Jacket #1

Remember that silly shower curtain “muslin”? It served its purpose, so into the rag bag it went. Time to cut the pattern out on a nice piece of heavy denim I’d purchased awhile ago. True confession time: I had no idea what I would make using this piece of denim, but it was nice, the price was right, and I knew it would work for something!

The jacket has been nearly finished for a week and a half, waiting on the buttons I’d ordered to arrive. Once the buttons arrived, I sat down to sew some buttonholes. But I’d not used my newer machine to make many buttonholes, so I attempted a few trial runs. I had been fighting my machine a little bit, I’d done all the maintenance and it was working, sort of. It was not working well enough to create buttonholes, sadly. And it’s time for a spa day at the maching shop, so I’ll take it north a bit later this summer.

Now what to do? Time to pull out my trusty and dusty 33 year old Viking. I do love this machine, it’s such a workhorse! But it was not designed to work with a walking foot, so it’s not good for bag sewing. But it makes very nice buttonholes!! I’d not powered it up in a few years, so I crossed my fingers and plugged it in. All good to go!

My buttonholes aren’t perfect, and they can stand some improvement, but they’re even and functional so that’s a good start.

My jacket is now finished! I do love the buttons I found online, very reasonably priced, at Britex.

This was a very clever design in many ways. It’s an older Butterick Katherine Tilton pattern.

Jacket #2 will be created from commercial yarns, and handwoven fabrics. I cannot wait!

When a muslin isn’t a muslin…

When I was sewing clothes as a teen, I didn’t do any prep work except prewashing the fabric. I cut out my pattern in my size and away I went, cutting and then sewing whatever it was I was making. Boy, were those the days!

Nowadays, I never know if a pattern will fit, even if “my size”. Maybe it will fit in certain areas and not in others. What’s a seamstress to do? The answer is usually “make a muslin”.

A muslin is a practice run, or a sample of the garment in the size(s) you think you’ll need. You don’t always need to sew the entire garment, perhaps just part of it. It depends on the garment and how much ease is involved.

I’m working on a jacket project and I was uncertain about the sizing. Time to cut up and sew a muslin. But first, I graded up the pattern one size, tracing it onto medical exam table paper I bought online.

I couldn’t find any muslin (why muslin? It’s relatively inexpensive woven fabric, perfect for sampling). What to do? Oh yes, I remembered saving the exterior shower curtain I removed from the bathroom in this house when we moved in. I didn’t care for it, so removed it, washed it, and placed it in my “you never know what I may need this for” pile.

Today it became my muslin. Gary was incredulous, “you made a jacket out of a shower curtain?” I must admit it does sound rather funny.

A rumpled muslin out of shower curtain icky polyester stuff

I didn’t finish the entire jacket, I merely needed to check shoulder fit, sleeve fit, and overall length. And, as it turns out, the grading was almost too much. I will trim that back in the first actual jacket I make.

And a bonus: now that I have all my pieces drafted out, I can plot them on graph paper for a more narrow piece of fabric (handwoven!). That will be finished jacket #2, I hope!

Pattern calcs and graph paper!