crafts · outfits · Sewing

Wow… so this is why I make muslins

I think I might have a clue as to why I couldn’t find many reviews of this pattern – the sleeves are insane!  Look at those suckers – you could fit three of my arm in there and still have room to move!  Admittedly, this fabric (left over from Simplicity 2591) is not exactly drapey, but even so… those are some major sleeves.  I must not be used to bell sleeves anymore (remember when they were on everything?) If I decide to go ahead with this dress, I will need to use different sleeves (the pattern includes a short puffed option and a twisted sleeve) and cut an overall smaller size.  I cut a 10, the same size as my last Simplicity, but this is too big.  Will I go ahead?  I’m not sure.  I’m a bit worried that the bust, even on the smaller size, would need to have a small bust adjustment, and the shoulders are also really wide.  I’m putting it aside for the moment – I may come back and I may not.

This is why I’m glad I make muslins!  I get occasional questions about whether I muslin everything.  Well… no, not anymore.  I will make a muslin if there are elements of the style I am not sure I will like (as I did on Simplicity 2444 – I wasn’t sure about that collar!)  On the other hand, I did not muslin that last dress I made.  I picked the size by bust measurement (I know that I like a 35″ finished bust on most things) and basted the side seams to check the fit.  I don’t muslin knits – unless you use the exact same fabric, there isn’t much point – your results can be wildly different, depending on the stretch.  I don’t usually muslin the whole dress either – usually just the bodice.  Skirts are easy to fit (I know that I like to have 3″ of ease in the hips, and 1″ in the waist.)  I will also muslin if the fabric I’m using is very dear.  I am a firm believer in the muslin.  I know that one of the major fit books (Fit for real people) recommends tissue fitting instead, but I just don’t find that helpful at all.  That’s why I usually recommend Fast Fit by Sandra Betzina instead – she recommends a muslin.

And yes, that is my Jenny skirt.  Just for fun, here is today’s outfit.

Jacket: Evan Picone, vintage, perhaps 1970s?

Blouse: Mossimo, thrifted

Skirt: Doubleknit Jenny skirt

Pin: Vintage Sarah Coventry

Boots: Style&Co

We still have snow, but I couldn’t take another day of those flat boots!  So I’m wearing these instead – they aren’t leather, and they’re pretty old, but they have a little more style.  All the magazines say you should belt a jacket if it makes you feel boxy, so I’m trying it out.  I quite like it, though it depends on the jacket.  This jacket fits, but it’s a double breasted style that I find hard to wear.  It’s not the sleekest look ever, but at least I’m not wearing that black cardigan I wear with everything (I am so tired of wearing sweaters over all my clothes!)

Back later with a great vintage find, and maybe thoughts on another project.

7 thoughts on “Wow… so this is why I make muslins

  1. Cute look! I still love that skirt but probably won’t get around to making anything with my pink & black houndstooth this winter. Bummer. Glad you checked the fit with a muslin! I usually only make one if the fabric is dear, but I probably have way more wadders then you.

  2. This is a beautiful outfit on you; love the jacket and belt. The skirt is gorgeous. The other outfit, the big sleeves are what I wear sometimes because my upper arms are large and the bell sleeve helps take away from that. But you are petite so yes, you do look like you could be drowning. lol

  3. I adore that skirt, the print is great. I have also started belting things more often. It helps a lot. I had to get used to it first. It made me feel constricted, but once I got over that it was fine.

  4. Wow, I absolutely adore your Jenny skirt. Somehow,I missed your post on making it, but it’s fabulous. Pink & black hounds-tooth isn’t something I would normally pick up, but I’m going to have to get my hands on some now. Love, love, love it.

    And aren’t muslins wonderful? I’ve averted so many fitting disasters thanks to them. Those sleeve are certainly something, aren’t they? It definitely gives the dress a retro 70’s vibe, though. I’ll be interested in seeing how you tweak the pattern, if you do end up going forward with it later. Good luck!

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