 20 years of my life swimming 3-4 times a week.  And whilst I had enough room in the jacket to reach forward and it would be OK for driving I wanted a bit of extra room.  I’ll be toddler wrestling, dog wrestling and more than likely lunging for either or both whilst wearing the jacket and I don’t want to feel restricted in it at all (or risk pinging a seam).  Plus this was the jacket shell only, so the lining is going to add a bit of extra bulk!

I used a slash and spread method, making sure the spread along the neckline is within the gathering area and then trued the sides.

So, my pattern alterations are:

  • 2″ FBA
  • Reduce torso length by 2″ after FBA
  • Reduce sleeve length by 3″
  • Increase upper back width by 2″

The additional construction steps I must remember when making the real deal are:

1.  I need to stay stitch and clip the armhole curve on my jacket front when sewing it to the sleeve.  The FBA has given it a really tight curve and it was a complete nightmare trying to match the sleeve to the front when sewing the muslin so that seam isn’t quite as it should be!  Stay stitching and clipping will enable me to match the two up properly.  I’ll need to mark the stitching line on the sleeve so that I match the two pieces accurately.  This excerpt from Shirt Making by David Page Coffin explains it well.

2.  Use 3 lines of gathering stitch when doing the neckline to collar.  There’s a section on this in the Colette Sewing Handbook and also on Colette Pattern’s Blog and the difference that extra line makes to the end result is amazing!

So I’m all set now.  My fabrics are all pre-washed and my shell has been proofed.  I’ve got my elastic and zippers I just need to take shears to fabric…

Oh, and decide whether I’m making the hood or not.  I have jackets with hoods, but I never use them.  If they’re removable, I take them off and if they’re in the collar, well that’s where they stay!  So I leave you with this (whilst begging the Mr Shakespeare’s forgiveness):

To hood, or not to hood, that is the question!


14 thoughts on “My Husband Thinks I’m Weird

  1. Ha ha! Sewists completely understand the muslin real-life testing. Especially for something like driving.
    I also want to try the 3 thread gathering that was posted on the Colette pattern blog. Looks like it makes a huge difference.
    Keep up the great work! Lots of adjustments there. Just don’t do too much toddler wrangling testing with pins still in place! 🙂

  2. Wow, such a great idea to wear your muslin out and about instead of just putting it on for 30 seconds and taking it right off! I’ll have to remember that tip!

  3. A muslin/toile is for testing, not for 30 secs of guessing in front of the mirror – so you go girl!! I wore a muslin of the Scout Woven Tee by grainline (with only 1 sleeve attached for 3 hours the other night LOL!)

      1. Hahahaha.. my husband just raises his eyebrows, mutters/gives a little knowing smile and pretends he can’t see the weird calico garment I’m wearing. (I’ve trained him so he KNOWS better than to mention anything “negative” when I;m wearing something on trial around the house hehehe).

  4. That is so great! I have been contemplating make a few more wearable muslins to resolve final fitting issues. Yes, with my initial muslin, I can see if it fits and I can get into it – but it doesn’t tell me much about how well it will carry itself through my life. Right now I’m working in a blouse that I am taking all the time and care to complete as though it were the final project, but it’s in cotton and I ultimately want a silk blouse.

    1. Hee Hee! It wasn’t wearable in the slightest! Just plain old muslin covered in pins! Your blouse sounds lovely though and hopefully you’ll get two lovely garments, even if the first is a trial run!

    1. I think he’s really starting to question my sanity! But he’s also starting to be quite impressed by the finished items too so maybe he’ll get the method behind the madness one day!

  5. Love the fact that you sat in the car with a muslin full of pins in it. Makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one who does these things! As for the hood, I say go for it. You can always remore it but if you don’t make it now and want it later you’ll kick yourself for not having made it.

    1. Good point, I could always remove it! I’ve got the materials for it too and it’ll be a learning curve doing it! Plus it may give the collar some body so it sands up, which is the effect I want… I think you’ve convinced me!

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